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The Meteoric Rise of Tokyo | Van Fleet

  • Kartel 1 Xiangyang Bei Lu | 5F Shanghai (map)

This is a Shanghai Foreign Correspondents Club event

The Meteoric Rise of Tokyo
Van Fleet

Tokyo – probably the most populous city in the world in the early 19th century. Invasion by foreign navy in 1853. Revolution and overthrow in 1868. Consumed by fire in 1872. Meteoric return to the top rank of worldwide cities by the end of the 19th century. Capital of the first non-Western country to defeat a Western power in war (1905). Devastation by earthquake and fire, killing more than 100,000 (3% of the total population) in 1923. Descent into fascist nightmare in the 1930s. Devastation by fire-bombing, again killing more than 100,000, in 1945. Population reduced by half, as the survivors fled. Meteoric rise (yet again) to the top rank of worldwide cities by the 1960s, as Japan became top five in global GDP.

Is there any city in human history that has experienced so much shock, so much change, in such a short time? Join author Van Fleet for a fond look back at this remarkable city.


Wednesday 17 February 2016 | 19.00 - 21.00

1 Xiangyang lu
Jingan district, Shanghai

RMB 50  SFCC members
RMB 150 non-members (price includes 2 drinks and canapés)
RSVP required, books available at the event
To attend please register here


Van Fleet. Raised in Southern California, Van Fleet moved to Japan in 1991, spending ten years there before relocating to greater China, where he has lived since, first in Taipei and now in Shanghai. While he’s primarily employed as Assistant Dean and Executive Director of the Global Executive MBA in Shanghai (GEMBA), a collaboration between USC and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (from which he also earned his own MBA degree), he spends his spare time considering the east Asian historical and sociopolitical environment. An op-ed contributor for the China Economic Review, a reviewer/contributor for the Journal of International Business Education, and a regular reviewer for the Asian Review of Books, Van Fleet is currently working on two new projects – one the story of a tragic couple in Japan in the last decade, the other a collection of essays looking at the interactions of Japan and China, past and present.