Call for Discussant and Reminder: Quadrilateral Security Dialogue / Japan and the Balkans on The Silk Road (Osaka, December 15)

Yone Sugita's picture

Dear Colleagues:

We will hold Asia-Pacific Studies Seminar at Osaka University on 15 December. We are looking for discussants for both sessions. Domestic travel expenses will be provided. If interested, please send me a mail: 



Asia-Pacific Studies Seminar at Osaka University

Date: 15 December 2018 (Saturday)

Venue: Conference Room, 2nd floor of Osaka University Hall, Toyonaka Campus, Osaka University (Access map: Japanese) (access map: English) (campus map) #31

Session 1:09:50-10:50

Bart Gaens (Senior Research Fellow, The Finnish Institute of International Affairs & Specially-Appointed Associate Professor, Osaka University)

Title: Japan and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue: Anti-China alliance or much ado about nothing?

Abstract: The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QSD) between US, Japan, India and Australia, commonly known as “the Quad”, was resurrected in 2017 after a ten-year hibernation period. The meeting was little more than an informal consultation at the level of senior officials on “measures to ensure a free and open international order based on the rule of law in the Indo-Pacific”. Even so, it set off a wide debate on the Quad as a potential anti-China alliance or an Asian NATO, or alternately as an answer to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Quad, which originated in 2007, is originally a Japanese initiative and the brainchild of Prime Minister Abe, and also now, during Abe’s second term in office, has Japan as main proponent. This paper has a threefold goal. First, it looks at the background and origins of the grouping as a Japan-driven project. Second, it assesses the potential of success for the grouping, in particular from the perspective of Japan. Third, it will explore the meaning and theoretical implications of alignment through functional and so-called “minilateral” arrangements in the current Asian security environment. 

Session 2: 11:00 - 12:00

Ljiljana Marković (Professor and Dean, University of Belgrade & Specially-Appointed Professor, Osaka University)

Title: Japan and the Balkans on The Silk Road

Abstract: In this presentation, we were investigating industrial heritage related to the silk culture and the silk economy in Japan and in the Balkan. We have many reasons why we have chosen to explore this phenomenon: Silk and silk processing as a phenomenon was imported from Asia through Silk Roads (across the Balkans and Italy towards Europe). Silk production on industrial level started on the field of today's Serbia in the middle of 18th century. The whole process of silk production initiated growth of mulberry trees, that changed cultural identity in the sense of the "everyday way of life" and broader application and use of wood plant even today. Related mostly to our archive based data, we mapped cities that had silk production in Serbia. We pointed out on very inter-related fields: culture, economy, identity, initiated by silk production. We emphasized the importance of imported silk phenomena and common cultural heritage, but also the cultural authentic identity that came out from silk production in Serbia. It was important to examine all the relevant institutions and involved sectors (historical perspective) around the silk culture in Japan and in the Balkans, with consideration of possible alternative ways of integrative management options in order to govern and make industrial silk heritage more visible and valuable.

Key words: Silk production, multi-layer heritage, silk markets, Japan, the Balkans, Serbia