The Asiatic Society 
of Japan

Next lecture, in-person: Friday, September 13, 2024, 18:00 JST
At the Embassy of Canada to Japan
His Excellency Mr. Ian G. McKay, Ambassador of Canada to Japan and Special Envoy for the Indo-Pacific
‘95 years of diplomacy. The evolution of the Canada Japan relationship’

2024 YOUNG SCHOLARS' PROGRAMME - JST 2024.10.21 (Monday)   


JST 2024.9.13
His Excellency Mr. Ian G. McKay, Ambassador of Canada to Japan and Special Envoy for the Indo-Pacific

At the Embassy of Canada to Japan

‘95 years of diplomacy. The evolution of the Canada Japan relationship’


Japan has known Canada through many different lenses over the past 95 years. You know us through literature (Anne of Green Gables), through music (Glenn Gould), through tourism (Niagara Falls, Rocky Mountains) and through our food products (King crab and maple syrup). But now, in a changing world, there is much more to know about our relationship. Our relationship has evolved to a point where, in the midst of geo-political, economic and climate instability in many parts of the world, we view the world through a lens of cooperation on security, rule of law, free and fair trade, people to people exchange, and climate action.

Brief Biography:

Ian McKay, a native of Penticton British Columbia, studied political science and Asian studies at the University of British Columbia, and holds a Master of Business Administration Degree from Queen’s University, as well as an ICD.D designation from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

Mr. McKay began his career in international financial markets with Euro Brokers Investment Inc in New York in 1987, later becoming Managing Director of Euro Brokers Tokyo in 1994, and joint Managing Director of Euro Brokers London in 1998. Subsequently, Mr. McKay was Director of Canadian Energy Markets for InterCapital Brokers NY between 2006 and 2009.

From 2001 to 2005, Mr. McKay served as a senior policy advisor to three federal cabinet ministers in the Government of Canada and from 2010 to 2013 as the National Director for the Liberal Party of Canada. Following his time in Ottawa, McKay served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Vancouver Economic Commission, the City of Vancouver's economic development agency from 2013 until 2018.

In January 2018, Mr. McKay was named as the Prime Minister’s special envoy to Japan, to assist with Canada’s final negotiations of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. In March 2018, he was appointed as the founding Chief Executive Officer of Invest in Canada, responsible for promoting Canada as a premier global investment destination.

Mr. McKay was appointed as Ambassador of Canada to Japan on April 15, 2021 and presented his credentials to His Majesty the Emperor of Japan on August 25, 2021. He was named as Canada’s Special Envoy for the Indo-Pacific on April 19, 2023.

Online Lecture Programme 2024

*Please note that there will be two lectures in September, the first of which will be in person.

JST 2024.9.30 (Monday)  
Dr. Clare Pollard, Curator at the Ashmolean Museum, and Associate Member of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, Oxford University
‘Satsuma, Sakahoko and Sir Herbert: the Ingram Collection of Satsuma Ceramics at the Ashmolean Museum’

JST 2024.10.21 (Monday) 2024 Young Scholars’ Programme
JST 2024 November (Monday)  
Mr. Glen S. Fukushima, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress (US-Asia relations), and SIPC Vice-Chairman
“The Japan-America Student Conference (JASC): History, Legacy, and Prospects, 1934-2024”  


Applications are welcome. Final submission date is August 19th (Monday), midnight JST.

Call for Papers

The Asiatic Society of Japan (ASJ) is Japan's oldest learned society, with its inaugural meeting in Yokohama in 1872. Inspired by the Royal Asiatic Societies of their day, ASJ's founders coordinated activities "to collect and publish information on subjects relating to Japan and other Asiatic Countries." Yet they intentionally differentiated ASJ from these affiliated societies at the outset by having established a "Society for scholarly gentlemen" rather than a society of scholars. The founders and earliest members were pillars of Japan's modernization and industrialization at the dawn of the Meiji Period. Physicians, engineers, barristers, missionaries, military officers, professors, and diplomats numbered among them, including Dr. James Hepburn, Sir Ernest Satow, Basil Hall Chamberlain, and William Aston. Today, the Society serves members of a general audience that have shared interests in Japan and the country’s myriad of connections with the world.

The Young Scholars’ Programme was initiated by the Society in 2006 at the suggestion of the Honorary Patron, HIH Princess Takamado, to give researchers at doctoral level the opportunity to present their research on Japan and/or Asia and answer questions on it in English. This year’s event will be held on Monday, 21 October. It will be held either entirely online or hybrid, so young scholars from around the world are encouraged to apply.

The closing date for nominations this year is midnight on Monday, 19 August. All nominated candidates (to be first selected by a university professor or other nominator) should submit the following:

a) A provisional title for their presentation
b) Details of their field of research
c) A CV or brief biography
d) A formal letter of recommendation on headed notepaper from his/her academic supervisor supporting the application*

* Candidates may submit their materials directly to the Asiatic Society of Japan, via e-mail, to However, the letter of recommendation should be submitted to by the academic supervisor (not the candidate).

☆ Certificate of Recognition from the ASJ Board and HIH Princess Takamado, the Honorary Patron of the Asiatic Society of Japan
☆ Research award of 50,000 yen, courtesy of the Hugh E. Wilkinson Foundation
☆ Article to be submitted to the Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, the Society’s
annual journal

A maximum of four young scholars (up to age 35, although consideration will be given to those up to age 40) will be selected to give a presentation for 20 minutes each. Candidates will be notified of the selection results at the beginning of September.

  * For further details, please e-mail the ASJ Office at,   and title your e-mail ‘2024 Young Scholars’ Programme’

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