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Japan lectures continue with two noted speakers

April 1, 2007

KALAMAZOO--The consul general of Japan for Michigan and Ohio will be one of two speakers featured next month as part of Western Michigan University's Soga Lecture Series. Both talks are free and open to the public.

Consul General Tamotsu Shinotsuka will address "United States-Japan Relations and East Asia" at 5 p.m., Monday, April 9, in the Putney Auditorium of the Fetzer Center. A reception will follow the discussion. In addition, a lecture on "End of Life Decisions and Japanese Culture" will be presented at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, in Room 3301 of Friedmann Hall by Dr. Susan Long, professor of anthropology at John Carroll University.

Shinotsuka, now in Detroit, previously was director of the National Institute for Research Advancement's International Cooperation Department in Tokyo. His published papers include "The Impact of the Iraq War in Pakistan," "The 2001-2002 India-Pakistan Crisis: How Nuclear War was Avoided" and "Changes in Northeastern China: Regional Cooperation in the Far East."

A career diplomat and native of Japan, Shinotsuka has had overseas assignments in Austria, Nigeria and Germany, most recently serving as minister at the embassy in Pakistan. In Tokyo, he worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was director of both the Arms Control and Disarmament Division and the Global Environmental Affairs Division, among other posts.

Long is author of "Final Days: Japanese Culture and Choice at the End of Life" and "Family Change and the Life Course." She specializes in anthropology and East Asian studies, conducting research on Japanese women, family, care of the elderly, medical systems, bioethics and end-of-life decisions. After helping to create John Carroll University's East Asian Studies program, she was its first coordinator. Long also has served as project director of a federally funded program to increase the number of licensed Japanese language teachers in high schools.

Media contact: Tonya Hernandez, (269) 387-8400, tonya.hernandez@wmich.edu

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