CANCELED: China's Passing Japan Economically (2008 to 2012) and Beyond



Ezra Vogel, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus, Harvard University

Date and Time

April 13, 2020 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM


Philippines Conference Room
Encina Hall, Third Floor, Central, C330
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305


In keeping with Stanford University's March 3 message to the campus community on COVID-19 and current recommendations of the CDC, the Asia-Pacific Research Center Japan Program is electing to postpone this event until further notice. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we do our best to keep our community healthy and well.


From 1945 to 2010 Japan held the upper hand in the Sino-Japanese relations. From 2008-2012 China gained the upper hand in a very tense period of relations. Beginning in 2016 the two countries have tried to stabilize the relationship and reduce the risk of conflict. In 2020 it is possible the two countries will lay the basis for improving the relaitonship. What shape might the  Sino-Japannese relations take in the years ahead?


Ezra Vogel, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus, Harvard University

Portrait of Ezra Vogel


Ezra F. Vogel is the Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus at Harvard. After graduating from Ohio Wesleyan in 1950 and serving two years in the U.S. Army, he studied sociology in the Department of Social Relations at Harvard, receiving his Ph.D. in 1958. He then went to Japan for two years to study the Japanese language and conduct research interviews with middle-class families. In 1960-1961 he was assistant professor at Yale University and from 1961-1964 a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard, studying Chinese language and history. He remained at Harvard, becoming lecturer in 1964 and, in 1967, professor. He retired from teaching on June 30, 2000.

Vogel succeeded John Fairbank to become the second Director (1972-1977) of Harvard's East Asian Research Center and Chairman of the Council for East Asian Studies (1977-1980). He was Director of the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations at the Center for International Affairs (1980-1987) and, since 1987, Honorary Director. He was Chairman of the undergraduate concentration in East Asian Studies from its inception in 1972 until 1991. He was Director of the Fairbank Center (1995-1999) and the first Director of the Asia Center (1997-1999). Vogel was Chairman of the Harvard Committee to Welcome President Jiang Zemin (1998). He has also served as Co-director of the Asia Foundation Task Force on East Asian Policy Recommendations for the New Administration (2001). Drawing on his original field work in Japan, he wrote Japan's New Middle Class (1963). A book based on several years of interviewing and reading materials from China, Canton Under Communism (1969), won the Harvard University Press faculty book of the year award. The Japanese edition of his book Japan as Number One: Lessons for America (1979) was the all-time best-seller in Japan of non-fiction by a Western author. In Comeback (1988), he traced Japan’s industrial policy and suggested things America might do to respond to the Japanese challenge. The results of spending eight months in the late 1980s at the Guangdong Provincial Economic Commission studying the economic progress of the province are reported in One Step Ahead in China: Guangdong Under Reform (1989). His Reischauer Lectures were published in The Four Little Dragons: The Spread of Industrialization in East Asia (1991). His book Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China (2011) became a best seller in China. His book China and Japan: Facing History (2019) traces the long history between the two countries.

He has visited East Asia every summer since 1958 and has spent a total of over six years in Asia. He has received 12 honorary degrees. He received The Japan Foundation Prize in 1996, the Japan Society Prize in 1998, Lionel Gelber Award (Canada) 2012, Boston Japan Society Lifetime Achievement, 2013, the Fukuoka Grand Prize, 2014. He has lectured frequently in Asia, in both Chinese and Japanese. From fall 1993 to fall 1995, Vogel took a two-year leave of absence from Harvard to serve as the National Intelligence Officer for East Asia at the National Intelligence Council in Washington. He directed the American Assembly on China in November 1996 and the Joint Chinese-American Assembly between China and the United States in 1998.

He is married to Charlotte Ikels, formerly professor of anthropology at Case Western University and has three children – David, Steven, and Eve.

Advisory on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

In accordance with university guidelines, if you (or a spouse/housemate) have returned from travel to mainland China, South Korea, Italy, or Iran in the last 14 days, we ask that you DO NOT come to campus until 14 days have passed since your return date and you remain symptom-free. For more information and updates, please refer to the Stanford Environmental Health & Safety website:

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