Wadham in Japan

7th April 2014

News, Alumni news

Wadham’s Warden, Ken Macdonald QC and his wife Linda are among a delegation from Wadham visiting Tokyo this month.

  • Ken Macdonald QC (left) discusses the death penalty with Japanese politicians and Oxford alumni.


  • Ken Macdonald QC addresses students and staff at Teikyo University

  • Dr Martin Bureau presents 'Weighing Black Holes.'

Lord Macdonald attended a lively and spirited discussion about the death penalty with partners in Japan including Mr Satsuki Eda (Linacre), a leading politician in the House of Councillors and ex-Minister of Justice opposed to the death penalty and Ms Takako Suzuki who is part of a cross-party group which supports Mr Iwao Hakamada, the recent ex-prisoner released after 46 years on death row.

Also in attendance were Mr Hideki Wakabayashi, Executive Director of Amnesty International, and Mr Yoshihiro Yasuda, a prominent defence lawyer who has represented some of Japan’s most notorious criminals and who is a tireless opponent of the death penalty. Ms Julia Longbottom, Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Japan also participated and talked about the UK and EU’s firm stance against the death penalty.

Following the discussion, all participants expressed their hope that Japan would take a lead again in the Asia region by moving to abolish the death penalty.

The Warden also addressed students and staff at Teikyo University, where he met with the President of Teikyo University, Mr Yoshihito Okinaga.

Physics Fellow and Lecturer in Astrophysics, Dr Martin Bureau joined the Warden in Tokyo to present a lecture, Weighing Black Holes, discussing the supermassive black holes that lurk at the centre of every galaxy, and play a major role in the evolution of our universe.

After leaving Tokyo, the Warden will be moving on to meet with alumni in Canada and New York.