Remembering Japan’s Ambassador’s Visit to Coventry, 25 Years On
- Kamran Mofid
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The Western World and Japan.
Understanding Other Countries: The Heart and Soul of Japan
H. E. Hiroaki Fujii, St Mary's Guildhall, Coventry, 1995
H. E. Hiroaki Fujii
On the day that we remember the 75th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima And Nagasaki, I would also very much like to remember Japan’s Ambassador’s visit to Coventry, 25 Years On.
Forgiveness and Reconciliation: The Keystones of Human Values
"We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Uproot guilt and plant forgiveness. Tear out arrogance and seed humility. Exchange love for hate --- thereby, making the present comfortable and the future promising."- Maya Angelou
Ambassadors’ Lecture Series: A bird’s eye view
In 1986 I was awarded my PhD in Economics at University of Birmingham and soon after I was appointed full-time senior lecturer at the Department of Economics at Coventry Polytechnic (now University).
At an international conference in London in 1986 I met the then director of the Anglo-Japanese Economic Institute, Mr. George Bull. We became very good friends. Indeed, George was like a father figure to me- a source of wisdom and inspiration. He introduced me to Japan and to many Japanese friends and facilitated some of my trips to Japan. We did many national and international conferences together, including: Japan and the U.K. Economy; Forgiveness and Reconciliation; NAFTA and the EU; Japan and the Global Economy; and Iran and the Emerging Global Order, all held at Coventry University.
We also together - in association with and supported of the University, the Cathedral and the City Council - instigated and co-founded the Centre for the Study of Forgiveness and Reconciliation at Coventry University and as part of its work, in association with the Ambassadors’ Lecture Series, which we had co- founded already, invited international speakers including the former presidents of Ireland and South Africa, namely, Mrs. Mary Robinson, and F.W. de Klerk to deliver lectures at Coventry Cathedral. Moreover, we also invited other international speakers including Ambassadors of Japan, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Mexico and the High Commissioner of Canada to deliver lectures on the need for dialogue and mutual respect amongst different cultures and civilisations at Coventry’s St. Mary’s Guildhall.
The Ambassadors’ Lecture Series aimed at enabling the ambassadors a frank exposition of their respective countries’ policies to a far wider audience in search of better understanding of why particular nations and peoples have acted in certain ways and what changes are desirable and feasible in different nations’ aims and attitudes.
The anniversary of the end of the Second World War, the Pacific War, made the decision of the Ambassador of Japan to accept our invitation to give the very first Ambassador’s Lecture especially significant and timely.