The Sun & Star Symposium is founded by the lasting legacy of the Sun & Star 1996 Festival, a 100-day Texan-Japanese cultural festival, held in Dallas and Fort Worth.
The festival organizers made three large grants to local educational and cultural institutions, one of which was SMU. As a result of this significant gift, the university established a program within the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies to promote US-Japanese relationships. The Tower Center uses this Sun & Star Japan Studies Fund to provide Asia-related programming, faculty fellowships, academic opportunities, speakers on campus, and this symposium, held at SMU every other year. Past symposium topics have included Japan's Political Economy: Accidental Over-achiever of Temporary Underachiever?; Japan's New Nationalism: How Japan's Identity is Changing at Home and Abroad; The China-Japan-US Triangle: Economic and Security Dimensions; Are Reforms Dead in Japan? The Legacy of Prime Minister Koizumi; and Asia's Contested Waters: The East China and South China Sea.
Sun & Star Symposium | U.S.-Japan Relations and Security in the Asia-Pacific: Challenges and Hopes | June 10-11, 2016
Sun & Star Symposium | Waiting for the Rising Sun: Japanese New Nationalism and Beyond | March 3-4, 2015
Sun & Star Symposium | Asia’s Contested Waters: The East China and South China Sea | September 18-19, 2013