An international symposium to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Asia-Japan Research Institute was conducted online

In the final week of February 2021, an international symposium to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Asia-Japan Research Institute was organized by Ritsumeikan University. It was titled “The 5th Anniversary International Symposium of Asia-Japan Research at Ritsumeikan University Asia, Japan, and the Global Society”, and consisted of a core session and three panel sessions which were conducted online due to restrictions on international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

【Core Session 】
On February 23rd, the core session of this symposium, titled “Asia-Japan Research and the Meridian180 Global Network”, was held. This session was organized by Meridian 180, an online platform for decision-making and dialogical forums, which is open to both professionals and civilians for the purpose of resolving global issues.
The opening speech was given by Professor Akio Tokuda, vice-President of Ritsumeikan University, who welcomed the presenters and described the role of Asia-Japan Research institute for promoting research and innovation of Asia, by Asia, for Asia, with its global partners.
Then, Professor Annelise Riles (Northwestern University) who is a founder and the executive director of this Meridian 180, delivered the Keynote Speech, titled “Meridian 180’s Contribution to the Future of Global Society”, in which she presented the potential role of Meridian 180 in the global society of the post-pandemic era and its principles. In her speech, she emphasized the needs to advance the trans-national sharing of trust and knowledge between, academics, professionals and civilians through strengthening its role as a digital platform in the context of increasing demands for webinars.  
Next, Prof. Hiroyuki Mori (College of Policy Science, Ritsumeikan University) described “Ritsumeikan’s Engagements with Meridian180”. Until now, Ritsumeikan University has been involved with the activities of the Meridian 180 in such fields as smart cities, the aging society, and issues of food and agriculture. In his presentation, he stressed the significance of more enhanced commitments to these fields in the future.
The speeches were followed by discussions in which the participants could actively exchange a variety of opinions on questions such as: How can Meridian 180 contribute to overcome social divisions and decreasing concern for public affairs? How can younger generations from academic fields be involved with Meridian 180 for the long-term development of this platform?
To conclude the session, Prof. Yasushi Kosugi, the director of this Research Institute, delivered the closing remarks, in which he suggested that we are required to tackle several issues caused by financial and informational globalization in the context of ongoing digitalization in and after the Covid-19 pandemic, emphasizing the importance of creating spaces where people can directly meet and exchange opinions. As a whole, this core session encouraged participants to share the vision for a new model for the future society and called for commitments to collaborations between universities and civil societies.
Core Session
Core Session
Clockwise from the top left:
Moderators - Dr. Kuroda and Dr. Ammar Khashan.
Panelists - Prof. Annelise Riles, Prof. Akio Tokuda, Prof. Hiroyuki Mori, and Prof. Yasushi Kosugi.

【Session 1】
On February 22nd, Session 1 of the international symposium for 5th anniversary of the Asia-Japan Research Institute was held. The theme of this session was "Digital Archiving of Cultural Properties Based on Advanced ICT and Utilization of the Archived Data".
Prof. Satoshi Tanaka (College of Information Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University) presided over the whole session. The Keynote Speech for this session was presented by Prof. Michael Feener (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University), followed by an invited speech by Dr. Fadjar I. Thufail (senior researcher of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences), and three more presentations from younger researchers and PhD candidates from the College of Information Science and Engineering in Ritsumeikan University.
Through the whole session, participants could share the latest developments in research on the digital preservation and archiving of historical treasures based on model cases in Southeast Asian regions and Japan.
Many historical treasures are exposed to limits of human memories and natural conditions, and hence face the risk oblivion and loss. Using advanced digital technologies for these historical artefacts enables us not only to preserve them, but also to create alternative ways of accessing to them, which opens the possibility of viewing cultural creations from completely new perspectives. Following each presentation, participants and observers could share in active discussions, focusing mainly on new ways of preserving our cultural inheritances and their recreation using digital technologies.

Digital Archiving of Cultural Properties Based on Advanced ICT and Utilization of the Archived Data
Keynote Speech
The Integration of Digital Heritage Documentation and Online Archive Building
(Prof. R. Michael Feener)
Invited Speech
Sea as Method: Borobudur and the Ontology of the Maritime
(Dr. Fadjar I. Thufail)
Linking Ukiyo-e Records across Languages: An Application of Cross-Language Record Linkage Techniques to Digital Cultural Collections
(Dr. Yuting SONG, Specially Appointed Assistant Professor, College of Information Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan Universit)
Fused 3D Transparent Visualization for Large-scale Cultural Heritage Using Deep Learning-based Monocular E-construction
(Jiao PAN, Doctoral Student, Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University)
Collision Visualization of a Laser-Scanned Point Cloud: The Revival of a Traditional Procession Route (Weite LI, Doctoral Student, Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University)
Session 1
Clockwise from the top left: Dr. Jiao Pan, Prof. Satoshi Tanaka, Prof. Michael Feener, Dr. Fadjar I. Tufail.

【Session 2】
Session 2 of the International Symposium for the 5th Anniversary of the Asia-Japan Research Institute, titled "Islam in Action in Inter-Asian Everyday Lives: Looking Beyond Islamophobia", was held on February 25th.
Prof. Junko Toriyama (College of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University), presided over the session, and gave the opening lecture titled "De-politicizing Islam", each presenter focused on Muslim women's mundane works in various regions and how they are represented there.
We had five presentations for this session, and each showed aspects of Muslim women's social positions formed in their own ordinary lives based on various observations verified through field works. The diverse ways of Muslim women's self-expression in society were clarified by each presenter. The first presentation focusing on the fusion between the design of traditional clothing in Malaysia and of Islam was delivered by Dr. Nurul Huda Mohd. Razif, of École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. The next, a study on the issues of Muslim employees handling pork in Hong Kong was given by Kota "Sasha" Oguri, a Doctoral Student of the Graduate School of Global Studies at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Next was an investigation into transformations in the roles in which Muslim women are typically depicted in Indian movies by Dr. Yukiko Nakamura, of the Asia-Japan Research Institute. The fourth presentation described research on the political natures of the consuming of K-pop cultures by Muslim women in Iran by Prof. Gi Yeon Koo, of Seoul National University.
In the Q&A section, participants actively exchanged their outlooks about the significance of and gaps between studying diverse natures of mundane spheres in local languages and delivering those results in English under the contemporary system of academia.

Islam in Action in Inter-Asian Everyday Lives: Looking beyond Islamophobia
De-politicizing Islam, Re-politicizing Islam: An Inter-Asian Attempt
(Prof. Junko Toriyama)
The Fabric of Modern Malay, Muslim, and Female Identity: Batik, Female Entrepreneurship and Muslim Consumerism in Contemporary Malaysia
(Dr. Nurul Huda Mohd. Razif)
Half the Faith in a Global City: A Preliminary Report on Ritual Purication among Muslim Domestic Workers in Hong Kong
(Kota "Sasha" Oguri)
Muslim in Indian Movies: Revisiting the representations of Gender and Islam
(Dr. Yukiko Nakamura)
Mega-Asia" and Asias: Exploring Iranian Gender Performativity from the Asian Perspective
(Prof. Gi Yeon Koo)
Session 2
Clockwise from the left: Prof. Junko Toriyama, Prof. Gi Yeon Koo, Dr. Yukiko Nakamura, Doctoral student Kota Oguri, Dr. Nurul Huda Mohd. Razif
On 27th February, Session 3 of the International Symposium for the 5th Anniversary of the Asia-Japan Research Institute, titled "Human Security in Japan", took place. Prof. Kenji Adachi (College of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University) moderated this session which addressed approaches to "Human Security" in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The Keynote Speaker for this session was Yukio Takashi, an ex-Japanese ambassador to the United Nations, President of the Human Security Forum, and other notable roles. His speech was titled "SDGs and Japan: Human Security: Indicators for Leaving No One Left Behind". He pointed out that current indicators of SDGs does not live up to the contemporary Japanese society, and indicated the view that we need to make efforts to realize more inclusive social environments based on the principle of human dignity.
After the keynote speech, Dr. Polina Ivanova (awarded a doctorate in March 2021) made a presentation about a requirement of some institutions based on the human security for supporting foreign students in Japan. Next, Yusy Widarahesty (PhD candidate, Faculty of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University) presented her research based on the issues of human-rights abuses against people from Asian countries, mainly from Southeast Asia, that are caused by on-the-job training programs in Japan.
In the Q&A session, Prof. Kyoko Cross (Faculty of International Relations, Kyoto Sangyo University) participated as a discussant and picked up important issues on how we can actually empower women, children, international students, and the on-the-job trainees, and what kind of concrete issues would come up when we try to apply the view of human dignity to these problems.

Human Security in Japan
Keynote Speech
SDGs and Japan: Human Security Indicators for Leaving No One Left Behind
(Yukio Takasu, President, Human Security Forum/ Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Human Security/ Former Under-Secretary General of the United Nations)
Human Security of International Students in Japan
(Polina Ivanova, Doctoral Candidate, Graduate School of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University)
International Labor Migration in The 21th Century: Case Study of Indonesian Technical Intern Trainee Program in Japan
(Yusy Widarahesty, Doctoral Student, Graduate School of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University /Lecturer, Al Azhar Indonesia University)
Session 3
Clockwise from the top left: PhD. student Yusy Widarahesty, Prof. Kyoko Cross, Dr. Polina Ivanova, former Ambassador Yukio Takasu, Prof. Yasushi Kosugi, Prof. Kenji Adachi.