The Japan Society of Northern California Presents:

Ashes to Gold: How the 1964 Olympics Transformed Japan and Lessons for 2020
featuring Dan Rather and Tomohiko Taniguchi
December 8 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

ashes-to-goldThe Tokyo 1964 Olympics marked Japan’s transformation from a defeated pariah nation to a prosperous democracy dedicated to improving the lives of its citizens and contributing to world peace.  That success involved a massive and controversial undertaking that literally transformed the face of Tokyo and the nation and set the country on a path to becoming the second largest economy in the world.

Today Japan faces equally daunting challenges.  As the first modern nation state in history to experience a long-term secular decline in its population, Japan must address unprecedented challenges of rapid aging, shrinking labor force and rising debt.  It must find a way to ensure its security in a region marked by growing uncertainty, changing power balances, and a backlash against globalization.  It must find a way to again transform itself – this time from a post-war manufacturing powerhouse into a post-industrial innovation center.

Can the Olympic Games in 2020 provide the same kind of rallying call for change that they did in 1964?  Can the Abe Government use the Games as both a spur and a stage to drive economic and political reforms at home and security and foreign policy initiatives abroad?  Can the Olympics be the symbol in 2020 that it was in 1964 for a “new Japan” as perceived both by the Japanese themselves and by the people of the Asian region and the world?

dan-ratherThe Japan Society of Northern California is proud to present a program featuring news icon Dan Rather to explore how Japan held what many have called the most successful Olympics ever and how it can use the 2020 Games to address the critical issues it faces today. Mr. Rather will discuss a documentary he is producing, Ashes to Gold, that will look at the remarkable accomplishments of 1964. Well-­‐known Japanese commentator and speechwriter for Prime Minister Abe, Professor Tomohiko Taniguchi, will address on how Japan is addressing the challenges it faces in the coming four years. That will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Mr. Rather, Mr. Taniguchi, well-­‐known Silicon Valley executive James Higa, and Japan expert UC Berkeley professor Steven Vogel to explore these issues in depth.

An important part of that story is the role played by OIC Chairman Avery Brundage who helped steer the games to a war-torn, battered Tokyo.  Fittingly, the December 8 program will be held at the De Young Museum which housed the original Brundage Asian Art collection which later became the Asian Art Museum, now located near City Hall.  The program will be followed by a networking reception for the audience.

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• 6:00pm-­6:30pm Registration
• 6:30pm-­8:00pm Program
• 8:00pm-­9:00pm Reception

Tickets: $30 General ($5 discount to JCCCNC members/use code: Torch64)