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Kobe University hosted the Third Annual Conference: The Asian Forum for Leaders of Japanese Studies in Prestigious Asian Universities

  • November 18, 2015
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  • Keywords: Info, International relations

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On 11-12 November 2015 the Centre for Asian Studies at Kobe University hosted the Third Annual Conference: The Asian Forum for Leaders of Japanese Studies (AFJAS) in Prestigious Asian Universities. The theme of this year’s forum was “Japanese Studies in a New Asian Era”. Thirteen eminent scholars of Japanese Studies from major Asian universities participated in the forum and discussed the field of Japanese Studies from a variety of perspectives.

The first day of the forum took place at the Kobe University IDEMITSU SAZO Memorial Rokkodai Auditorium. The keynote lecture was given by Vu Hoang Nam, Director of International Affairs and Associate Professor of Economics at Foreign Trade University in Hanoi (Vietnam), who spoke on education in Vietnam and the double degree program agreement concluded on the same day between Foreign Trade University and Kobe University.

During the first session four speakers presented on the topic of “Japanese Studies in International Relations on the 70th Anniversary of the End of the War”: Hu Lingyuan, Director of the Center for Japanese Studies, Fudan University (China); Nam Kijeong, Associate Professor at the Institute for Japanese Studies, Seoul National University (Korea); Thang Leng Leng, Associate Professor and Head of Department of Japanese Studies, National University of Singapore; and Tran Thi Thu Thuy, Dean of the Faculty of Japanese at Foreign Trade University, Hanoi (Vietnam). Hu Lingyuan spoke on the development and characteristics of Japanese studies in modern China; Nam Kijeong focused on Japanese studies in Korea; Thang Leng Leng spoke on the creation of transnational families in Australia and Southeast Asia; and Tran Thi Thu Thuy discussed the human resource needs of Japanese enterprises in Vietnam and the response of Foreign Trade University.

The second session theme was “Disaster Risk Reduction, Human Resource Development, Computing Education and Japanese Studies.” Ikaputra, Graduate School Secretary and Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture & Planning, Faculty of Engineering at the Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia), spoke on localizing Japanese culture in order to reduce disaster risk; Bounlouane Douangngeune, Deputy Director of the Laos-Japan Human Resource Development Institute, National University of Laos spoke on the strengthening of relationships between Laos and Japan; and Wang Qiuui, Vice Dean, Professor of Foreign Studies College, and Director of Institute for CSCJC, Northeastern University (China), discussed new perspectives offered by the cross-disciplinary study of Japanese culture.

In the third session, five speakers presented on the theme of “Japanese Language Education and Japanese Cultural Studies”: Xu Yiping, Director of the Beijing Center for Japanese Studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University (China); Phan Hai Linh, Associate Professor and Head of Department of Japanese Studies, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Hanoi; Ng Wai-ming, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Director of the Research Center for Comparative Japanese Studies and Dean of Department of Japanese Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (China); Xing Yongfeng, Dean of Japanese Department of the Foreign Language College and Director of the Japanese Studies Center, Shandong University (China); and Susy Ong, Lecturer at the Department of Japanese Studies, Faculty of Letters, Darma Persada University (Indonesia). The speakers presented on the importance of Japanese Studies in cultural understanding; the custom of teeth blackening in Asia, focusing on Japan and Vietnam; a comparative study of yumcha in Hong Kong and Japan; Japanese education and Japanese Studies in China; and the perceptions of Japanese culture in Indonesia.

Each of the three sessions detailed above was followed by a Q&A session, and questions posed by the audience led to an active discussion of the various topics.

The second day of the forum was held at the Graduate School for International Cooperation Studies in Kobe University. Professors from the Kobe University Graduate School of Humanities, Graduate School of Engineering, Research Center for Urban Safety and Security, and Graduate School of Health Sciences were joined by visiting researchers to discuss the themes of “Creating International Collaborative Research Projects” and “Creating an International Japanese Studies Program.” A set of guidelines was decided for future joint initiatives in international collaborative research programs. We plan to follow these guidelines in our forum next year.

(International Affairs Planning Division)