Symposium on the Occasion of the 130th Anniversary of the Opening of the Japanese Parliament

26.11.-27.11.2020, Tagung, online

Global Views of Japanese Parliamentarism in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries

Organized by the DIJ Tokyo and the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. 

Online via Zoom.

On November 29, 1890, the parliament of the Empire of Japan, the Imperial Diet, met for the first time marking the beginning of parliamentary government not only in Japan but in Asia. However, while the recognition of Japan as a role model for successful ‘modernization’ of a non-Western society in the wake of the Russo-Japanese War has received much scholarly attention, the transnational appeal of this successful establishment of representative governance in Japan has not yet received much interest.
The German Institute for Japanese Studies, Tokyo, and the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, will therefore take the occasion of this year’s 130th anniversary of the opening of the Imperial Japanese Diet as an opportunity to hold a symposium to discuss the global appeal of this first functioning constitutional government in Asia and beyond.

The Symposium will be held in English. Admission is free but registration is required via the form below or via email to ganseforth(at)


Day 1, 26 November 2020, 16.00–19.30 (Tokyo)

Technical Remarks by Sonja Ganseforth, DIJ
Opening remarks by Franz Waldenberger, DIJ
Opening remarks by David M. Malitz, Chulalongkorn University

Keynote address by Kazuhiro Takii, Deputy-Director of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Kyoto. Followed by Q&A.

16:50-17:00: Break.

17:00-17:25: Yufei Zhou, DIJ: “The Concept of ‘Oriental Despotism’ in Modern Japanese Political Philosophy”. Followed by Q&A.

First panel ‘The transnational reception of the Imperial Japanese Diet and Japanese constitutional governance in Asia’
17:25-17:30: Technical remarks and introduction by Sonja Ganseforth, DIJ
17:30-17:55: Egas Moniz-Bandeira, Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt: “‘Using the people’s power to depose despotic officials’: Qing interpretations of the Meiji parliament”. Followed by Q&A.
17:55-18:20: Karl Ian Chen Chua, Ateneo de Manila University, Manila: “Aspiring for Meiji Paradise: Philippine perceptions of the Meiji regime, Pan-Asianism, and Economic Migration”. Followed by Q&A.
18:20-18:45: David M. Malitz, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok: “What is good about the Japanese system of governance? The reception of Imperial Japanese parliamentarism in Siamese/Thai political thought (1880s–1940s)”. Followed by Q&A.
18:45-18:55: Break.
18.55-19:30: Discussion.

Day 2, 27 November 2020, 16:00-18.30 (Tokyo)

Second panel: ‘The transnational reception of the Imperial Japanese Diet and Japanese constitutional governance beyond Asia’
16:00-16:05: Technical remarks by Sonja Ganseforth, DIJ
16:05-16:10: Introduction by Milinda Banerjee, University of St Andrews.
16:10-16:35: Sara Marzagora, King’s College London: “Japan in Ethiopian political thought (1900s-1930s)”. Followed by Q&A.
16:35-17:00: Hussein Omar, University College of Dublin: “‘The Rising Sun’: Egyptian nationalist Mustafa Kamil’s views of Japan”. Followed by Q&A.
17:00-17:25: Rafal Pankowski, Collegium Civitas, Warsaw: “Some remarks about the idea of ‘a second Japan’ in 20th century Polish political thought”. Followed by Q&A.
17:25-17:35: Break.
17:35-18:15: Discussion.
18:15-18:30: Closing Remarks

For further information click here.