Mini symposium for Kobe University Secondary School was held on 3 July, 2019
On July 3rd Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence organised a Mini Symposium at Kobe University Secondary School. 47 students from 1st grade of middle school to 2nd grade of high school participated in the event. The two speakers from Kobe University: professor Kazunari Sakai (Graduate School of Intercultural Studies) and professor Masahiko Yoshii (Graduate School of Economics) held lectures on migration problem and populism in EU as well as about Japan-UK and Japan-EU relations after Brexit, respectively. In his lecture professor Sakai first explained the background of the European refugee crisis and the main emigration countries and routes of migrant inflow. Then he moved to the resulting problems, reactions of the member states and the countermeasures taken by the EU. Finally, naming the refugee crisis as one of the important causes, professor Sakai explained the rise in populism in the numerous European countries. Professor Yoshii started his lecture with an account of historical relations between EU and UK. Following came an explanation on the internal UK situation, reasons for Brexit as well as the negotiations between UK and EU on the withdrawal terms and future relations between the two sides, together with the ensuing problems. Finally, professor Yoshii presented the outline of the current Japan-UK relations and emphasised uncertainty over post-Brexit relationship as well as spoke briefly about potential impact of Brexit on EU-Japan relations. The lectures were followed by the questions from the audience. Professor Sakai was asked about the international law rules that commit the first country of refugee arrival to take care of the refugee status applications and its implications for migrant relocation scheme within EU. Professor Yoshii answered the question on the importance for Japan of relations with EU as compared to relations with US. Students have also asked additional questions individually after the symposium had been formally closed.