China and Japan: Consigning History to History

ISDP FORUM with Dr. Monica Braw, Dr. Börje Ljunggren & Dr. Lars Vargö

Wednesday, January 27, 2016, 15.00-16.30


China and Japan are key players in the East Asian security environment. During the past decade especially, bilateral relations have been undermined by tensions related to territorial disputes and unresolved historical issues that continue to thwart the normalization of relations. However, recently there have been signs that both Beijing and Tokyo realize the need to overcome their differences. The second and third largest economies in the world simply cannot afford a real conflict, specifically not a military one. But are the ambitions of the two governments pointing in the right direction? Seventy years after the end of World War Two, is it still too early to say that the post-war period is over? What needs to be done to consign history to history?

Dr. Monica Braw was for ten years foreign correspondent to Tokyo for the major Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. She holds a Ph.D. in Japanese History from Lund University, and has published a number of books on Japanese history and on the role of women in Japan.

Dr. Börje Ljunggren holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from from Southern Illinois University. He is former Swedish ambassador to China and Vietnam. Currently, Dr. Ljunggren is responsible for the coordination of the Stockholm China Forum (GMF) on behalf of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and chairperson of the SEB Asia Council and member of the board of Governor’s of Lund University and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute. His book “Den kinesiska drömmen – utmaningar för Kina och världen” was published in 2015.

Dr. Lars Vargö holds a Ph.D. in Japanese studies from the University of Stockholm. He is a Distinguished Fellow at ISDP and was formerly Swedish Ambassador to Japan and to South Korea. Dr. Vargö has published a number of books on Japan in Swedish, mainly in the fields of history and literature, and he is also the author of numerous articles in Swedish, English and Japanese.

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Location: ISDP, Västra Finnbodavägen 2, Stockholm-Nacka. For a map and directions, please go here.

To attend: RSVP to Ms. Lisa Bäckman at