Field Study Methodology in International Relations: Studying War and Peace in Okinawa

Field Study Methodology in International Relations: Studying War and Peace in Okinawa

Research seminar with Professor Akitoshi Miyashita of Tokyo International University

The 76th Stockholm Seminar on Japan

Teaching International Relations has been a challenge as the “long postwar peace” made war a distant phenomenon, only occasionally brought to our attention by the media. In this seminar, Professor Akitoshi Miyashita shared his experience in taking his students to a field study in Okinawa. A site for one of the bloodiest battles during the Pacific War, this small chain of islands in southwestern Japan is a home for 26,000 American troops prepared to be deployed to places like the Korean peninsula and the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean and the Middle East in support of contingency operations. A field study in Okinawa brings a fresh perspective to students by making them realize that the issue of war and peace is not just a conceptual construction but a matter of life and death.

Akitoshi Miyashita is Professor of International Relations at Tokyo International University. He is the author of Limits to Power: Asymmetric Dependence and Japanese Foreign Aid Policy (Lexington Books, 2003) and Handbook on Japanese Postwar Diplomatic Relations (Minerva Shobo, 2017).

Discussant: Håkan Gunneriusson, Head of research/deputy head of Land Operations Section at the Swedish Defence University.

Moderator: Linus Hagström, Senior Research Fellow at UI and Professor of Political Science at the Swedish Defence University.


The seminar was organized in collaboration with the Swedish Defence University and funded by the Japan Foundation.

The Japan seminar series is jointly organized by the European Institute of Japanese Studies at Stockholm School of Economics, the Asia Programme at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, the Department of Asian, Middle Eastern and Turkish Studies at Stockholm University and the Swedish Defence University. It features monthly seminars on Japanese economy, politics and society.


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