We were delighted to receive a visit from AYF Chairman Professor Kent Calder is one of the world’s pre-eminent authorities on Japan-US international relations and has received numerous awards for his work on both sides of the Pacific. He expressed his happiness at once again being able to visit Japan and AYF after the long hiatus caused by Covid-19.

Professor Calder gave a lecture covering some of the most pressing issues facing us as a global society, including energy, security, and food. Both Russia and Ukraine are key players involved in the energy and food markets. Being the third largest producer and exporter of crude oil, one of the biggest exporters of gas, and the biggest exporter of wheat mean Russia occupies a key position in the global economy. 

Ukraine is also important to the global economy as it ranks high in sunflower oil exports, maize exports, wheat exports, and other commodities. Even before the pandemic, there was a massive demand for these commodities, and this increased living costs. This can be observed by the increasing levels of energy and good poverty. This situation is predicted to become worse in the future. 

The war will also be predicted to affect global security. At the beginning of the year, Russian advanced to the borders of Ukraine and this resulted in a global outcry about the aggressive actions which will have a major impact on the political and military situations. The extent to which the war will transform global politics and security is still not clear now, but it has the potential to harm society. 

The AYF fellows were divided into teams and tasked with debating and suggesting possible solutions to these thorny but vitally important topics. The session was a valuable opportunity to exchange perspectives and gain insights, and the debate was undoubtedly made richer by the fellows’ diverse backgrounds and expertise.

Dr. Kent E. Calder was the Interim Vice Dean for Education and Academic Affairs of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Calder, who also directs the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS, previously served as the school’s Interim Dean and Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs and International Research Cooperation from 2018 to 2020 and as director of Asia Programs from 2016 to 2018.