PTJC Webinar Series

In response to the Global COVID-19 Pandemic, the Prince Takamado Japan Centre for Teaching and Research has hosted several webinars with special guests. Here you will find recordings of the webinars in this series. Subscribe to our newsletter to find out about future webinars and other events. For more information, please contact

2023-2024: The Impact and Roles of Japanese Community Centres in Canada

2022-2023: Popular Culture as a Japanese National Brand: Possibilities and Challenges

2021-2022: The Path to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Approaches in Japan and Canada

2020-2021: Ageing Society in the Era of Pandemics: Approaches in Japan and Canada


PTJC Webinar Series 2020-2021 by Chelsea Miya Ph.D

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prince Takamado Japan Centre for Teaching and Research hosted the webinar series Ageing Society in the Era of Pandemics: Approaches in Japan and Canada. These dialogues, broadcast live online, brought together experts from Japan and Canada to explore the current social and cultural impacts of the pandemic and look ahead to the post-pandemic future.

PTJC Director Dr. Aya Fujiwara explained that a “significant part of the Centre’s mandate is to create opportunities for intellectual exchanges between Japan and Canada.” The online format of the webinar series made this continued exchange of research and ideas possible, even during a time when it was impossible to meet face-to-face.

Japan’s Consul General Shigenobu Kobayashi, who sponsored the event, emphasized the importance of collaboration in facing the challenges ahead. “It has become glaringly clear that we no longer stand alone as a people, nation, or even the broader geographic regions,” said Kobayashi. “This is a global problem. Through the collaboration of our nations’ experts we will gain insights to help deal with our common struggles, not only those faced by our two nations, but the entire world.” The current crisis has brought to light systemic problems, particularly that of the growing aging population, an issue that has affected both Canada and Japan. As Kobayashi pointed out, we need to take advantage of the current moment to consider how to better take care of the elderly. “So many of us are tired, so many of us are sick, so many of us feel despaired,” said Kobayashi. “However, this is where we can shine together… Through this collaborative approach to problem-solving, we will eventually find our path to a remedy.” The first webinar, “Policies in Japan and Alberta,” brought together Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Tohoku University Professor of Virology Dr. Hitoshi Oshitani to discuss the different policy approaches of Canada and Japan. The second webinar, “Seniors’ Life and Care during COVID-19,” featured Dr. Reiko Hayashi, Deputy Director-General of Japan’s National Institute of Population and Social Security Research (IPSS), and Dr. Jasneet Parmar, Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at UAlberta and the Medical Lead of Alberta Health Services, Edmonton Zone Home Living and Transitions. Next, the “Applying AI in COVID-19” session explored the artificial intelligence technologies on the frontlines of the pandemic fight, with guests Dr. Yuzuru Tanaka, Hokkaido University Professor Emeritus and UAlberta Computing Science Adjunct Professor, and Dr. Randy Goebel, UAlberta Computing Science Professor. The final webinar, “Mobilizing Serious Games during COVID-19,” looked at how pandemic society can benefit from creative play, with UAlberta Professor of Philosophy and Humanities Computing Dr. Geoffrey Rockwell and Kyushu University’s Associate Professor of Content and Creative Design Dr. Hiroyuki Matsukuma. To conclude the series, we gathered some of the speakers back together to reflect and expand upon its themes.