Arthur Stockwin

Arthur Stockwin took a first degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University, and a doctorate in International Relations at The Australian National University. His PhD thesis was titled ‘The Neutralist Policy of the Japanese Socialist Party’, written under the supervision of David Sissons. He taught in the Department of Political Science at ANU from 1964 to1981, when he was appointed Nissan Professor of Modern Japanese Studies and Director of the newly established Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies at Oxford University, where he remained until his retirement in 2003. His publications include: The Japanese Socialist Party and Neutralism (1968), Dictionary of the Modern Politics of Japan (2003), and Governing Japan (4th edition, 2008). The Writings of J.A.A.Stockwin (2 vols.) was published by Global Oriental in 2012.

Bridging Australia and Japan: Volume 1 »

The writings of David Sissons, historian and political scientist

This book represents volume one of the writings of David Sissons, who for most of his career pioneered research on the history of relations between Australia and Japan. Much of what he wrote remained unpublished at the time of his death in 2006, and so the editors have included a selection of his hitherto unpublished work along with some of his published writings. Breaking Japanese Diplomatic Codes, edited by Desmond Ball and Keiko Tamura, was published in 2013 and forms a part of the series that reproduces many of Sissons’ writings. In the current volume, the topics covered are wide. They range from contacts between the two countries as far back as the early 19th century, Japanese pearl divers in northern Australia, Japanese prostitutes in Australia, the wool trade, the notorious ‘trade diversion episode’ of 1936, and a study of the Japan historian James Murdoch. Sissons was an extraordinarily meticulous researcher, leaving no stone unturned in his search for accuracy and completeness of understanding, and should be considered one of Australia’s major historians. His writings deal with not only diplomatic negotiations and decision-making, but also the lives of ordinary and often nameless people and their engagements with their host society. His warm humanity in recording ordinary people’s lives as well as his balanced examination of historical incidents and issues from both Australian and Japanese perspectives are a hallmark of his scholarship.