Trinity College Dublin and Osaka University Joint International Symposium

Japanese Studies in a global context: The art of friendship

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Learning from Talleyrand: Yoshida Shigeru and postwar Japanese foreign policy

Declan M. Downey, University College Dublin

As the great French statesman, Talleyrand, had saved France from dismemberment through his diplomatic strategies at the Congress of Vienna in 1815; Japan's postwar premier, Yoshida Shigeru, had ensured his country's economic survival and expansion, as well as its international political rehabilitation in his negotiations with the USA that culminated in the Peace Treaty of San Francisco in 1951, and in his direction of Japan's foreign policy. This paper explores the influence of European Classical Diplomacy on Yoshida's professional formation, and on his legacy in the emergence of Japan as a major world player.

Short Biography

Declan M. Downey, Ph.D. (Cantab.), lectures in European and Japanese diplomatic history at University College Dublin. He is co-director of the BCL Degree Programme in Law with History. His research interests include the history of diplomacy and international law, Japanese-European relations and the Irish in Habsburg Europe (1600-1800). His extensive publications and his role in major international research projects have been recognized with international honours and awards, including membership of the Spanish Royal Academy of History (2009), and the Japanese Ambassadorial Commendation in 2010. Between April 2012 and May 2017, he served on the Board of Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle.