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The largest conference on Japanese studies and language ever convened in Australia is underway at UNSW this week.

Japan sun inside

The largest conference on Japanese studies and language ever convened in Australia is underway at UNSW this week.

Around 600 delegates are attending the joint conference of the Japanese Studies Association of Australia and the International Conference on Japanese Language Education.

The Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir and the Ambassador of Japan, Mr Takaaki Kojima, opened the conference on Monday at the Art Gallery of NSW. The sessions are held at UNSW until Thursday (16 July).

The theme is "Bridging the gap between Japanese language and Japanese studies".

One of the keynote speakers is the most prominent scholar in language education and politics in Australia, Professor Joseph Lo Bianco (Melbourne University), who will give an address "Japanese in Australia: A Return of the Good Times?"

Other presentations include a discussion on girls and self-image "Cakes, crepes, parfait and the ideal girl", "Locating Lolitas: Gothic and Lolita fashion as identity play and symbolic resistance" and a panel discussion on religion, culture and philosophy.

Meanwhile, the conference organiser, Associate Professor Chihiro Thomson, has been given an award by the Australian Embassy in Japan.

The award recognises her book on Japanese language education research and practice in Australia.

For more information on the conference, go to the JSAA website.

The event is co-hosted by UNSW and the University of Sydney.

Media contact: Susi Hamilton, UNSW media, 9385 1583 or 0422 934 024.