Lauri Paltemaa

Centre for East Asian Studies CEAS

The Centre for East Asian Studies (CEAS) is the only academic research centre in Finland that focuses on contemporary East Asia from the perspective of social sciences in both research and teaching. CEAS was established in 2006 but the minor programme in East Asian Studies has been offered since 1998.

CEAS has research and teaching expertise especially in politics, sociology and contemporary history of the region with a focus on China, South Korea, North Korea and Japan. CEAS offers three different study programmes (minor, master's and doctoral level) and also coordinates the Finnish University Network for Asian Studies (Asianet).

In 2021, we celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku with #CEAS15 webinars, podcasts, seminars and events. Please follow our website and social media channels for more information!


Facebook CEAS Instagram CEAS Twitter CEAS LinkedIn CEAS

News and Events

Applying for Master's Degree Programme in East Asian Studies

The next application period is 5 - 19 January 2022 (3:00 PM GMT+2).

For news and updates on the EAST programme please follow us on our social media channels.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Korean Speech Contest at CEAS - register now!

Korean Speech Contest at CEAS - ​​​​​​CEAS15 event 2021

한국어 말하기 대회

As part of the 15th anniversary celebrations of the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, we invite all students studying Korean language to participate in the 2021 Korean Speech Contest.

Date: Friday, 26 November 2021, 13-15.30 pm

Venue: You may participate either in person in Turku or online via Zoom.

  1. Participation in Turku: Lecture  hall Cal2 (2106), Calonia building 2nd floor, Caloniankuja 3
    *Students coming from outside of Turku will be compensated for travel
  2. Participation via Zoom 
    *Your camera must be switched on during your speech

Contest categories:

  1. Beginner (3-5 minute speech)
  2. Intermediate and advanced (3-5 minute speech)

Please, note presentation software cannot be used to ensure equal treatment of participants.

Topic: free topic

Prizes: pressure rice cookers, gift coupons to a Korean cosmetics store, Korean food etc.

Registration form for contestants: (by Sunday, 14 November midnight)


*The first twenty registered participants will be admitted in the order of registration.

*As not only the length of studies but also previous exposure to Korean culture has a great impact on one’s language skills, participants will be assigned a level based on their answers to the questions in the registration form. Should you be assigned to a group you do not believe you belong to, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Audience: If you wish to come to watch the contest in Turku, please sign up here by November 20th.

For attendance in Zoom, please register by November 25th to receive the link to the contest.

                ***Korean snacks and drinks will be served for all participants and the audience in Turku after the contest.***

Further information:

Facebook event page:

Contact person: Taru Salminen (

Welcome everyone! This is a great chance to upgrade your Korean skills – don’t miss it! *^^*


Korean speech contest poster

Second revised edition of "Lohikäärme, tiikeri ja krysanteemi" is now out!

The second revised edition of "Lohikäärme, tiikeri ja krysanteemi - - Johdatus Itä-Aasian yhteiskuntiin", the Finnish texbook for studying contemporary East Asia, is now out!

You can purchase the electronic and printed version of the book from Utu-shop.


LOHIKÄÄRME, TIIKERI JA KRYSANTEEMI – Johdatus Itä-Aasian yhteiskuntiin

Kirjoittajat: Silja Keva (toim.), Annamari Konttinen, Kristian Kurki, Lauri Paltemaa ja Sungju Park-Kang

Lohikäärme, tiikeri ja krysanteemi tarjoaa johdatuksen Kiinan, Etelä-Korean, Pohjois-Korean ja Japanin historiaan ja näiden tämän hetken polttavimpiin yhteiskunnallisiin ja taloudellisiin haasteisiin. Kirjassa käsitellään mm. nopeasti ikääntyvän väestön vaikutuksia Japaniin, Kiinan politiikan ja hallinnon erityispiirteitä, ja Koreoiden tilannetta. Lisäksi kirjassa valotetaan tämän yhden maailman dynaamisimman alueen keskinäisen yhteistyön ongelmakohtia, joita historialliset jännitteet edelleen vaikeuttavat.

Kirja sopii kaikille kansainvälisistä aiheista ja Itä-Aasiasta kiinnostuneille ja Itä-Aasian opintoja aloittaville opiskelijoille.

Kirjoittajat toimivat tutkijoina ja opettajina Turun yliopiston Itä-Aasian tutkimus- ja koulutuskeskuksessa, joka on Suomen ainoa Itä-Aasian nyky-yhteiskuntia yhteiskuntatieteellisestä näkökulmasta tutkiva akateeminen yksikkö.

Kirja on jo myynnissä e-kirjana Turun yliopiston UTUShopissa 10€ hintaan.

UTUShopissa on myös myynnissä painettu teos 15€ hintaan.

The Nordic Asia Podcast - Always well-informed about Asia

The Nordic Asia Podcast is a podcast series co-hosted by Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen and its partners in the Nordic countries, including the Centre for East Asian Studies (CEAS) at the University of Turku. Experts join us in every episode to share their insights about timely topics within Asian Studies.

Check out the latest episodes of the Nordic Asia Podcast here:

CEAS podcast spotify       CEAS_NAPodcast_Apple


Statement by AKSE and EAJS on Racism in COVID19 Times

Concerned East Asian Studies Scholars on Racism in COVID19 Times :

Statement adopted by the councils of AKSE (Association for Korean Studies in Europe) and EAJS (European Association for Japanese Studies):

"Since the start of the COVID19 pandemic, Europe has witnessed a growing number of incidences of anti-Asian violence. East Asians are being physically assaulted on European streets, yelled at, subjected to verbal attacks and to a variety of discriminatory treatments including abrupt cancellation of rental contracts and denial of essential services, medical treatment included.

In Germany, the South Korean Embassy had to warn its citizens of the growing danger of anti-Korean racist violence and urge caution outside. Recently, a South Korean student couple in Berlin, having been assaulted, were told by the police that they should not ‘defame’ the perpetrators by referring to them as‘racists.’ In Italy, there are reports of vandalized Chinese shops in the cities of Brescia and Varese. In Britain, in a high-profile incident, a Thai tax consultant was physically assaulted on a street in broad daylight by a gang of ruffians yelling ‘Corona!’ at him. Every new day brings fresh news about violent incidents, verbal assaults, and victims traumatized by the experience of violent racial exclusion. The victims come from a variety of national and ethnic backgrounds comprising most East, South-East, and South Asian societies.

Of course, the anti-Asian violence of the recent months did not emerge out of the blue. For most non -Europeans living in Europe, quotidian lives involve regular battles with an array of problems ranging from denigrating stereotypes and social exclusion to outright verbal or physical violence. It was against this backdrop that COVID19 pandemic and the responses of the European decision- and opinion-makers to it further exacerbated the situation, paving a way towards making Europe’s resident Asians into one more object of xenophobic baiting.

We know very well that the root causes of racism are complex, and the same applies to the anti-Asian racist wave which the current pandemic triggered. We are also aware that patterns of racist exclusion are at work in other continents as well, also in East Asia – the virus is always conceived of as the virus of other ethno-national groups, not of ours. Yet, there is an identifiable connection between the explicitly or implicitly xenophobic discourses produced and disseminated by the politicians and mass media, and the rise in violent xenophobia on the streets. While hardly any country in the world can escape blame for making mistakes while countering the COVID19 pandemic, singling out a particular East Asian country as supposedly ‘fully responsible’ for the current disaster is a recipe for social disasters. The racist bullies on the streets do not distinguish between the governments and the people whom they govern, nor do they distinguish between the migrants from different Asian societies. While media’s duty to critically analyse the COVID19 response by any government, domestic and foreign, is to be fully acknowledged, responsible journalists should be able to draw a line between legitimate critique and xenophobic agitation. Regrettably, in these critical hours, European media repeatedly fail in this crucial task. Referring to COVID19 as ‘Chinese virus’ serves as excitement to xenophobia. Routine references to the supposed ‘authoritarianism’ of Asian societies (despite the fact that a number of them, typically South Korea, Taiwan and Japan, are full-fledged parliamentary democracies) in European media mislead the public while holding alive the prejudices and paternalistic attitudes dating back to the age of imperialism and colonialism.

We, representatives of Europe-based experts in East Asian Studies, urge Europe’s decision- and opinion-makers, politicians, journalists and educators included, to be aware about their duty to ensure personal safety and equal treatment to all minorities, including the minorities of Asian origins, inhabiting the European continent, and refrain from any utterances or statements which may serve, explicitly or implicitly, as incitement to racial hatred and xenophobic violence. Furthermore, we urge them to spare no efforts in educating our European co-citizens about the importance of minorities’ rights and unprejudiced perceptions of diverse ethno-national groups, thus not conniving at but developing an antidote to the rampant racial exclusion and violence we are unfortunately witnessing now."


25th May 2020

CEAS15 Guest lecture: Hiromi Akiyama, Harvard Kennedy School, 16 Nov, 16-17:30 EET

16.11.2021 (Tuesday), 16:00-17:30 EET (Helsinki time)

Dr Hiromi Akiyama (Harvard Kennedy School, USA)

Abstract: This lecture presents case studies of activities initiated by various local nonprofit organizations (NPOs) in the communities recovering from the impacts of the Tohoku disasters of March 11, 2011. Many NPOs were established in the aftermath of the disaster, some in the response phase and evolving their roles over time into the post-disaster recovery phase. Certain needs of local residents and community recovery could not be met by the government, giving space to these NPOs to engage in recovery efforts, through various ways to achieve their goals and in spite of challenges in getting through what they wanted. A variation exists in the ease in which these organizations achieved their goals.  Besides the constraints of resources and management capacity, the examination points to the importance of networks – or social capital – of NPO organizers, both among themselves and between public officials and other stakeholders, in getting the information and resources needed to succeed and continue NPO activities, especially among new NPOs. The presentation concludes with a comparison with nonprofit and community engagement after major earthquakes in Sichuan, China.

Hiromi Akiyama is Fellow at Program on Crisis Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and a consultant at the World Bank in the field of disaster risk management. She studies comparative disaster management and post-disaster recovery, focusing on how the relationship between civil society and governments play out in the process of community recovery after major disasters across countries. Akiyama has conducted extensive research on Japan’s disaster response and recovery after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, and currently conducts research on disaster risk management and resilience practices in the public transportation sector. She holds a Ph.D in political science from George Mason University. She has previously taught at George Mason University, American University, and Northeastern University. 

Register: kamila.szczepanska @

CEAS15 Guest lecture: Beata Bochorodycz, Anti-Nuclear Movement in the Post-Fukushima Japan: Structures, Mobilization and Framing, 28 Oct, 12-14

28.10.2021 (Thursday), 12:00-14:00 EEST via Zoom** 

**Zoom invitations will be send out to the registered participants (contact: kamila.szczepanska @

Beata Bochorodycz, Adam Mickiewicz University (AMU), Poland: “Anti-Nuclear Movement in the Post-Fukushima Japan: Structures, Mobilization and Framing”

The anti-nuclear movement in Japan after the Asia-Pacific War has been very dynamic, changing its nature and focus with the fluctuations in the domestic and international political opportunities and constrains. From the mid-1950s, after the incident with the fishing vessel Lucky Dragon, the movement evolved from the anti-war, peace and anti-nuclear (hansen, heiwa, hankaku) movement, which focused primarily on abolition of war and nuclear weapons, into the protests against construction of nuclear power plants and lawsuits for damages in the 1970s. In the following decade of the 1980s after the Chernobyl accident, the movement encompassed the calls for abolition of nuclear energy in Japan under the slogan of opposition to the nuclear power plants (han/datsugenpatsu). During the lecture I will analyze the post-Fukushima (new) antinuclear movement in comparison to those previous (old) movements focusing on such issues as: organizational structures, mobilization strategies, repertoire of protests and issue framing. Drawing on the sociological methodology of social movement theory and political studies’ theory of civil society, as well as the results from the field work conducted in Japan in 2013-2014, I will underline the mechanisms of networking forming, what I call “the anti-nuclear ecosystem,” and furthermore, the development of the narrative of the ‘common people’ protest – as key features of the post-Fukushima anti-nuclear movement. Finally, I will comment on the consequences of the movement for the national energy policy and broadly, for society.

Prof. Beata Bochorodycz holds MA in Japanese studies from Adam Mickiewicz University (AMU) in Poznan, Poland, MA in law (political science major) from the Kyushu University in Fukuoka, PhD and habilitated PhD in political science from the Polish Academy of Sciences. She has been teaching modern political and social history of Japan, Japanese politics, and foreign policy with a focus on US-Japan relation and the Okinawa issue. She has been a fellow of the International Rotary Club (1993-1995), the Japanese Ministry of Education (1997-2001), Japan Foundation (2013-2014) and the Fulbright Foundation (2018-2019). She is an author and co-author of several publications on Japan, including Fukushima a społeczeństwo obywatelskie. Japoński ruch denuklearny w perspektywie politologiczno-socjologicznej [Fukushima and civil society: Japanese anti-nuclear movement from the socio-political perspective] (Wydawnictwo UAM, 2018) – to be published in English (2022, Routledge), Japan’s Foreign Policy Making (Springer, 2018, together with Karol Zakowski and Marcin Socha).

CEAS15 Guest lecture: Kyounghee Cho, Media transformation and democratic issues in South Korea", 20 Oct, 12-14 EEST

Time: 20 Oct 2021, 12-14hrs EEST (Pub299 and Zoom)

Dr. Kyounghee Cho: Media transformation and democratic issues in South Korea

The presentation will cover the historical transformation of Korea's media in the political and societal realm from traditional conservative newspapers to the present digital media, and explore what roles have the media played in Korean politics, society, and democracy. 

Dr. Kyounghee Cho is a contracted professor at Pusan National University. She received a Ph.D. degree in Politics and International Studies from the University of Warwick, UK. She worked at the National Research Council for Economics, Humanities, and Social Science in Korea and as a lecturer at Coventry University in the UK. Her major research interests are New Media studies, Political communications, Cultural Studies, and Asian Democracy.

*This is a MDP-EAST lecture passport event.


CEAS15 event "East Asia - The New Normal?", 14-15 Oct 2021

This year, CEAS celebrates its 15th anniversary with a two-day hybrid event. 

Date: 14-15 October 2021 

Venue: Hybrid (University of Turku I Publicum PUB 3 and ZOOM) - Parking on UTU campus

For attendance in Publicum, please register here until 11 Oct (Mon). 

For online attendance via Zoom, please register here until 15 Oct (Fri).


14 October 2021 (Thu), 10.00-16.15 (Finnish time UTC+ 03:00)

East Asia - The New Normal?

Opening words by Professor Lauri Paltemaa, CEAS Director

10.15 Minister Audrey Tang: Digital Social Innovation

10.50 Professor Jeffrey Kingston: The politics of pandemic in East Asia

11.20 Professor Haksoon Paik: Geopolitics & Emerging Security Problems in the Asia-Pacific and South Korea's Strategic Choices 

11.50 Professor Ka Ho Mok: Refining the Ways of Knowing and Doing: Research in the Times of COVID-19 Pandemic


---- 12.20 Lunch 


13.00 Sungju Park-Kang: A Korean spy who is (still) to die 115 times.

13.30 Juha Saunavaara: East Asian actors’ interest and involvement in the Arctic – from curiosity to mainstream

14.00 Satoko Naito: Japan, The Imagined, and Myself: Recollection, Identity, and Kazuo Ishiguro 

 --- 14.30 Coffee break 

14.45 Yoko Demelius: Visions and Challenges of Work-Life Balance in Japan: Looking Beyond the COVID Crisis

15.15 Elina Sinkkonen: Dynamic dictators: autocratization and authoritarian resilience in China and elsewhere

15.45 Minna Valjakka: Remediating existence: new audiences, localities and importance of public art


15 October 2021 (Fri), 9.00-16.00 (Finnish time UTC+ 03:00)

Greetings from the Alumni - Where did East Asian Studies take me? 

Working in Diplomacy, PR and Educational Exports 

9.00 Anne Mutanen, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Finland to Dublin 

9.30 Reetta Ilo, PR & Comms Manager, San Francisco Agency 

10.00 Wang Yue, Planning Officer at Global Education, TAMK 

---- 10.30 Coffee break 

Doing Business with China and in China 

10.45 Suvi Kurki, International Sales Specialist, Jintian Copper 

11.15 Tuomo Kauha, Growth and Internationalisation Coordinator, Team Finland 

11.45 Olli Hakala, Chief Liaison Officer, Turku Chamber of Commerce  


--- 12.15 Lunch

New normal in China – Perspectives from business and politics 

Opening words by SLT Director Marjut Johansson 

13.15 Markus Laine, Hanza Group: Business environment in China from a Finnish perspective: a changing landscape

14.00 Sari Arho Havrén, Business Finland: Europe and China relations and future prospects, what they mean for EU and Finland

14.45 Mikko Puustinen, MEAE: Finland, China and the expanding meaning of economic and trade relations


**In cooperation with School of Languages and Translation Studies (SLT)   

** MDP EAST students: this is a lecture passport event

CEAS15 poster

CEAS15 Guest lecture: Florian Pölking, Becoming civilised. Korea and the whirlpool of the late 19th century, 4 Oct, 16-18

CEAS15 Guest lecture: Dr. Florian Pölking, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany

"Becoming civilised. Korea and the whirlpool of the late 19th century", 4 Oct 2021 (Mon), 16-18 hrs on Zoom

From about the middle of the 19th century, Korea quickly was confronted with diverse interests not only of western empires but even more so of its East Asian neighbours. The collapse of the traditional cosmic/world order and the confrontation with new realities and ideas led to an intense discourse within the political and social elites about how to react to the changing environment. At the same time, the room for manoeuvre quickly became smaller in the course of the late 19th century. This guest lecture aims to outline how Korea and Koreans tried to face these developments from the "opening" of the country in 1876 until its collapse in 1910 and beyond.

Dr. Pölking is researcher and lecturer of East Asian Politics at the Ruhr University of Bochum in Germany.  

For MDP-EAST students this is a lecture passport event.

WEBINAR for new EAST students, 26 August 2021

Webinar for new EAST students including information on courses and general advice on personal study plan.

26 Aug 2021, 13-14hrs (Finnish Time)

Students receive the link to the webinar by email.

WEBINAR for admitted EAST students, 17 May 2021

CEAS hosts a WEBINAR for accepted EAST students on 17 May 2021 (Mon), 15:00-16:00hrs EET. Invitations have already been sent out to our prospective students. 

Congratulations to our new students! We can't wait to welcome you all here in Turku!

Apply now: Korean Studies Int'l Summer School, St Petersburg University, 3-4 June

Apply now for the International Summer School on ‘The Republic of Korea and the DPRK: Society, Culture and Politics’ organized by Saint Petersburg University, 3-4 June 2021, online via Zoom. The summer school is a great opportunity to deepen your knowledge about Korea, to exchange views with renowned Korean studies scholars and peers and to take part in a virtual visit to the St. Petersburg Institute of Oriental Manuscripts.

UTU students can earn 2cr by submitting six learning diaries (each 400-500 words) on six different summer school lectures (EAST0117 Lecture passport).

To apply, please send an email to sabine.burghart[at] expressing your interest and motivation, including previous Korea-related studies (100-150 words).

Deadline for applications: 29 April 2021 (Thu), 2:00pm. Eligible are UTU students (status: attending).

CEAS15: The god of wealth in Chinese ritual mythology and Mongolian conspiracy theories

The god of wealth in Chinese ritual mythology and Mongolian conspiracy theories

22.04.2021 (Thursday), 12:00-14:00 (EET)/11:00-13:00 (CET) (ZOOM)

Guest lecture by Alevtina Solovyeva (Institute of Cultural Research, University of Tartu)


In this guest lecture I look at the case of the reinterpretation of the Chinese rituals of veneration to the ‘god of wealth’ (財神) in contemporary Mongolian culture. I shall introduce the figure(s) of the god of wealth, and its specific features and functions in the ritual mythology and everyday practices of Chinese communities. I shall also regard these features in the broader context of Chinese and Mongolian folk beliefs about the forms of the wealth and the supernatural ways it manifests. A comparative perspective on these beliefs will give some hints as to the mystery of the demonization of such a generally cheerful deity as the Chinese God of wealth in the perceptions of neighbouring ethnic groups. Special attention will be paid in the report to the concept of the ‘evil wealth’, which is applied to indicate social distrust in various situations of life in contemporary Mongolian communities. Very often this concept takes on an ethnic identity and becomes enmeshed with diverse aspects of the ‘Chinese question’. This topic reflects old, and new, transnational concerns and often included by the increasingly popular and influential genre of conspiracy theories. Finally, I shall discuss examples of such conspiracy theories and their historical and current contexts.

Alevtina Solovyeva obtained her PhD in Asian Literatures and Folkloristics (Russian Academy of Sciences; University of Tartu). Currently she is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Cultural Research, University of Tartu; Research Fellow at the Centre of Typological and Semiotic Folklore Studies; and a Leading Researcher at the Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics (Russia, Moscow). Previously, she studied Orient Studies (Sinology and Mongolian studies) and Folkloristics in Russian State University for the Humanities (Russia), National University of Mongolia (Mongolia), University of Bonn (Germany), University of Bern (Switzerland) and University of Tartu (Estonia). From 2007 till today sha has been conducting a number of projects based on fieldwork research in various parts of Mongolia and China, investigating traditional and contemporary cultures, folklores, religious traditions, and intercommunal relations, among the others.


CEAS15 Guest lecture: Olympic Games in Higher Education – Japanese Responses to Internationalization of Universities

Olympic Games in Higher Education – Japanese Responses to Internationalization of Universities

Guest lecture by Eva Liias (Asia Centre, University of Tartu)

29.04.2021 (Thursday), 12:00-14:00 (Helsinki, EET)/11:00-13:00 (CET) (ZOOM)

Eva Liias (Asia Centre, University of Tartu): “Olympic Games in Higher Education – Japanese Responses to Internationalization of Universities”

During the last two decades university rankings dominate in media headlines, they have an impact on how students choose their universities, and they even shape developments at universities. International rankings, sometimes also referred to as the Olympic games in higher education (HE), are a driver for universities (and governments) to question their reputation, standards, and quality. Japanese universities, being argued of having Western roots in their institutions, are well-known in Asia and a view on Japanese (governmental) HE policy reveals that internationalization is one of the most important aims for the whole HE sector. However, an in-depth analysis reveals the gap between policy aims and policy implementation. In this presentation I examine the discrepancy between internationalization and de-internationalization at Japanese universities. Furthermore, the presentation aims to spark a discussion on the connectedness between HE/universities and the labor market.

Eva Liias is currently affiliated with the University of Tartu. She is the coordinator of Japan at the Asia Centre and program director for the MA Contemporary Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. Her background are Japanese studies, Chinese studies and linguistics at the University of Tübingen and she defended her dissertation in Japanese studies at the Free University in Berlin. During the studies she has also been doing research in Japan – Sophia University and Tokyo University. Prior to starting a PhD she worked in China at the Qingdao University of Science and Technology, where she started to get interested in the topic of higher education in Asia (and Europe), internationalization and EU-Asia relations. 


Kanako Kuramitsu: IN SEARCH OF THE JAPANESE FATHER: Unremembered voices of Sino-Japanese children born of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)

IN SEARCH OF THE JAPANESE FATHER: Unremembered voices of Sino-Japanese children born of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)

A lecture by Kanako Kuramitsu (University of Birmingham)

Thursday April 15, 2021, 12:00 – 14:00 (EET) / (11:00 – 13:00 CET)


This lecture explores the little-known experiences of children born of Japanese fathers and Chinese mothers who had consensual relationships during and after the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) in China, with a specific focus on those who migrated to Japan after the re-establishment of Sino-Japanese relations in 1972. These individuals, who were raised in China, without a father in most cases, call their migration as 'return' to their 'homeland'. This study analyses their experiences in comparison with other ‘children born of war’ – offspring of local women and members of an enemy, occupation or peacekeeping force or child soldiers – in other historical and geopolitical contexts and highlights the particularities of these Sino-Japanese children's experiences as well as the significance of the constructed notions of the father. The long-neglected stories of Sino-Japanese consensual relationships and familial love that transcended the national boundaries defy the rigid historical narratives that made wartime and post-war Sino-Japanese human interactions appear so narrow. 

After completing her master's thesis on Chinese workers who migrate to Japan through Technical Intern Training Programme at CEAS, Kanako Kuramitsu became a member of CHIBOW (children born of war), a collaborative research network funded by the European Commission ( She has recently defended her PhD thesis in history at the University of Birmingham in the UK.


Sign-up here:


Zoom-invitation link will be send before the lecture.


2021 Nordic Korean Studies Days go Online

The 2021 Nordic Korean Studies Days start online on 8 February! 

The 2021 NKSD offer a wide range of exciting topics, especially to those students who are interested in multidisciplinary Korean Studies  

CEAS15: Japanese Media on Territorial Disputes and Political Geography of East Asia

Japanese Media on Territorial Disputes and Political Geography of East Asia

ZOOM talk with Lukáš Laš (University of Ostrava, Czechia) and Simon Wellisch (University of Münster, Germany)

21.01.2021 (Thursday), 12:00-14:00 EET


Abstract: The guest lecture is devoted to Japan’s territorial disputes in East Asia based on an article published in ‘Asian Geographer’ in 2020. We will introduce general issues of political geography in East Asia, then compare all Japanese territorial disputes with neighbouring states and connect the findings to broader international phenomena, meanings and repercussions. In the first part, we will introduce our research design and how we approached deconstructing selected media discourses on Japan’s territorial disputes, namely in The Asahi Shimbun, The Japan News and The Japan Times, covering articles from 2002 to 2018. We conducted a mixture of content and discourse analysis with the lexicostatistical tool AntConc in the general framework of critical geopolitics. The outcomes illustrate that nationalist geopolitical imaginations are popular among all researched newspapers with strong dominance of solely Japanese toponyms. On top of that, we will explore other problems - the continental shelf expansion in Japan's and South Korea’s naming dispute over the Sea of Japan/East Sea.




CEAS15: Beyond the Trappings of State Animosities: Sino-Japanese Civil Society Cooperation in the 21st Century”

Beyond the Trappings of State Animosities: Sino-Japanese Civil Society Cooperation in the 21st Century

ZOOM talk with Kamila Szczepanska (CEAS, University of Turku, Finland) and Anna Caspari (POA, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany): “Beyond the Trappings of State Animosities: Sino-Japanese Civil Society Cooperation in the 21st Century”

28.01.2021 (Thursday) 11:00-13:00 CET/12:00-14:00 EET


Abstract: Whereas the official relationship between Japan and the People’s Republic of China has always been marked by tensions in multiple fields, in the background of high-level politics the contacts and exchanges between civil society actors have grown steadily. This presentation aims to illuminate further the matter of collaboration between civil society actors from mainland China and Japan, with a special focus on cooperation between civil society organisations (CSOs) and the obstacles they encounter when attempting to pursue joint initiatives. In doing so we utilise perspectives and concepts from Social Movement Theories focusing on political opportunity structure and resources to analyse the performance of civil society actors and their collaborative initiatives among each other. The presentation first explores the nature and characteristics of cooperation between Chinese and Japanese civil society actors by analysing greening and anti-desertification initiatives conducted by Japanese CSOs in mainland China. We take a special note of the extent to which Chinese CSOs, either officially sanctioned (i.e. including government-organised NGOs or GONGOs), or grassroots actors without a proper legal status, were involved in greening projects pursued by Japanese organisations. And second, drawing on evidence from joint symposiums devoted to fostering Sino-Japanese CSO cooperation organised by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and its Chinese partners, we elucidate the challenges inherent in facilitating closer cooperation between Japanese and Chinese CSOs. Here, we put emphasis on investigating the significance of inhospitable and opaque legal frameworks for CSOs in China, and the relative scarcity of resources in Japanese CSOs, as a hindrance for establishing collaborative relationships.

Kamila Szczepanska is a University Lecturer at the Centre for East Asian Studies, University of Turku, Finland. She holds a joint PhD from the University of Sheffield (UK) and the Tohoku University (Japan). Her research interests include Japanese and East Asian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in regional/global governance, civil society and social movements in Japan, and the ‘history issue’ in East Asia.

Anna Caspari studied East Asian Economics and Politics at Ruhr University Bochum and completed her Master’s degree in 2015. Since 2016 she has been a lecturer in the Department of East Asian Politics at Bochum’s Faculty of East Asian Studies while working on her dissertation on civil society in China. Her research interests include Chinese and Taiwanese politics with a focus on civil society and social movements.


Intensive Course: China’s New Rule or No Rules for World Order , 23 Nov

Course provider: Docent Markku Salomaa

Content: The course deals with current hot issues in China and China's foreign relations.and consist of seven 45 minutes lectures on the following topics:

Lecture 1: Chinese “Kung Flu” Virus Wakes Up Nation-States (09:15 – 10:00)
Lecture 2: Trade War Risk leads to a Hegemony War Danger (10:15 – 11:00)
Lecture 3: Chinese Human Rights Problems in Xinjiang (11:15-12:00)

Lunch Break (12:00 – 12:45)

Lecture 4: China’s Unity Crisis with Hong Kong and Taiwan (12:45 – 13:30)
Lecture 5: “King Kong” Geopolitics in the South China Sea (13:45 – 14:30)
Lecture 6: Arms Race in Asia in the Perspective of Nationalism (14:45 – 15:30)
Lecture 7: Space War strategy in China’s space program? (15:45 – 16:30)

Join the course by listening all or some of the lectures and doing the course assignment (essay).

Detailed course description can be found at Moodle:

Academy of Finland Research Project "Security in China"

We are delighted about the Academy of Finland's decision to fund the Security in China research consortium led by CEAS Professor Lauri Paltemaa and Professor Juha A. Vuori form the University of Tampere. More information on the project webpages:
Security in China (in English)
Turvallisuus Kiinassa (in Finnish)