Japan Table Tennis Association President Goto Koji (1906-1972), the founder of Aichi Institute of Technology and Meiden High School, nurtured youth socially through sports education and used table tennis as a means of promoting international friendship and peace. The expertise Goto accumulated through his lifework as an educator and civic leader culminated in his decision to invite China to the World Table Tennis Championships in Nagoya in 1971. Notwithstanding the stalemate in the negotiations with Chinese officials on the terms of China's participation (China linked its participation to the "two Chinas" issue), Goto's convictions and principles earned Premier Zhou Enlai's respect and made China's participation possible. Were it not for Goto's initiative, President Richard Nixon would not have visited China in 1972. After four decades of obscurity, it is high time to set the record straight and give Goto long overdue credit.
About the Author
MAYUMI ITOH Former Professor of Political Science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA.
“Makes a contribution to local history through the author’s enlightening references to the political and economic factors peculiar to the Nagoya region, factors that contributed to Gotô’s rise as a local civic leader, and which served as a background to the events of 1971-2. The author’s extensive references to personal interviews and memoirs by his friends and associates are especially insightful in drawing a portrait of a man very much centered in the community in which he lived almost his entire life. It deserves to be read, and undoubtedly will be, for its comprehensive treatment of the factors behind ping-ping diplomacy.” --Stephen J. Roddy, Associate Professor, University of San Francisco
"Well-researched, well-framed analytically, and highly original. Sheds important new light on how today's complex yet fatefully important US-Japan-China triangle came to be." --Kent Calder, Director, Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies, SAIS/Johns Hopkins University