• 2022.05.16

    The first AJI Book Launch was held! Dr. Kawamura Ai reported on her book about the formation of Islamic finance in the Gulf and Southeast Asia(Published in December, 2021).

      On April 22, 2022, the Book Launch was co-hosted online by the Asian-Japan Research Institute and the Center for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (CMEIS), Ritsumeikan University.。

      Dr. Kawamura Ai (a researcher at Mitsui & Co. Global Strategic Studies Institute) presented her book, Grafting an Islamic Sapling onto the Tree of Legal Dispute Resolution: Alternative Approaches to Civil Disputes in Islamic Finance in the Gulf and Southeast Asia (published in December, 2021). She specializes in area studies, Islamic finance, and the comparative study of law. In particular, she is conducting a research focusing on value creation in Islamic finance through civil dispute resolution and its challenges.

      In this book launch, Dr. Kawamura focused on how a financial system based on Islamic law, which emerged mainly from the middle of the twentieth century, developed in the capitalist economy, and introduced some criticisms that have been leveled at Islamic economics, and how the concept of the Islamic moral economy that has emerged as a result of the criticisms, based on her field researches and data analysis in Dubai and Malaysia. We learned that the creation of “values” through civil disputes in Islamic finance and the issues involved are discussed in a multifaceted manner based on empirical evidences in her book. In the end, this book launch posed some meaningful suggestions to attendees.

      In the Q&A session, Dr. Kawamura and the attendees could exchange interesting views academically, such as the issue over the standard of Islamic finance in the Islamic world and the role of the Shari’a Board. In addition, all attendees could share in the detailed talks about Dr. Kawamura’s difficulties in writing this book, instructive keys for her field researches, and the future prospects of her research, all of which made this Book Launch informative and encouraged participants to investigate the details further through Dr. Kawamura’s book.

    Dr. Kawamura her presentation
    Dr. Kawamura reporting her book

    Attendees for this Seminar
    Attendees for this Book Launch

  • 2022.05.12

    The 44 AJI Research Forefront Seminar was held! Dr. Ho Thanh Tam (Senior Researcher, Asia-Japan Research Institute, Ritsumeikan University) presented a case study of sustainable agriculture and policies in Shiga Prefecture, Japan (May 10, 2022)

    On Tuesday May 10, 2022, the 44th AJI Research Frontier Seminar took place online. Dr. Ho Thanh Tam, a Senior Researcher at Ritsumeikan Asia-Japan Research Organization, gave a presentation in English on sustainable rice farming in Japan with an emphasis on Environmentally Friendly Agriculture (EFA) practices entitled “Sustainable Agricultural Practices (SAP) and Marketing Strategies for Certified Agricultural Products: Empirical Analyses of Cases in Shiga, Japan”. Dr. Tam began by pointing out that Japan is the fifth largest greenhouse gas emitter, and that agriculture is the third largest contributor to global warming with rice cultivation accounting for 42%. She further informed us that Japan is the world’s third largest fertilizer user and second largest pesticide user, and these chemicals are polluting the air, land and sea. In particular Lake Biwa began to suffer eutrophication, red tides, algae bloom and mass multiplication of picoplankton through the 70s and 80s. To address this serious environmental hazard, the Japanese government started in 1992 to promote Sustainable Agriculture through EFA to reduce chemical use and produce organic agricultural products.

    She told us that the government began granting subsidies to encourage the use of EFA practices in Shiga, and later nationally. As a result, EFA cultivated rice in Shiga increased rapidly to about 33% of all rice production, reducing the contamination flowing into Lake Biwa. However, adopting SAPs is time and labor consuming, and the output does not necessarily sell for a higher price, as there is presently little public awareness of EFA products.

    She explained that her research questions were designed to find the reasons behind the slow uptake of SAPs from the perspectives of farmers and consumers in order to evaluate the potential for promoting EFA practices and improving marketing strategies.

    This important topic generated several comments from the listeners on the practical aspects of sustainability and promoting the health benefits of organic rice, and technical questions on how she had formulated her field work investigation to get a balanced response from the farmers’ associations. Dr. Tam answered the audiences’ questions in detail, and everyone learned a lot from this interesting presentation.

    44th Dr. Tam
    Dr. Tam delivering her presentation

    44th Dr. Tam_zoom
    Attendees for this Seminar

    Please visit the following link for previous AJI Frontier Seminars:

  • 2022.05.10

    The 2nd session of the Global Multilingual Forum Meridian 180 “Transformations of Gender Order, Neoliberal Economy and Social Reproduction” was held!

    The second session of the Global Multilingual Forum Meridian 180 “Transformations of Gender Order, Neoliberal Economy and Social Reproduction” took place on February 18, 2022. In this session, we reviewed the gender issues of the pandemic in East Asia that were discussed in the first conference of the Meridian180 forum with the Asia-Japan Research Institute, specifically, about the challenges of paid and unpaid caregiving, care inside and outside the home, and changes in the neoliberal economy that have underestimated care. Three panelists were invited to this session, and we focused on a wide range of issues concerning social reproduction, including the ecological aspects.

    Ms. Yu-Rung Chyn (Secretary General, Awakening Foundation, Taiwan) pointed out that the government’s neglect of social reproduction has resulted in significant “temporal poverty” for parents, especially mothers, and a lack of perspective on this problem has resulted in insufficient government measures against the pandemic. Professor Ogawa Reiko (Chiba University, Japan) argued that migrant care workers, who are important providers of care for the elderly in Japan, are subject to institutional inequalities, and that care work can also be a means of empowerment for them, and she discussed the need to ensure the reproduction of these migrant workers. Finally, Professor Hyun Mee Kim (Professor, Yonsei University, South Korea) connected the gender inequalities in care work exposed by the pandemic to the problems of environmental destruction caused by capitalism, and emphasized the need to dismantle the dichotomy of social and ecological systems from the broad framework of social reproduction.

    Professor Shu-chin Grace Kuo (National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan), one of the commentators, pointed out that we need to take a closer look at the implications of the new way of life under the pandemic. Additionally, Professor Amy Stanley (Northwestern University) depicted that the notion of care as a woman’s domestic role is a historical construct, suggesting that the situation under the pandemic could be viewed as a new historical change.

    Through these discussions, this session confirmed that the difficulties surrounding care workers during the pandemic are some of the fundamental problems in socio-economic systems that have neglected the role of women in social reproduction, and that it is important to analyze this event that has revealed signs of transformation in terms of the gender perspective.

    Attendees for this session

  • 2022.04.19

    The 43rd AJI Frontier Seminar was held : Dr. Alpradita Malik (Ritsumeikan University) made his presentation about residential environment and the social capital in slums in Indonesia (April 12, 2022) (Open Participation)

    On Tuesday February 12, 2022, the 43rd AJI Research Frontier Seminar took place online. Dr. Alpradita Malik, a senior researcher for OIC Research Organization at Ritsumeikan University, gave presentation in English on the effects of housing on social capital in Indonesia under the title, "The Influence of Architecture on Social Capital Development: A Literature Study on the Case of Slum Settlements During COVID-19 Pandemic”.

    Dr. Malik commenced by describing social capital in this context as a product of social interaction and cooperation and said research has found that in the case of upgrading from slum settlements, fostering social capital can increase neighborhood satisfaction. In addition, it was found that slum residents do not lack social interaction or bonding, but they lack the possibility to connect to a higher social status in order to increase their economic capability. He stated that socio-architecture focusing on the relationship between Human and Non-human actors has the potential to unite space, form, technique, and function, and would be the basis of his research on how architecture influenced social capital. Moreover, if communities can be involved in the design process, they will form a sense of belonging/ownership, which will increase their social capital as well as increasing satisfaction toward housing and resettlement in a slum alleviation project. He pointed out that for the success of such a program, spatial sequencing and configuration are important, but providing open spaces, while good for developing social capital, could lead to overcrowding due to the habitual interactions of slum dwellers, causing an increase in infection rates under the COVID-19 pandemic. He concluded that while social interaction is threatened, other parts of social capital could still be improved through community participation in the design process during the upgrading of slum settlements.

    This thought provoking lecture ended with questions about the reasons why residents were relocated, about social capital in terms of community and cultural tradition in a Muslim society, about home ownership, and comments on solving social problems related to high rise government housing in big cities in the west. Dr. Malik tackled all the questions carefully, and everyone enjoyed his interesting presentation.

    Dr. Malik delivering his presentation

    Please visit the following link for previous AJI Frontier Seminars:

  • 2022.04.08

    A book review on Changing Arms Control Norms in International Society by Kenki ADACHI, was newly published in “Asia-Japan Research Academic Bulletin” Vol.3, 2022.


  • The 44th AJI Frontier Seminar was held : Dr. Ho Thanh Tam (Senior Researcher, Ritsumeikan Asia-Japan Research Organization, Ritsumeikan University) makes her presentation on sustainable agricultural practices and policies with cases of Shiga (prefect

    Click here for details

  • The 43th AJI Frontier Seminar

    Click here for details