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East Asia and Our Future

Adam Yarmolinsky, Harvard Law School; recorded by WGBH-TV, Boston. Approximate date: 1967

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East Asia and Our Future
Program Description

Program is panel conference on East Asia convened at Harvard 1967. Adam Yarmolinsky hosts this panel discussion on the role of the United States in East Asia, featuring John K. Fairbank, Director of the East Asian Research Center at Harvard University; and Edwin O. Reischauer, Harvard Professor and Former United States Ambassador to Japan.

Fairbank begins by discussing East Asia in regards to the recent political history of the Chinese, particularly the past and present state of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. He later segues into the current situation in Vietnam which according to Fairbank will not be resolved until the West realizes that any peace negotiations must consider the traditional Asian value of “face.” Moreover, Fairbank holds that North Vietnam does not have the same regard, concept of, or reliance on the rule of law that the West holds as the highest of social tenets.

Edwin O. Reischauer follows with his assessment, agreeing with Fairbank, but adds the concept of “nationalism” to the discussion. Reischauer also adds that the United States should not take its relationship with Japan for granted, and that the U.S. should recognize that its attempts to economically isolate China have in large parts failed and that similar tactics would fail as well in Vietnam.

In the final 15 minutes of the film, Reischauer and Fairbank summarize their beliefs about the war in Vietnam, concluding with a blistering condemnation from Reischauer, that literally leaves the moderator at a loss for words.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Event Coverage
Global Affairs
Chicago: “East Asia and Our Future,” GBH Archives, accessed May 24, 2024,
MLA: “East Asia and Our Future.” GBH Archives. Web. May 24, 2024. <>.
APA: East Asia and Our Future. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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