Activity Report (1997) Part 2 - II. Addressing Common Problems Requiring International Cooperation


Asia Pacific Migration Network (APMN), Centre for Multicultural Studies, University of Wollongong (Australia)
New Migrations and Growing Ethno-Cultural Diversity in the Asia-Pacific Region: Social and Political Issues

¥ 2,653,573
The overall program envisioned by this regional network based in Australia seeks to study the social and political consequences of migration in the Asia-Pacific region and to generate policy recommendations. After establishing a network of domestic and international research institutions during the first stage, APMN used an Asia Center grant to develop research capabilities in Asian countries. In Indonesia, a national workshop was organized in collaboration with the Population Studies Center of Gadjah Mada University, while in China three sub-national workshops were held in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. UNESCO has agreed to help with the publication of the results of these workshops as a working paper. Planned for the future are international comparative research projects, exchange of information on findings, policy development and improvements in the management of migration and social change.


Center for Innovation and Research in Environmental Education, Griffith University (Australia)
Learning for a Sustainable Environment: Innovation in Teacher Education through Environmental Education

¥ 3,001,852
The Center helped teachers' educators in the Asian region to incorporate materials about sustainable environment in the school curriculum and to develop innovative teaching methods. A manual developed at Griffith was discussed in a workshop held in Thailand, that 40 national coordinators or trainers from 20 countries attended. After comments and improvements to the manual that came out of the workshop, it was then used for pilot training of trainers courses in four Southeast Asian countries and another session was held for trainers from 13 island states of the South Pacific. In addition to helping in the modification of the manual and teaching modules, the Asia Center grant funds were also used to establish a clearinghouse to serve the network of teacher-trainers, and for the preparation of a similar project to be tried in South Africa.


East Asia Research Center, Hangzhou University (China)
Contemporary Meaning of Oriental Traditional Thinking about Environment

¥ 1,733,953
In 1996, an Asia Center grant enabled the Research Center to carry out a collaborative research project seeking new approaches to environmental protection that balance the needs of nature protection and economic development, through a retrospective look at traditional East Asian conceptions of the environment. In 1997, an international symposium was held in Hangzhou, China to which scholars and representatives of NGOs from eight Asian countries and territories, and Chinese government officials were invited, to focus on local approaches to sustainable economic development in East Asia. At the conference, results of research in each country that had been commissioned by the project and of preparatory country-level meetings were presented. The emphasis of the discussions was on constructing new and appropriate development strategies.


Northeast Asian Studies College, Jilin University (China)
Economic Cooperation in the Region of Northeast Asia

¥ 1,245,531
The College organized a symposium to discuss issues of peace and development in Northeast Asia with a special focus on economic exchange and cooperation among cities. Approximately 180 scholars, researchers, governmental officials and business people from China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia and Russia participated.


Research Center for Contemporary China (RCCC), Beijing University (China)
Environmental Politics in a High-Growth State: Elite Awareness and Generation Change in China

¥ 3,473,704
This research project aims to determine the level of concern about environmental quality among members of elite groups (e.g., government officials, professionals and scholars, and business leaders), and the extent to which they would be willing to bear the cost for environment protection at the current economic take-off stage in China. Six major cities were selected as research sites to conduct attitudinal surveys to measure public concern about environmental quality among different elite groups in China. In the initial stage, after obtaining official approval and support from local authorities, RCCC sponsored a number of working sessions with environment protection specialists, officials of national environmental protection agencies, and international advisors to design a questionnaire and sampling methodologies. RCCC then set up and trained the field implementation team and made the necessary logistical arrangements for the next stage of the project.


Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China)
Preservation of Environment in Metropolitan Areas in Asia

¥ 1,944,000
An Asia Center grant facilitated a Tokyo-Shanghai collaborative research project to comparatively study water and air pollution in the two cities. Taking the regeneration of Tokyo's Sumida River as a case study, the Chinese side examined the process of purification of the river with hopes of applying the Japanese experiences to the case of Suzhou River in Shanghai. A similar study was also conducted on the issue of air pollution. The research results were presented at a conference entitled: "Environment Preservation Policy in Shanghai and Exchange of Technology" held at Shanghai Jiao Tong University , in which experts and government officials from China, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Thailand participated. The research reports was also published in book form.


Centre for Development Studies (India)
Models of Organizing Industrial Research and Development

¥ 2,099,155
With increasing reliance on foreign technology imports in India due to liberalization of the industrial sector and the "New Industrial Policy" initiated in 1991, serious questions have been raised on the roles to be played by the public and private sectors in development of local technological capability and infrastructure. The Centre used an Asia Center grant to carry out collaborative research with Oxford University that studied methodologies for industrial development adopted by the Japanese and Korean governments and considered their applicability in India. The result was a plan for reform of the "New Industrial Policy" particularly with regard to the relative roles of the state and private sector in research and development.


Society for Peace Security and Development Studies (India)
Golden Growth Circle: A Sub-regional Model of Cooperation Among Bhutan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal

¥ 1,221,760
Attracted by the success of multi-nation integrated area development schemes in the East Asia region, such as the Asian Development Bank-promoted projects in the greater Mekong Basin, this organization in Allahabad undertook a feasibility study to explore possible implementation of such an approach in the South Asia Growth Quadrangle (SAGQ) Region that includes Bhutan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal. Scholars from Bangladesh, India and Nepal carried out detailed assessment of strategies for international cooperation in the key sectors of energy, natural resources, trade, transportation, tourism, and human resource development. The project results were published as South Asian Growth Quadrangle: Framework for Multifaceted Cooperation.


Asia Pacific Energy Forum (Japan)
Establishment of Security Agreement on Investment in Infrastructure in Asia

¥ 1,842,496
Given the limited public financial resources in many East and Southeast Asian countries, the private sector's investment in energy infrastructure is critical. This Forum, which took place in Hanoi and placed the case of Vietnam at its focus, invited investors, bank and energy industry representatives, scholars, opinion leaders, and environmental specialists from China (including Hong Kong), Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Thailand, and U.S.A. to discuss ideal public-private partnerships in energy infrastructure, strategies to attract investment, and environmental considerations in energy policies. The meeting resulted, too, in the formalization of a network among the participants.


Committee for Research on Pacific Asia (Japan)
Formation of a New Order in the Asia-Pacific Region: Current Status, Future and Historical Experiences

¥ 1,500,420
This is the second phase of a three-year research project to examine the structure and dynamism of the diplomatic and security relations among the ASEAN countries, China, Japan, Korea, and U.S.A. Political scientists and historians from Japan, Korea, Netherlands and U.S.A. are analyzing the past, present, and future of such relations as well as economic and cultural exchanges in the region. To look at the international order from such interdisciplinary and multilateral perspectives as cultural communication, international economy, environmental policy, and transformation of society and values, group seminars and a field survey were conducted. Results were discussed at a workshop in January 1998 with research team participants and others from Japan, Korea, the Netherlands and U.S.A.


Executive Committee of Symposium on National Trusts in Asia and Oceania (Japan)
National Trusts in Asia and Oceania: Dreams and Issues for the 21st Century

¥ 3,088,200
National trust movements have often proved to be effective in preventing degradation or destruction of the natural and built environments. To share lessons, models, and experiences, a national trust group in Shiretoko, Hokkaido organized this symposium, which marked its own 20th anniversary, to address issues of environmental destruction and the need for preservation of the natural and cultural heritage in the face of accelerating economic development and urbanization. Activists and citizens from throughout the Asia Pacific region, and from U.K. participated. The meeting resulted in a jointly signed "Shiretoko Declaration" that appealed for more interaction among like-minded people in the region on these issues.


Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University (Japan)
Structure and Movement of Japan-Southeast Asia Relations after World War II

¥ 2,363,000
This multi-year research project examined the structure and dynamic relations of Japan and Southeast Asia in the post-War period through 1990. In this first phase of the project the research covered Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The researchers produced a chronological table of Japan-Southeast Asian history for the last 50 years; built a theoretical framework to understand the relations between Japan and the above-mentioned countries from the historical point of view; gathered and consulted primary source documents; and conducted interviews in the four countries. The research was collaboratively carried out with research counterparts in each of the countries.


International Peace Research Institute, Meiji Gakuin University (Japan)
Human Security in the Asia Pacific

¥ 2,276,000
"Human security," a concept advocated by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in 1997, refers to concerns not fully covered in the frame of the United Nations' security treaty, e.g., ethnic disputes, violence against women, environment, social development, food, and energy. This grant supported the Institute's symposium in Okinawa, which was attended by scholars and representatives of NGOs from Asia and of UN agencies, to assess the state of human security in South and Southeast Asia. The group recognized in a joint declaration that the challenges posed by globalization and militarization were the most serious threats to human security in the region at this time.


Japan Association for the Study of Japan-China Relations (Japan)
Prospects for Development in Asia in View of Japan-China Relations

¥ 3,507,000
The Association created a "Forum for the Study of Japan-China Relations" to promote mutual understanding between the two countries and to mobilize the two countries as leaders of a more stable and economically dynamic Asian region. The project sent a delegation to China for a study of the current state of its economy, and undertook collaborative research on scientific technology and security in China. The Chinese side also visited Japanese government officials, economists and business leaders to discuss common issues. The project organizers intend to continue this dialogue to improve bilateral communication and to form citizen-level exchanges and cooperation.


Japan Institute of International Affairs (Japan)
2nd Japan-China-Korea Forum

¥ 5,069,000
Encouraged by the success of an earlier forum held in 1996, the Institute organized a second, in Okinawa, to further advance the regional dialogue on security issues and regional cooperation among Japan, China and Korea and especially to incorporate Okinawan perspectives. In cooperation with the China Institute of International Studies and the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security (Korea), the forum took up various issues of politics, economics, and culture that have become more acute with the recent regional financial crisis. Okinawan intellectuals discussed the unique historical role played by the islands in maintaining cultural and trade networks among East and Southeast Asian countries. Finally, the forum participants exchanged views with the local public in a panel discussion entitled "Regional Cooperation in Northeast Asia in Local Perspective."


Japan NGO Network on Indonesia (JANNI) (Japan)
Customary Forest Management in East Kalimantan, Indonesia

¥ 3,058,000
An Asia Center grant enabled a collaboration between Japanese and Indonesian NGOs to conduct a study of local forest management in two villages in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. After the field research, JANNI and its partners held a two week on-site workshop to map out the forest area managed by the local community according to customary law. Finally, a recommendation was forwarded to Indonesian government authorities advocating an increased role for local communities in forest management in view of a situation of depleted and degraded forest resources, local-national conflicts of interest, and aggressive deforestation by industries, as a result of Indonesia's growth-oriented development polices.


Policy Study Group (Japan)
Prospects for the International Situation After the Unification of the Korean Peninsula

¥ 3,180,000
The project organizers in Japan carried out collaborative research and intellectual dialogue with their counterparts in Korea and the U.S.A. to strengthen the ties for stability and peace in the Asia-Pacific region. Scholars, policy makers, business leaders, and journalists from Japan, Korea, and U.S.A. met in Tokyo and Seoul to thrash out issues of diplomatic policy, sources of antagonism, and prospects for peace and disarmament in light of a reunified Korea. This was followed by a tripartite dialogue held in Hawaii, the results of which are being prepared as an interim report and will be accessible on the Internet.


World Commission on Protected Areas of Japan (Japan)
Asian Forum on Biological and Cultural Diversity

¥ 2,251,000
Experts from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) gathered in this forum in Tokyo to discuss the cultural and historical perspectives of protection and management of biological diversity in East, Southeast and South Asian countries. In addition to the smaller meeting of experts, a public symposium with the title "The Natural Landscape in Asia" was also held, to enhance public participation in protecting the region's rich natural and cultural diversity. Besides IUCN member country delegates, participants from Indonesia, Nepal, Singapore and Vietnam also took part.


Asia-Pacific Policy Research Institute (Korea)
Security in East Asia and Prospects of Japan-U.S.A.-Korea Relations

¥ 2,976,000
A Korean research team, consisting of experts on international relation and including a former Korean Ambassador to Japan, visited government officials, think tanks, and research institutes in Japan and U.S.A. to exchange views on the current international security situation in East Asia, to better understand the U.S.A.'s perspectives and policies towards Northeast Asia, and to study the potentials and limits of collaborative security among the three countries. The results of the research trip were reported in the Institute's organ, Asia-Pacific Focus, and were discussed at a symposium on Korea's diplomatic and security treaty policy.


Center for International and Area Studies, Seoul National University (Korea)
Internalizing Internationalization: Asia's Responses to Globalization in Comparative Perspective

¥ 2,094,255
Center researchers undertook comparative studies to understand various responses to globalization by East and Southeast Asian countries. They focused on how domestic politics is restructured; how the labor-capital relationship is reformulated; how central-local government relations are altered; and how particular policy options result from globalization. The main cases studied were drawn from the experiences of Japan, Korea and the ASEAN countries, with supplementary studies in Europe, and Central and North America for comparison. Starting with a round of preparatory workshops in Korea, field studies in France, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, and U.S.A. were conducted, and the results written up for presentation at the annual meeting of the Korean Political Science Association in December 1997.


New Zealand Asia Institute, University of Auckland (New Zealand)
New Zealand-Asia Policy Consultation on Asia-Pacific Economic Integration and Cultural Identity

¥ 2,406,775
This meeting brought together in Auckland more than 70 policy-makers, researchers, and community leaders from Asia Pacific countries at policy consultation sessions regarding long- and short-term issues of economic integration, cultural identity within and between nation-states, and formulation of strategies to arrive at policy resolution. In the process a network of institutions and prominent figures in the region was reinvigorated, and an ad hoc policy group was formed to prepare the subsequent year's consultation. The policy recommendations agreed upon at these consultations will be brought to the international level, notably to the APEC Summit planned for 1999 in Auckland.


Cordillera Studies Center, University of the Philippines College Baguio (Philippines)
Enhancing Indigenous Knowledge in Biodiversity Protection

¥ 1,223,439
This was an integrated research, training, and advocacy project to support indigenous people in the Cordillera region of northern Luzon to protect environmental biodiversity and to develop sustainable use of natural resources through strengthening indigenous socio-cultural and economic structures. The training of selected community members covered para-taxonomy and resource accounting, watershed management, land suitability assessment, and policy development for biodiversity protection. The project team and trainees also undertook action research in biodiversity assessment and the documentation of natural resource management practices, as the basis for local action planning. In addition, inter-agency network building and advocacy activities related to environmental awareness were initiated to influence local and regional policy. To disseminate their activities, a monthly newsletter was circulated to Cordillera region villages and agencies.


Institute of Policy Studies (Sri Lanka)
Economic Development Strategy in Asia and Lessons for Sri Lanka

¥ 1,028,456
The broad goal of this seminar was an exchange of ideas related to economic development in the Asian region. The seminar concentrated on: Asian perspectives on the development process; problems associated with transfer to a market economy; human resource development; future paths for economic development in Southeast and South Asia; and lessons to be learnt from Japanese investment in the process of economic growth in Southeast Asia. Academics, policy makers and administrators, and business sector representatives from several countries in East, South and Southeast Asian participated in the discussion.


Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (CRES), Vietnam National University (Vietnam)
Culture and Environment in Vietnam

¥ 3,145,500
An Asia Center grant helped support a series of activities to encourage a fuller understanding in Vietnam of approaches to environment preservation and natural resource management that are culturally sensitive. Twenty-four young academics and government officials first received intensive English language training before attending a series of lectures and seminars on concepts and methods of research on culture and environment presented by leading foreign and Vietnamese specialists. Participants then prepared proposals for individual research projects under the thematic title "Human Dimensions of Upland Development"; successful applicants received fellowships to support their research. After six months in the field, fellowship recipients were brought together for a short writing workshop in Hanoi and the results of their research were later edited and published. This was the first stage of a multi-year project and represents a collaboration between CRES and the East-West Center (Hawaii, U.S.A.). The project is co-funded by the Asia Center, the Toyota Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.


Institute for Southeast Asian Studies, National Center for Social Sciences and Humanities (Vietnam)
Role Played by Culture in Development in Three Countries: Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia

¥ 1,424,852
Recognizing that Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam share many aspects of their histories as well as the basic characteristics of a wet-rice agricultural society, the Institute undertook this research project, now in its second phase, to identify positive cultural traits shared among them and to explore how they may be mobilized as a force for development. Continuing the write-up of research from the first year, the Institute also organized another international conference to discuss the role and position of national culture in the process of modernization and industrialization. Themes identified in the conference were "Behavior of the Population of Wet-rice Agricultural Areas towards Nature," "Socio-cultural Characteristics," "Moral and Spiritual Life Expressed in Religions, Beliefs, Customs and Habits," and "Negative Impacts of Traditional Cultural Elements on Present-day Development." The Institute also compiled a directory of scholars and set plans for the broadening of the research to involve other countries along the Mekong river and to publish a book summarizing the research findings.

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