Finland and Japan in the Changing World, Seminar at CEAS, Tuesday 27 August 2019

The year 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Finland and Japan. The seminar Finland and Japan in the Changing World celebrates the occasion by bringing together specialists from different fields to discuss both the shared historical experiences and the future challenges that the two different yet in many ways similar countries encounter in the contemporary world. The seminar is organized by the Centre for East Asian Studies and the Unit of Contemporary History, University of Turku, and supported by the Toshiba International Foundation and the Hokkaido University Europe Office in Helsinki.

Open to the public, no prior registration. Welcome all!

Venue: Centre for East Asian Studies CEAS, University of Turku, lecture hall Pub4 (Publicum building 2nd floor, Assistentinkatu 7, 20500 Turku, FINLAND)

Time: Tuesday 27 August 2019, 9:30–17:00

Contact: Laura Ipatti, laura.ipatti(at), +358 44 5698482

For more information, please scroll down.

Further information


Please note that the program is subject to change.

Tuesday, 27 August, 2019

09:30     Registration opens; Coffee (Sponsored by the Hokkaido University Europe Office)

10:00     Opening Session

                Professor Lauri Paltemaa, Centre for East Asian Studies: Welcoming words

                Ambassador of Finland to Japan Pekka Orpana, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

                Vice-Director Takehiro Okabe, Hokkaido University Europe Office

10:40     Session 1: Japan, Finland, Russia and Eastern Europe

1.            Iwashita Akihiro, Hokkaido University: Russo-Japanese relations

2.            Markku Kangaspuro, Aleksanteri Institute: Finnish-Russian relations in the

               changing international security environment

3.            Takehiro Okabe, University of Helsinki and Hokkaido University Europe Office: Finnish and

               Japanese folklorists until WWII and their approach to Eurasia

4.            Shingo Masunaga, University of Turku: In-between Conspiracy Theories and Historical

               Facts: Lessons from the Interwar Japanese Military Intelligence Activities in the Baltic

               States and Finland

12:20     Lunch at Piccu Maccia, Assistentinkatu 5, 20500 Turku, Educarium building, 1st floor

                (Sponsored by the Toshiba International Foundation)

13:30     Session 2: Japan, Finland and the Arctic

1.            Juha Saunavaara, Hokkaido University: Japan’s Arctic policy

2.            Markku Heikkilä, University of Lapland: Finland´s Arctic Policy: Towards a new

               Arctic Strategy

3.            Liisa Kauppila, University of Turku: Making of the Polar Silk Road: What role for

               Finland and Japan?

14:45     Coffee (Sponsored by the Hokkaido University Europe Office)

15:15     Session 3: Culture and trade in the Finnish-Japanese relations

1.            Laura Ipatti, University of Turku: Finnish-Japanese cultural diplomacy and Finland’s

               international information at the end of the Cold War

2.            Ritva Larva, University of Turku: Marta Keravuori and Finnish-Japanese relations through

                individuals and their activity

3.            Juha Sahi, University of Oulu: "It is all about networks": Long-term perspectives on trade

                relations between Finland and Japan

4.            Olavi K. Fält, University of Oulu: Friends from the beginning: 100 years of diplomatic

               relations between Finland and Japan

16:45     Closing words

18:00     Seminar dinner at Hus Lindman, Piispankatu 15, 20500 Turku

(Please note: Lunch and dinner are provided only for the registered participants.)

Practical guidelines

Below, please find information regarding the seminar venue, travelling to and inside Turku, as well as the seminar meals. If you have any questions concerning practical arrangements, please contact the seminar’s organizing secretary Laura Ipatti prior to the seminar by email at laura.ipatti(at) and on the day of the seminar by phone +358 44 5698482.

Seminar venue and public transport:

The seminar takes place at the University of Turku in the Publicum building, 2nd floor, lecture hall Pub4 (Address: Assistentinkatu 7, 20500 Turku, FINLAND). You can find a map of Turku here and a map of the campus area.

The Publicum building is at a short walking distance of approximately 20 minutes from the Turku city centre. Alternatively to walking, you can take a bus from the Market Square (in Finnish Kauppatori; for example numbers 50, 51, 53, 54) to Hämeenkatu, to arrive at the campus area. You can also ride a Föli city bicycle that can be found at several stations in Turku. There is a Föli bicycle station also in front of the Publicum building, the seminar venue. For more information about public transportation (buses and bicycles), please see the Föli's website.

How to get to Turku from the Helsinki-Vantaa airport:

When arriving to Finland by air, you can get to Turku from the Helsinki-Vantaa airport either by bus or train, in approximately 2 hours. Bus schedules can be found here and train schedules here. Most buses run directly to Turku (no transfer). By train, there is a transfer at either Tikkurila, Pasila, or Helsinki stations. You can find a map of Helsinki here.

It is also possible to take a connecting flight from the Helsinki-Vantaa airport to the Turku airport. Turku airport is about 7 km away from the city centre of Turku. To get to the city centre from Turku airport you can take a bus that runs regularly. The price for the bus ticket is 3 € and the ticket is valid for 2 hours in all city buses.

Seminar meals:

Registered participants are welcome to join a seminar lunch and an evening dinner, for which updated information will be provided by email. During the seminar, coffee/tea will be served. For a detailed schedule, please refer to the program above.

Pre-seminar Studia Generalia lecture (in Finnish)

A pre-seminar studia generalia lecture will be organized at the Turku City Library, Monday 26th August 2019, 18:00–19:30. The lecture is free of charge and open to the public. Everybody interested in the history and today of Finnish-Japanese relations is warmly welcome! Language of the lecture is Finnish. For more information about the lecture, visit the homepage of the event. For more information of the venue Turku City Library, please see here.

Public lecture ”Suomen ja Japanin 100 vuotta” (in Finnish only)

Description: Suomi ja Japani viettävät vuonna 2019 diplomaattisuhteidensa 100-vuotisjuhlavuotta. Turun yliopiston Itä-Aasian tutkimus- ja koulutuskeskus CEAS, Turun yliopiston poliittisen historian oppiaine, sekä Hokkaidon yliopiston arktisen alueen tutkimuskeskus Arctic Research Center järjestävät yhteistyössä yleisölle avoimen luentotilaisuuden suomalais-japanilaisten suhteiden historiasta ja nykyisyydestä Turun kaupunginkirjaston Studio-salissa (lisätiedot tapahtumapaikasta täältä) maanantaina 26. elokuuta 2019 klo 18:00–19:30. Yleisöluennon tukijana toimii Toshiba International Foundation -säätiö. Tilaisuuteen on vapaa pääsy. Lämpimästi tervetuloa!

Homepage: Suomen ja Japanin 100 vuotta

Further information: Laura Ipatti, laura.ipatti(at)


Olavi K. Fält, Professor Emeritus, Department of History, University of Oulu

Juha Saunavaara, Assistant Professor, Arctic Research Center, Hokkaido University and Department of Philosophy, Contemporary History and Political Science, University of Turku