Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University



RCAPS Online Current Research Seminar: “The Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic and the Responses of the International Society”


May 29, 2020

On Friday, May 15, 2020, RCAPS held an online Current Research Seminar entitled “The Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic and the Responses of the International Society.”

The Ritsumeikan Center for Asia Pacific Studies (RCAPS) hosts regular Current Research Seminars to showcase the research findings of APU faculty. Although these seminars are typically held on the APU campus, the session was live streamed online for the first time ever to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Approximately 250 people from APU and other institutions joined the seminar.

The speakers for this seminar were Professor Yoichiro Sato, Professor Nader Ghotbi, and Assistant Professor Miharu Hirano, all from the College of Asia Pacific Studies.

In the first half of the 90-minute seminar, each speaker analyzed the COVID-19 pandemic from their respective fields of politics and international relations, public health, and international law. They touched on interdisciplinary issues as they explained a wide range of topics, including the state of medical diplomacy and competition for vaccine development in and among various countries and regions, the preventive effects of masks, and travel restrictions stipulated in international health regulations.

The speakers opened the floor to questions in the second half of the seminar, and each responded to the questions that pertained to their respective areas of expertise. The final question raised was “Although the world should come together to overcome the novel coronavirus, do you think international cooperation is possible without creating conflict between countries?” In response, Professor SATO provided examples of mutual assistance between Japan and China amid the growing number of infections, including the donation of masks to APU, Beppu City, and Oita Prefecture by APU alumni living in China. He stated, “Even if countries have different interests, I believe that continuing to pursue low-key exchange at the individual level can create a window for cooperation between countries.”

You can view a video recording of this seminar here.

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