Invited by Soochow’s Department of Japanese Language and Culture and Center for East Asia Regional Development Research, the celebrated political commentator Yaita Akio shared his views on “the Biden Administration and the relations among Taiwan, U.S. and Japan.” The online speech on October 14th, 2021, drew an audience of nearly 100 Soochow faculty members and students.
Yaita is currently the director of the Taipei branch of Japan’s Sankei Shimbun and a leading news analyst. Having been living in China, Japan and Taiwan, he has particularly detailed and astute observation on the political development in East Asia.
In the speech, Yaita mentioned the current political power shift in Japan and the influence of the newly elected prime minister on relations with Taiwan. He also brought up the security issue of the Taiwan Strait as well as the close but fragile relations among the U.S., China and Japan. However, the name of the game for the world now is to control COVID-19 and to revitalize the economy, he added.
During the Q&A session, Dean of the School of Foreign Languages and Cultures Shih-Ho Wang, Chair of Japanese Department Ji-Li Luo, and other professors were raising concerns about the ways for Japanese-majoring students in Taiwan to face the future that features AI technology and interdisciplinary learning. They also posed questions regarding how students can broaden their international horizons through media.
Yaita observed that although there are many people learning Japanese in Taiwan, few politicians and economic elites can speak fluent Japanese. He advised that Taiwanese students improve their proficiency in foreign languages, particularly Japanese, and read more Japanese and English international news so as to acquire a more objective understanding of current global affairs and embrace the international society more open-mindedly.
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