Japan has been remarkably stable, both politically and socially, for most of the last seven decades. Since the end of World War II, Japan has been protected militarily by the United States, and as a result has focused its attention on domestic matters. In adopting a U.S.—designed constitution and making it Japanese over time, Japan has achieved a level of political stability that is the envy of much of the world, in spite of criticism at home. A restrictive immigration policy has contributed to Japan’s social stability, with less controversy than similar policies have generated more recently elsewhere. FPRI is pleased to offer teachers this exciting opportunity to participate in a comprehensive educational program that includes a two-week study tour and a series of online lectures in advance of the tour.
Japan has been the world’s second largest economy for most of the previous three decades. Since the end of World War II Japan has been protected militarily by the United States, and as a result focused its attention on the economy and other matters. However, the times are changing. China is now the world’s second largest economy, and it and North Korea have also assumed aggressive postures towards Japan. Many in Japan now wonder if U.S. protection is sufficient. Japan’s commitment to peace since 1945 is self-evident, but should its constitution be changed to reflect the realities of the present uncertain times? Politics and economics are heavily intertwined as we look at Japan in the late 21st century. Yet, as modern a country as Japan is, one must be carefully grounded in Japanese culture and tradition to comprehend the manner in which political and economic changes unfold. FPRI was pleased to offer teachers an opportunity to participate in a comprehensive educational program that included a two-week study tour and a series of online lectures in advance of the tour.
FPRI was pleased to offer a special one-week study program for a group of 30 secondary social studies teachers — 7 days in South Korea. Teachers experienced South Korea through a combination of academic study and travel within the country, and studied the Korean War and the sixty-plus years since the war. Participants also toured historic sites and gained a better understanding of Korean culture. From Seoul in the northwest to Gyeongju in the southeast, participants experienced a real immersion into life in Korea. From the DMZ to Buddhist Temples to early historical sites, participants got an intimate view of Korea.
The program was led by Mark Peterson and Paul Dickler. Peterson is Associate Professor of Asian and Near Eastern Languages, Brigham Young University, where he teaches Korean language, literature and history. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in East Asia Languages and Civilization and directed the Fulbright Program in Korea from 1978 to 1983. Dickler is Associate Director of FPRI’s Wachman Center, a retired social studies teacher of 30 years’ experience, and an avid traveler (including many study trips to South Korea). He received his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Education.