March 20, 2007 History of U.S.-Japan Cultural Exchange Is Subject of April 6 Symposium

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Eiichi Ito (202) 707-8054

In conjunction with the Cherry Blossom Festival in the nation’s capital (March 31-April 15, 2007), the Asian Division of the Library of Congress and the Embassy of Japan will host a symposium titled “Highlights of U.S.-Japan Relationship: History, Cultural Exchange and Future Development” from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, April 6, in the Members’ Room (LJ-162) of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. In cooperation with Hitachi Ltd., Hitachi Metals America Ltd. and All Nippon Airways, the symposium is free and open to the public.

Welcoming remarks will be made by the Honorable Ryozo Kato, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the United States of America, and former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta. A keynote speech titled “The Presence of Western Music in Japan: Then and Now” will be delivered by Japanese-American violinist Midori Goto. The symposium will also offer two scholarly presentations: “One and a Half Centuries of the Japan-U.S. Cultural Exchanges: A Japanese Perspective” by Naoyuki Agawa, a professor in the Department of Policy Management at Keio University in Tokyo and the former Minister of Public Affairs in the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C.; and “Pacific Cosmopolitans: U.S.-Japan Cultural Exchange in the 20th Century” by Michael Auslin, an associate professor of Japanese History at Yale University.

A special book display titled “Commemorating One and a Half Centuries of U.S.-Japan Cultural Exchange” will be on view from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 6 in the Asian Reading Room, located in Room 150 on the first floor of the Jefferson Building. This exhibit will feature

manuscripts, books, paintings and other items related to the two nations’ discovery and history of cultural exchange for the last 150 years.

The Library of Congress is also participating in the Cherry Blossom Festival by offering a free public exhibition of contemporary Japanese prints from the College Women’s Association of Japan Print Show. The exhibition, titled “On the Cutting Edge,” opens on March 29 and will remain on view through June 30 in the Northwest Gallery of the Thomas Jefferson Building. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For more information, visit


PR 07-054
ISSN 0731-3527