In September-October 2021 the RIAS hosted Tosh Minohara, Professor of US-Japan Relations and Diplomatic History at Kobe University, Japan.

Tosh Minohara had spent time at Leiden University as a visiting scholar in 2006-2007, so he was familiar with The Netherlands. He had also made a brief visit to the RIAS in the summer of 2019, while attending a conference in The Hague. Despite ongoing restrictions on travel between Japan and Europe, he was able to join us in Middelburg for a few weeks in the middle of his busy teaching schedule. 

Tosh Minohara combines expertise on US history with writing and commentary on current affairs. He is regularly asked as a commentator by Japanese media on developments in the Asia-Pacific region, both in print and on screen. In 2013 and 2019 he also contributed to two series of the National Geographic channel’s Nazi Megastructures, discussing various large-scale projects that were pursued by Japan before and during WW II.

His visit to the RIAS coincided with his investment in a new project on President Theodore Roosevelt. Tosh Minohara completed his PhD on US-Japan relations in the early 20th century, focusing on the issue of immigration, and he is now turning his attention back to that era in order to focus more on the role, relations, and overall relevance of Teddy Roosevelt. An avid Roosevelt scholar, Tosh Minohara has also investigated US-Japanese relations during the 1930s, charting exactly how and when the two powers reached the point of no return with the onset of WW II.

During his stay in The Netherlands, the RIAS teamed up with the Atlantic Committee in The Hague to organize a public lecture for Professor Minohara at Nieuwspoort, next to the Dutch parliament building, on 11 October 2021. Entitled “Tumultuous Decade? China’s Challenge to the Global Order and Japan’s Response,” his lecture covered the rising tensions in the Asia-Pacific and the dilemmas faced by Japan in how best to respond to its restless and powerful neighbor.

Professor Minohara was a wonderful guest and thanks to him we look forward to maintaining our ties with Japan in the future.

Read here Professor Minohara’s report on his fellowship at the RIAS.