Students from Kyushu University went head-to-head with debaters from the U.S. on topics ranging from working conditions to the societal impact of Disney films on June 14 as part of the Japan–U.S. Exchange Debate, Japan Tour 2019, sponsored by the Japan Debate Association and co-sponsored by the Faculty of Language and Cultures.
Aiming to promote international exchange through debate, the tour alternates between bringing debate teams from the U.S. to Japan and from Japan to the U.S. each year to participate in exhibition debates and other activities.
This year, tour coach Dr. Ruth Beerman (Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, Co-Director of Debate and Forensics at Randolph-Macon College) and debaters Ms. Caroline Kouneski (a Randolph-Macon College graduate) and Mr. Colten White (a University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate) traveled to Ito Campus to engage with Kyushu University students.
The events kicked off at the Ito Guest House on June 14 with a lecture titled “Gender and Communication” by Dr. Beerman. Next, Mr. Kota Jodoi, a former member of the English Speaking Society (ESS), explained for beginners the format of British Parliamentary Debate.
Moving on to the main events, U.S. debaters and Kyushu University students from the ESS Debate Section first teamed up for a lively debate of the motion “This House believes that the feminist movement should oppose classic Disney films” in front of an audience that included students observing a debate for the first time.
Next, U.S. and Kyushu University mixed teams participated in a Policy Debate. The affirmative and negative teams exchanged well-researched, evidence-based arguments to defend their side of the resolution that the Japanese government should limit weekly maximum average working hours, including overtime, to 48 hours.
The Debate Section of the Kyushu University ESS will continue to debate in domestic and international tournaments and will also host the major international tournament “Kyushu Debate Open 2019” in August. The U.S. team traveled from Kagoshima to Hokkaido before leaving Tokyo to return home on June 25.