Day 1: Communication and Connections – EU trade with East Asia


Opening of the doctoral school – Welcoming words


Introductory remarks – Ms. Elo Süld, University of Tartu, Head of Asia Center

9.05-9.10 Opening of the conference - Prof. Toomas Asser, Rector of University of Tartu (TBC)


Welcoming remarks and greetings  – H.E. Mr Väino Reinart, Ambassador of Estonia to Japan (virtual)


Welcoming remarks and greetings H.E. Mr Hajime Kitaoka, Ambassador of Japan to Estonia



Keynote Japan’s Governance: Resilience or Convergence? – Prof Seijiro Takeshita (University of Shizuoka) (virtual)

10.00-10.30 Coffee break

10.30-12.00: Panel 1: EU trade with East Asia (academic panel)

The panel focuses on trade relations between EU and East Asia in general, and the EU-Japan relations in particular. With the first presentation we create a deeper context for the understanding of the past and present trade relations between EU and East Asia, and in the second presentation the specifics of trade between EU and Japan are elaborated. Furthermore, the role of EPA and SPA is highlighted in the relations between EU and Japan.


EU-East Asia trade relations in the era of globalization – Prof Ari Kokko (Copenhagen Business School)


Panel discussion with prof Urmas Varblane, prof Ari Kokko and prof Seijiro Takeshita, moderator Duncan McCargo (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies

12.00-13.00 LUNCH BREAK

13.00-14.30: Panel 2: Estonian trade with Japan – practical cases of intercultural communication

While the first panel establishes a wider and academic context for understanding and analyzing the EU-Japan trade relations, the current panel draws on Estonian perspectives and insights on trade with Japan. The panelists focus on the Estonian-Japanese trade relations while taking into account culture specific aspects which have an impact on bilateral relations. The panel provides practical insights to understanding business relations with Japan, elaborates changes during the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on trade relations.


Estonian trade with Japan – practical perspectives – Mr. Yoshito Tsubasa (Enterprise Estonia, Project manager for Japan)


Intercultural communication in business based on practical experience – Ms. Janne Funk (Kirimiri Ltd.)


Estonian startup company experience doing business with Japan – Mr. Ott Jalakas (Lingvist)


Discussion; moderator Andreas Veispakk (Estonian Business School, Head of development and innovation);

14.30-15.00: Afternoon Tea and Coffee

15.00-17.00: Afternoon panel: Student presentations and discussions:

Young scholars and PhD students (maximal number 4) present their research and presentations are followed by discussions led by panelists from the morning sessions.


Presentations Doctoral student 1

Riina Kerner, PhD student (EBS): „Trade in services and foreign direct investment with Japan: evidence from Estonia“


Peter N. Popovics, PhD student (Stockholm School of Economics): „Rebooting innovation failures: three approaches of recovering innovation failures within the firm’s boundaries”;


Discussion; moderator prof Maaja Vadi (University of Tartu)




Day 2: Communication and connections – marketing and organizational culture in Japan


09.00-10.30: Panel 3: Marketing in Japan

The panel discusses the challenges and changes of marketing in Japan. In order to sell products in foreign market, the marketing strategies have to be adjusted to the local needs. Culture, cultural understanding and mindsets play an important role in being successful in Asian countries. The panel introduces academic perspectives as well as practical experiences in regards of the marketing strategies in a culturally different setting drawing on Japan as a specific example. Furthermore, the rise of e-commerce and its implications are discussed.


Opening remarks – Prof. Maaja Vadi (University of Tartu)


A Study of university students’ restaurant selection with a sensibility approach – Prof Shigenobu Inoue (guest Professor at the University of Tartu)


Japanese advertising discourse from the perspective of cultural semiotics – Dr Oana-Maria Bîrlea (Babeș-Bolyai University)


The Japanese Service Industry in an international comparative perspective – Ass. Prof. Patrik Störm (Stockholm Economic School)


Discussion, moderator Ene Selart (University of Tartu)

10.30-11.00: Morning coffee and cookies

11.00-12.30: Panel 4: Organizational governance/ organizational culture in Japan

Organizations differ across cultures. The panel analyses organizational structures and organizational culture in Europe and Japan from a comparative perspective and draws links to the interconnection between trade relations, marketing and organizations.


Japanese and European organizations: similarities and differences – Ms. Magdolna Sass (senior research fellow, Hungarian Academy of Sciences) (Virtual)


Visions and Challenges of Work-Life Balance and Business Model in Japan: from the Perspectives of Gender Parity beyond the COVID Crisis – Dr Yoko Demelius (University of Turku) (virtual)


A comparison of entrepreneurship between
Japan, the EU and the US 
– Prof Tetsuya Kirihata (Ritsumeikan University) (virtual)


Discussion; moderator Krista Jaakson (PhD) (University of Tartu)

12.30-14.00: LUNCH BREAK

14.00-16.00 Afternoon panel: Student presentations and discussions:

Young scholars and PhD students (maximal number 4) present their research and presentations are followed by discussions led by panelists from the morning sessions.


Hosaka Sanshiro, PhD student (University of Tartu): "Do Pubs Matter? - Japanese Snacks (スナック) in the Past, Present and Future" 


Klara Melin, PhD student (Stockholm University): "Whining not permitted' – The Role of Political Culture in Japan’s International Relations”


Discussion; moderator prof Maaja Vadi (University of Tartu)


15.20 Closing remarks – Prof. Maaja Vadi (University of Tartu)

Venue: the face-to-face meetings take place at University of Tartu main building (Senate Hall). Necessary links for the virtual participants are sent prior the event.