【GGR Brown Bag Lunch Seminar】Diplomacy without Diplomats: The Role of Special Envoys in Post-War Japanese Diplomatic History
DateJune 1, 2022
PlaceMercury Tower 3302
Event Outline

On June 1, 2022, the Institute for Global Governance Research (GGR) hosted the 4th GGR Brown Bag Lunch Seminar on “Diplomacy without Diplomats: The Role of Special Envoys in Post-War Japanese Diplomatic History” with Ms. Giulia Garbagni (Ph.D. candidate, Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge; Visiting Research Student, University of Tokyo – Japan Foundation Doctoral Fellow) as lecturer.

Ms. Garbagni focused on “envoy diplomacy,” an informal form of diplomacy, and discussed why envoys are sent instead of diplomats, and which individuals have been dispatched as envoys in the history of Japanese diplomacy. At the beginning of the lecture, she defined a special envoy, characterizing it by its temporary and non-institutional nature, as well as by personal relationship. According to Ms. Garbagni, envoys are persons who are entrusted with achieving essential diplomatic goals on behalf of the Prime Minister. She pointed out some common characteristics of the three envoys who were active from the 1960s to the 1980s, including that they sought to avoid bureaucracy, that they were a personal diplomatic tool of the respective prime minister, and that they were intended to play an active role for Japan in the international community.

During the Q&A session, a lively discussion ensued on such topics as the effectiveness of envoy diplomacy; the legitimacy of envoys; the message to the international community that accompanies the dispatch of envoys; and the evaluation of envoys from the perspective of the host country. A total of 20 faculty members and graduate students attended this seminar.


【Event report prepared by】
SUZUKI Ryohei (Doctoral Student, Graduate School of Law, Hitotsubashi University)