About the Lecture:
This seminar examines recent trends surrounding Japanese power and influence in Southeast Asia, ranging from its hard power capabilities to its soft power projection. From capacity-building and equipment-transfer programmes to deployments of its largest warships, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force has become more visibly engaged alongside the more established presence of the Japan Coast Guard. Japan’s soft power influence has also diversified beyond simply cultural attraction to encompass its ability to provide joint solutions to shared challenges such as access to global commons, urbanisation, food security, and access to clean water supplies.
About the Speaker:
Yee-Kuang HENG is Professor at the Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Tokyo. He also teaches at Keio University’s Faculty of Commerce as a Specially Appointed Guest Professor. Before joining UTokyo, he was Associate Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore (NUS), where he also served as Assistant Dean for Research. Dr. Heng spent many years studying and then lecturing in the United Kingdom and Ireland. He graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) with a B.Sc. (First Class Honours) and subsequently PhD in International Relations funded by a British Government research scholarship. After completing his PhD, he held faculty positions at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland (2004-2007) and the University of St Andrews, United Kingdom (2007-2011). His work on Japan’s soft power includes peer-reviewed articles in journals such as The Pacific Review; International Relations of the Asia-Pacific; and Journal of Strategic Studies. Heng also conducts research on risk and security studies. His fourth and most recent book is ‘Managing Global Risks in the Urban Age: Singapore and the making of a Global City’ (Routledge, 2016)