Oddelek za azijske študije

Gostujoča predavanja Assoc. Prof. Evgeniy Kandilarova z univerze St Kliment Ohridski, Sofija


Evgeniy Kandilarov holds a PhD in modern and contemporary history and is Associate Professor at the Japanese Studies Department of the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski,” as well as at the Institute for Historical Studies of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. He works in the field of social and political development and the international relations in the region of East Asia. He also publishes on the relations between Europe and East Asian countries (Japan, Korea and China). A significant part of his work is focused on the relations between Japan and Bulgaria, as well as on the history of Japan and Bulgaria in 20th and 21st centuries. In August 2022, Evgeniy Kandilarov was awarded with Commendation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan for his contribution to the promotion of the Japanese Studies in Bulgaria.



13. maj ob 16.20 v 013

Japan and CEEC after the end of the Cold War - Economic Development Assistance and Soft Power Diplomacy.

One of the biggest tasks in post-Cold War Europe was the transition of Central and East European countries from centrally planned economies and one-party systems to market economies and liberal democracies. Japan has been involved in this process and was trying to play a significant role in it from the very beginning. Since the 1990s Japan has been providing technical assistance and financial aid across Eastern and South East European region. Actually Japan became the largest provider of development assistance in terms of its disbursement from 1991 to 2000. After the end of the Cold War, Japan decided to make a significant contribution to the reconstruction of Central and Eastern European countries and, later to bring peace to the Western Balkans.  At the same time, however, Japan's role in the path of these countries to political democracy and a market economy was not limited to providing favorable loans and grants. It was about much more, and it has to do with exposing and offering the Japanese experience itself in a similar transition to political democracy, market economy and social stability that Japan has been going through after the World War II. Japan offered the governments of countries in transition the lessons of its own post-war development model, which includes the democratization of society and the economy.  Building the image of Japan as brilliant example of a successful model of transition and development has become the main line of Japan's "soft power" applied to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe during the last 30 years. Thus, Japan became one of the main pillars of the democratic and free development of the countries of Eastern Europe and this image remains permanently in the minds of Eastern Europeans to this day.


14. maj ob 14.40 v 415

Origin and Development of the „Okinawa Problem” After WWII – Domestic and International Political, Economic and Social Dimensions.

The lecture will try to trace the fate of the Ryukyu Islands after the WWII and the emergence of the so-called "Okinawa Problem". The essence of the question of the fate of Okinawa after war lies at the center of the relations between the United States and Japan and the international order in the Asia-Pacific region established after the end of World War II, which occurred with the surrender of Japan on September 2, 1945. The legal system of this new international order is based on the two treaties signed in San Francisco on September 8, 1951 - the San Francisco Peace Treaty and the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan. At the same time, the establishment of the "San Francisco System" turned out to be a huge challenge for the population of Okinawa for the next two decades. The challenge is not only to Okinawa and its population, but also to the very relations between Japan and the United States, and to the existence of the "San Francisco System" itself. In the period between 1952 and 1972, the so-called "Okinawa Problem" (沖縄問題 Okinawa mondai) emerged. It is a very complicated issue because it combines both international and domestic elements and factors. On June 17, 1971, Japan and the United States signed the Okinawa Reversion Agreement, which entered into force on May 15, 1972. According to many scholars, one of the reasons for the so-called "Okinawa problem" today is precisely the conditions under which this territory was returned to Japan. The people of the Ryukyu Islands had strong hopes that returning under Japan’s government will give Okinawa the opportunity for demilitarization and peaceful development in accordance with Japan’s pacifist Constitution. The disappointment was huge as practically none of this happened.


15. maj ob 13.00 v 01

The Unresolved Territorial Issues between Japan and Its Neighbors - Historical Background and Development.

The lecture will attempt to trace the origin and development of the territorial disputes that Japan has with its neighboring countries, namely Russia, China and Korea. There are a lot of major territorial disputes that plague relations in the Asia-Pacific region today. What unites them is that they are all related to issues of sovereignty left unresolved in the San Francisco Peace Treaty (1951). This ambiguity is not a matter of simple inadvertence or oversight. On the contrary, much of it was deliberately introduced in the final drafts of the peace treaty by the United States, in conformity with Washington’s overall strategy of thwarting communist influence in Asia. Unsurprisingly, these disputes mostly involve countries that did not participate in the separate peace: notably, the Soviet Union (now Russia), South Korea, and China. Three of the disputes involve Japan directly. All of them have become highly contentious issues in the decades following the San Francisco conference. National pride and strategic concerns naturally underlie these conflicting territorial claims, but in several cases their intensification in recent years also reflects the discovery of maritime resources such as undersea oil and natural gas deposits.


16. maj ob 13.50 v 030

Japan, USSR and the Eastern Bloc Countries during the Cold War - Economic Diplomacy and The Concept of Separation of Politics and Economics.

After World War II, Japan and the Soviet Union became part of the two opposite poles in international relations during the Cold War. Japan became an essential part of the US strategy to restrain communism in the Asia-Pacific region. Despite the lack of a peace treaty and the impossibility of finding a solution to the "Northern Territories" dispute, the periods of détente during the Cold War in the 1960s and 1970s provided an advantage conditions for normalizing Japan-USSR contacts and for establishing effective economic and technological cooperation. Japan’s rapid economic growth, the ongoing US-Japanese economic contradictions, and Western Europe's refusal to trade on an equal footing with Japan played a significant role in improving Japan-Soviet and Japan – Eastern Bloc countries trade and economic relations. The lack of own natural raw resources and the need for secure markets for the Japanese industrial production made the USSR and Eastern European countries a suitable economic partner. Japan's aspiration for further political and economic independence from the USA gave grounds for the Japanese governments to apply the so called seikei bunri 政経分離 (separating politics and economics) policy through the methods of the Japanese "economic diplomacy" keizai gaikō 経済外交).


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