SOAS University of London

Sport and Diplomacy event to be held at SOAS

9 May 2017

The Japan Research Centre at SOAS University of London will be co-hosting an event, together with the Japan Sport Council and the Japan Foundation, exploring diplomacy in relation to mega-sporting events.  The symposium will focus on two events to be held in Japan: the Rugby World Cup 2019 and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

‘Sport and Diplomacy: Past Reflections and Looking Toward 2020’ will look at how the build up to these events provides an opportunity to reflect on the past, present and future role of sport as an opportunity for diplomacy. This symposium focuses on mega-sporting events as a public diplomatic platform, and how they can create legacies for global community, including discussion of the legacies of the Tokyo 1964 and the London 2012 Olympics.

Mr Tetsuya Kimura, Director General of Japan Sports Agency, will be a key speaker at the event. He will discuss Japan’s government-led initiative 'Sport for Tomorrow', an international project to implement changes for and beyond 2020, with a focus on international cooperation through sports, an academy for future sports leaders, and promotion of sport integrity through global anti-doping activities.

The speakers include:

  • Tetsuya Kimura (Director-General, Japan Sports Agency)
  • Richard Caborn (former UK Minister of Sport 2001-7)
  • Dr Helen Macnaughtan (Chair, SOAS Japan Research Centre)
  • Dr J Simon Rofe (Global Diplomacy Programme Director, SOAS University of London)

Sport Diplomacy is a relatively new and flourishing field in academia building upon the heritage of studies in sport and history, politics and sociology. With the 2019 and 2020 events on the horizon, this event will examine sports’ versatility as a diplomatic communication medium, and how Japan approaches the unique opportunity of hosting mega-sporting events to leverage the power of sport in this time of globalization.

The event will be held on 15 May, from 5.30-9.00pm. For further information, visit the event page.