SKOWHEGAN — Dr. Kristin Vekasi will present the annual Leeke-Shaw Lecture on International Affairs, “An End to Pacifism? Japanese Remilitarization and Outlooks for Global Stability,” at noon Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Margaret Chase Smith Library, according to a news release from Liz Helitzer, executive director of the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine in Augusta.

This program is part of the collaboration between the Mid-Maine Global Forum and the Margaret Chase Smith Library.

Japan’s postwar constitution prohibits the country’s use of force as a way of settling international disputes. For decades, Japan’s pacifist stance has had broad support from the Japanese public, limiting the options for hawkish politicians like current Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, according to the release.

Recent conflicts in East Asia including Chinese actions in the East and South China Sea and nuclear tensions on the Korean Peninsula, however, have pushed Japan closer to becoming a “normal” military power than any other time post 1945. This talk will cover the ramifications of possible Japanese remilitarization for Japan, the United States and global stability.

Vekasi is a professor of political science at the University of Maine. She received her doctorate at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and has conducted extensive research and fieldwork across Northeast Asia, particularly in China and Japan.

Lunch will cost $10, payable at the door. Registration with lunch is requested by Thursday, Oct. 26, by calling the library at 474-7133.

Sandwich options include ham, roast beef, turkey on a kaiser roll, or a veggie wrap. Sandwiches include lettuce, tomato, cheese, packets of mustard and mayonnaise; advise if gluten-free bread is needed. Lunch includes chips, cookie, soda and water.

Registrants who request lunch are responsible for the lunch fees. If plans change and are unable to attend, notify organizers so lunch orders can be adjusted.

For more information, visit midmaineglobalforum.org.

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