The 37th AJI Frontier Seminar on “Indonesia’s Gastrodiplomacy in the Making: A Preliminary Study”
On October 12, 2021, the 37th AJI Research Frontier Seminar took place online. This time, we were honored to have a presentation from Dr. Agus Trihartono (Research Fellow and Co-founder of the Center for Gastrodiplomacy Studies at the Jember University, Indonesia). His presentation was entitled “Indonesia’s Gastrodiplomacy in the Making: A Preliminary Study”. He explained that gastrodiplomacy describes a country's attempt to take advantage of its wealth of culinary traditions to enhance its national brand and improve its image using food to help strengthen its so-called soft power. He explained that several Asian nations have used this method successfully, but that Indonesia, has yet to take full advantage of its diverse cuisine. It is the biggest exporter of coffee in Asia, and certainly the biggest producer of spices, and yet it has not become so well known for these products.
Dr. Agus told us about Joko Widodo’s plan called “Indonesia Spices up the World”, a new initiative to utilize Indonesia’s diverse cuisine to elevate the country’s international status. The target is to add 4000 restaurants selling Indonesian dishes across the world and greatly increase its spice exports which indicates that Indonesia’s Gastrodiplomacy is targeting economic success over identity promotion. However, the conclusion is that Indonesia still has to overcome three issues to succeed: scarcity in plenty, the overlooking of its national identity, and a lack of a pragmatic policies.
This extremely interesting lecture invited a lot of questions from the participants, on such topics as the export of processed foods and the Halal market potential. Unfortunately, there was not enough time remaining for Dr. Agus to answer all the questioners.
Dr. Agus Trihartono delivering his presentation
Attendees for this Seminar
Workshop "20 Years After, Beyond 9.11: A View of the Global Society, the Islamic World, and the Post-Terrorism Era" took place.
To mark the passing of twenty years since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2021, the Asia Japan Research Institute of Ritsumeikan University, the Center for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies of Ritsumeikan University, and the Institute of Energy Economics hosted an open workshop entitled “20 Years After, Beyond 9.11: A View of the Global Society, the Islamic World, and the Post-Terrorism Era".
Shuji Hosaka (Commissioner, Institute of Energy Economics and Director of JIME Center), So Yamane (Professor and Dean, Graduate School of Language and Culture, Osaka University), and Yasushi Kosugi (Professor and Director, Asia Japan Research Institute, Ritsumeikan University) gave the following research reports (Their titles omitted here）.
・Shuji Hosaka: “Twenty Years after 9.11: What Al Qaeda has left”
・So Yamane: “Societal Transformation in Pakistan and the Fluidization of South Asian Relations Caused by 9.11”
・Yasushi Kosugi: “The Struggle of the Moderate Mainstream and Its Prospects: Focusing on the Uṣūl (Sources of Islamic jurisprudence) School”
First, Prof. Hosaka discussed various ideological tides in Islamic extremism, the changes in extremism that have occurred in these twenty years since 9.11, and the need to train researchers of area studies who are familiar with local languages. He also presented voluminous amounts of materials in Arabic. Second, Prof. Yamane introduced a wide range of issues such as the transformation of local communities in Pakistan and Afghanistan and its relationship with Islam, as well as the revival of the Taliban regime and prospects for international relations. Lastly, Prof. Kosugi presented an analytical perspective from Islamic jurisprudence (the study of theory and methodology of the interpretation of Islamic law) and discussed how to analyze the changes in Afghanistan and the Islamic world since 9.11.
After their presentations, panelists exchanged opinions about the framework of analysis on the relationship between politics and religion, with the moderator, Kota Suechika (Professor, Graduate School of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University). This workshop was a great success thanks to the support of more than one hundred participants.
Panelists and the moderator exchanging opinions in Q&A session
The 36th AJI Frontier Seminar on "Influences of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Families with Young Children: A Comparison between Japan and China"
On September 14, the 36th AJI research Frontier Seminar was held online. Dr. Cindy Sun (Research Fellow of the Asia-Japan Research Institute, Ritsumeikan University) who is researching on family relations, especially the quality of life (QOL) of mothers and young children, gave a presentation entitled "Influences of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Families with Young Children: A Comparison between Japan and China".
COVID emergency conditions in China and Japan have prevented families from leaving their homes, causing isolation from family and friends and even job loss and financial difficulties. This has resulted in a deterioration of health and increased mental and emotional stress, especially for mothers with children of kindergarten age. To evaluate the effects on mothers’ QOL, Dr. Sun conducted surveys through questionnaires and evaluated the data using regression analysis. Surprisingly, she found although enforcement measures were much stricter in China, Japanese mothers experienced higher stress levels, became angry more frequently, and felt a lower sense of fulfillment. The reason could be that grandparents and children in China tend to live together, relieving the burden on mothers. Results showed that Chinese mothers were more concerned about children’s loss of learning time and excessive use of electric devices, while Japanese mothers were most concerned about children not being able to play outside with friends. On a positive note, fathers staying at home due to the pandemic increased family time which positively affected mothers’ and children’s wellbeing, and enduring difficulties together strengthened family bonds.
This presentation was followed by a lively Q&A session. It was pointed out that sample of children in Japan was younger which might have affected the results negatively. Dr. Sun replied that she was addressing this point and that her research was still ongoing. The listeners all appreciated this very interesting presentation on an important topic.
Dr. Cindy Sun delivering her presentation
Please visit the following link for previous AJI Frontier Seminars:
The Asia-Japan Research Institute was awarded a prize for the “Challenge for the Future by faculty members of Ritsumeikan University in 2020 Corona”.
The “Continuous opportunities for learning and research presentations through the Rice Ball Seminars in Ritsumeikan University under the situation of the COVID-19” supported by six research institutes including Asia-Japan Research Institute was awarded a prize for “Challenge for the Future by faculty members of Ritsumeikan University in 2020 Corona”. You can find a picture of Dr. Ammar Khashan from our Institute making his presentation on the webpage of the announcement for this award.
Online guidance seminar for the Asia-Japan Research Development Program 2020
On July 28, 2021, we held a guidance seminar for the Asia Japan Research Development Program online.
You can check it on the YouTube channel of our Institute.
https://youtu.be/479k4blyox0 *Go to the external link on YouTube.
If you wish to join the Asia-Japan Research Institute program you can apply now (Deadline: Monday, September 27, 2021). You can download the application procedures and form from the website of Ritsumeikan University Research Office.
A Book Review on Automotive Industrialisation: Industrial Policy and Development in Southeast Asia, by Kaoru NATSUDA and John Thoburn was newly published in “Asia-Japan Research Academic Bulletin”Vol.2, 2021.
The 38h AJI Frontier Seminar38th Seminar 13:30~15:00, November 9 (Tuesday), 2021
Presenter: Shota YAMADA (Doctoral course, Graduate School of International Relations, Ritsumeikan)
Title: " Drinking Water Supply Sector and Ease of Entry by NGOs in Rural Bangladesh:
A Case Study from Southwest Coastal Area"
Place: Online Zoom presentation.
Local Knowledge as the Basis of Disaster Management in Asia
Date: Wednesday 20 October 2021
Time: 3 - 4pm JST
Venue: Online event
Chair: Dr Miwa Hirono, Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, College of Global Liberal Arts
1.Takeyuki Okubo, Professor, College of Science and Engineering & Director, Institute of Disaster Mitigation for Urban Cultural Heritage (R-DMUCH)
2.Maria Tanyag, Research Fellow, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, The Australian National University.
3.Muhammad Riza Nurdin, Visiting Researcher, Asia-Japan Research Institute
Click here for details
Locally-Led Disaster Management ang Humanitarian Assistance in Asia Online CourseDate and Time:
October 6, 2021 13:00-15:00(JST)
October 13, 2021 13:00-15:00(JST)
October 20, 2021 13:00-15:00(JST)
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Joint Conferences of Brawijaya University & Ritsumeikan University on Traditional Asian Drugs and Foods ―Date and Time: September 16, Thursday, 2021 13:00-17:00（JST）
Venue: Zoom meeting at KYOLABS (Shimadzu Corporation, Kyoto)
Click here for details