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US-Japan Debate Tour

The Committee for International Discussion and Debate US-Japan Debate Tour.
Jul 16 '13

It Sticks With Me - Final Thoughts

Hey Ya’ll! It’s Shanna.

I apologize for my late update, but I am glad I had a few weeks to digest my experience in Japan. I have completed my first week in the beginning of my Masters program and I find myself referring to my observations, thoughts, and experiences in Japan often in academic discourse. 

When I’m with my friends, I tell them kampai when we have a toast and tell them about the funny experiences I shared across the sea. I use the stories of the amazing students I’ve met to detail the high level of excellence I witnessed. I’m proud (like an annoying in-law) to force my roommate to look at the Facebook pages of my new friends I met in Japan.

I have many things I have learned about the parallels of debate and differences in debate in Japan, but I what I cherish the most are the little connections that I made. I hope to foster, nurture and grow these brief meetings into thriving relationships.

Thank you to everyone for your grace, hospitality and for sharing a little bit of your life with me. It sticks with me.

All my best,


Jun 28 '13

Final Thoughts

Tim here.

Though the tour has ended, I find myself thinking of it often. What I saw, heard, and learned of debate in Japan excited me. 

I hope that the tour will continue to bring together minds and voices for thought and discussion about debate and its possibilities long into the future. 

That’s all for now. Sayonara! 

Jun 23 '13

Farewell Party

On our last night in Japan, we had a wonderful farewell party. Thanks to everyone who was able to make it—we missed those who couldn’t be there. There was, as always, good food, drink and conversation. This time, though, there was a magician! What a great party to end a great trip. Thank you to our hosts and the members of the Japanese Debate Association for an unforgettable tour.

Jun 23 '13

Communication Association of Japan, Ikebukuro, Tokyo

On June 23, we participated in the Communication Association Conference of Japan at Rikkyo University. Mr. Katsuya Koresawa picked us up at the hotel and we rode the JR Line to the University.

Anne Marie gave her final lecture on patriotic rhetoric and global citizenship. There were many good pictures from the audience. Shanna and Tim debated their final debate for the tour —on the resolution that switch-side debate is educationally undesirable. Tim debated with Koresawa-san and Shanna debated with Yohei Komatsu. It was a great debate, and we enjoyed the “grand crossfire” where the audience got to ask the teams questions. Afterwards we enjoyed lunch with our JDA friends at the conference. We agreed that this was a great event for our last day. Thanks to Mr. Satoru Aonuma for organizing!


Jun 23 '13

Ehime University, Matsuyma, Ehime

On Saturday, June 22, we travelled to Ehime from Fukuoka (in a very small plane!). We were met by Ms. Emi Akasaka and Mr. Toshitaka Akebi who took us to Ehime University by Taxi. They had a great sign for us.

We enjoyed lunch at an Italian restaurant and then had preparation time in our own room, complete with snacks. Tim and Shanna debated on the affirmative – a policy debate on the topic to abolish the death penalty—against members of the Ehime University ESS team. This was their last debate on the death penalty. 

Anne Marie gave a lecture on patriotic rhetoric and global citizenship. We then returned to the Matsuyma airport and flew to Tokyo. Thanks to the ESS at Ehime University for a truly outstanding experience!!

Jun 23 '13

Shuyukan High School, Fukuoka

On Friday, June 21, we visited Shuyukan High School in Fukuoka. We were met by Ms. Noriko Nakajima at the hotel who took us to the high school. We prepared for the debate at the high school. Shanna and Tim debated the rice tariffs topic for the last time. The audience consisted of 400 high school students.

Professor Inoue provided commentary in Japanese after the debate.

Anne Marie then gave a lecture on the benefits of debate for a small group of high school English teachers. After students finished their classes, members of the debate team came by for a coaching session: they had a lot of great questions and we had fun talking about the rice tariff topic one last time.

Afterwards we went out to great barbecue – a truly wonderful experience. Thank you to Ms. Noriko Nakijima for her exceptional hospitality!

Jun 23 '13

Kyushu University, Fukuoka

On Thursday, June 20, we debated at the Ito Campus of Kyushu University. Dr. Narahiko Inoue picked us up at the hotel and we drove to Kyushu University. We joined the Global 30 Debating class on the resolution that Japan should accept more foreign workers, policy debate style. The students had not yet had a full debate, so we worked on rebuttals. Tim provided some information on how to judge a debate. The students were great! They were able to use their extensive research throughout the debate. We provided some concepts and strategies for them to continue to work on throughout their semester.

We then enjoyed lunch and a rest and preparation for the debate. Thanks to Mr. Jonathan Aleles for the respite in his cool office! Anne Marie gave a lecture on patriotic rhetoric and global citizenship.

Shanna and Tim then had a parliamentary debate against the Kyushu University ESS team on the resolution: THBT every country should have the right to possess nuclear weapons.

After the debate we had a reception with students and faculty – a good time.

Jun 20 '13

Debate Teaching Resources

In many of our stops, teachers and students have asked for further resources for teaching debate, particularly to beginner debaters.

Here are a few links to resources:

National Association of Urban Debate Leagues:  

In particular, check out this activities manual:

Middle School Public Debate Program

Debate Central:

Jun 19 '13

Japanese Red Cross Hiroshima College of Nursing

On Wednesday, June 19 we traveled to Hiroshima by plane. We were met by Mr. Katsuya Koresawa at the airport- a good friend of Anne Marie’s from the 2001 tour. We drove to the Red Cross Hiroshima College of Nursing and enjoyed the amazing views of Hiroshima. We met Mr. Simon Capper, and English professor, and had a nice bento box lunch. Shanna and Tim had time to prepare for the debates. 

Anne Marie gave a lecture on the benefits of debate. Koresawa-sensei translated the speech – even the jokes! Shanna and Tim debated the topic: Japan should allow more foreign nurses. The students (who are in training to be nurses) had never debated before, and they gave great speeches and had great research! Shanna and Tim gave the Affirmative and Negative summary speeches respectively.


Little Koresawa was a great judge in training.


After the debate, we visited the Peace Museum, which memorializes the Atomic Bomb on August 6, 1945. Koresawa-san was a great host—every year he attends events on August 6 to talk with survivors of the Atomic Bomb.


We then enjoyed Hiroshima style Okinomiyaki (Anne Marie’s favorite!). Thank you thank you to Katsuya Koresawa for an amazing day!!

Jun 19 '13

Takezono High School, Tsukuba, Ibaraki

On June 18 we traveled to Takezono High School in Tsukuba. Mr. Noriaki Tajima met us at the hotel and we traveled by Express Train to Tsukuba, in Ibaraki prefecture. It was nice to have Tajima-san along for the entire day. Mr. Anthony Paxton met us at the station and drove us to the high school. We have heard many things about the Takezono team, so we were very excited to meet the students.

We met the principal and had tea in the formal guest room. Shanna and Tim had time to prepare with students- all women teams! – on the rice tariff topic (HEnDA format). Takezono has had much recent success- they were the third team at nationals, and a senior debater won the MVP at the national tournament. Many students from the 43-person debate team observed the preparation.

After preparation, we enjoyed lunch. Then, the big event! 

 There were more than 100 students and teachers in attendance. Shanna and Tim had a mixed debate team match – debating on each side with the students- Tim was Affirmative attack speaker and Shanna was Negative summary speaker. Anne Marie, Mr. Paxton and a senior student judged the debate. We were blown away by the debating skills of these high school students.

After the debate, Anne Marie gave a lecture on Patriotic Rhetoric and Global Citizenship. The students’ questions were very advanced.


We then had a tour of afterschool club activities. Wow! Kendo, Archery, Judo and a Tea Ceremony!


We had dinner (hamburgers) with English teachers. A very special thank you to Mr. Anthony Paxton for his enthusiasm for and facilitation of a great event! It was a very special day.