Dec 6, 2017
The Ritsumeikan Center for Asia Pacific Studies (RCAPS) held the 15th Asia Pacific Conference (2017 AP Conference) on Saturday, November 11 and Sunday, November 12, 2017. This year the conference attracted approximately 330 presenters from around the world.
The AP Conference has been held annually since 2003, three years after the establishment of APU, and has grown into one of Japan’s largest social science conferences conducted primarily in English.
At the opening session, Professor Akira Mizutani of the College of Asia Pacific Studies and former Ambassador to the Republic of Mozambique delivered a key note speech entitled “Globalization and Localization in the View of History and Human Emotions” based on his own experiences as a diplomat in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Professor Mizutani cited Beppu as an example of a smaller city that brings in international tourists, highlighting its utilization of the human resources in the hospitality industry and its hot springs as a tourism resource. He stressed the importance of thinking “glocal (global and local)” and stated that it is his mission to diminish both disputes and protectionism.
Under the main theme of “Global Perspectives in Changing Local Landscapes,” 60 panel sessions (47 for researchers, five for master’s students, and eight for undergraduate students) were conducted covering a range of topics related to the Asia-Pacific region. The conference drew a large audience as well, and altogether about 900 people attended the panel sessions across the two day conference.
On the day before the conference, Associate Professor Thomas E. Jones held a special workshop entitled “Mountainous Protected Areas of East Asia: Governance, Conservation & Tourism” as a pre-event. The participants actively discussed the current state of nature preserves in East Asia.
The conference provided a global platform to acquire new knowledge about issues across the Asia Pacific region for all who participated.