The Fourth Annual Conference: the Forum for Leaders of Japanese Studies was held
- October 13, 2016
- Keywords: Info, International relations, Collaborations
On September 23, the Fourth Annual Conference: the Forum for Leaders of Japanese Studies was held at Takigawa Memorial Hall. Six leading researchers in Japanese Studies from major Asian universities presented on and discussed the theme of “Japanese Studies as Public Goods” from a range of perspectives.
This year for the first time the event was co-organized with the Kobe University Educational Program on Current Japan (KU-EPOCJ) Administrative Committee and the European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS) as part of the KU-EPOCJ Kick-off Symposium. The Kobe University Educational Program on Current Japan is an English-taught course open to exchange students (Special Auditing Students) focusing on Japanese culture and society.
The symposium opened with a speech from Professor INOUE Noriyuki (Executive Vice President in Charge of International Collaboration and Director of the Institute for Promoting International Partnerships). After an introduction to the Kobe University Educational Program on Current Japan from Professor YUI Kiyomitsu (Adviser to the President in Charge of International Collaboration), Professor EYAL Ben-Ari (Director of the Kinneret Center on Peace, Security and Society, Kinneret Academic College) gave a keynote speech titled “Japanese Studies in Comparative Perspective: How are Area/Regional Studies Constructed?”.
Following this, the Fourth Annual Conference: the Forum for Leaders of Japanese Studies began, moderated by Professor OGATA Yasushi (Director of the Center for Asian Academic Collaboration). Session 1, titled “An Aging Society with a Low Birthrate”, featured a presentation from Associate Professor NAM Kijeong (Institute for Japanese Studies, Seoul National University) on the potential for cooperation between Japan and Korea in dealing with aging population, decreasing birthrate and national security. The second presentation in the session was given by Professor IKAPUTRA (Head of Master Program on Architecture & Urban Design, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Gadjah Mada). He focused on people with different ability and disaster, specifically after the Jogjakarta earthquake.
Session 2, themed around “Migration and Symbiosis”, began with an examination of sense of belonging and mobility/immobility seen in later-life migration of Japanese people in Western Australia, presented by Associate Professor THANG Leng Leng (Head of Department of Japanese Studies, National University of Singapore). The session continued with Professor XING Yongfeng (Dean of the Japanese Department of the Foreign Language College and Director of the Japanese Studies Center at Shangdong University) speaking on the lives of “New Overseas Chinese” in Japan.
In the third and final session, on “Technology and Ethics”, Professor WANG Qiuju (Vice Dean and Professor of Foreign Studies College, Director of Research Institute for CSCJC, Northeastern University) presented a study of “social technology” as a public asset in Japan, and Professor NG Wai-ming (Associate Dean of Faculty of Arts, Director of Research Center for Comparative Japanese Studies, Chair of Department of Japanese Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong) spoke on the impact of modern technology on Japanese Studies.
To finish, a roundtable discussion moderated by Professor SEKINE Yuki (Graduate School of Law, Kobe University) was held on the theme of “Japanese Studies as Public Goods”. Participating in the roundtable were Professor FRELLESVIG Bjarke (President of the European Association for Japanese Studies, Professor of Japanese Linguistics, Director of the Research Centre for Japanese Language and Linguistics, Oriental Institute, University of Oxford), Professor NAM Kijeong (Seoul National University), Professor THANG Leng Leng (National University of Singapore), Professor NG Wai-ming (The Chinese University of Hong Kong), Professor YUI Kiyomitsu (Advisor to the President, Kobe University), and Professor SAKAI Kazunari (Graduate School of Intercultural Studies, Kobe University). Members of the audience also participated in the lively discussion. This joint event showed that academic exchange between researchers is increasing, and we look forward to seeing more connections form between researchers and universities in Asia, Europe and countries around the world.
(International Affairs Planning Division)