“Human Mobility and Cultural Identity Lessons for Japan and Germany”

“Human Mobility and Cultural Identity Lessons for Japan and Germany”

Cover of  "Human Mobility and Cultural Identity Lessons for Japan and Germany"
Leaflet “Human Mobility
and Cultural Identity
Lessons for Japan and Germany”

The phenomenon of “Human Mobility” in the time of globalization is important not only in terms of the fact that human mobility signifies the mobility of labor force, but also of the fact that cultural factors such as language, customs, or life-styles also move together with the people who are involved. Human mobility thus has impact both on those people who cross boarders and on countries and communities who accept them. In the context of Japanese society, whether or not to accept more migrants from Asian countries or from those countries who formerly received a large population of Japanese migrants has been a topic of heated policy debate and now needs to be re-contextualized in the time of worldwide financial crises and depression. Europe, by contrast, has accepted migration as labor force from Middle and Eastern Europe for several decades and how states should support their integration to the society has been an issue of today’s political and social concern. Human mobility is a topic that has drastic and dynamic changes and thus it is very challenging to either predict or make plans with long term perspectives.

This symposium addresses the concept of “Human Mobility” and discusses about the challenges for Japan (Asia) and Germany (Europe) with participants invited from Asia and Europe. We will have a special focus on the three levels: 1) local (municipality), 2) national/federal, and 3) regional (EU, ASEAN, etc.). Discussions will touch upon these three levels; Local (municipality) level deals with their confrontation with foreign residents in their community, national or federal level serves as the main actor in deciding policies or citizenship issues, and regional level (EU, ASEAN, etc.) accelarates integration. Furthermore, we aim at analyzing the impact of human mobility on identity of individuals and countries. Finally we hope to have a future image for our Japan and Germany, or more broadly Asia and Europe.

We welcome anyone who is interested in this topic to come as audience.
(Seats are limited to 150. Prior registration required. Please refer the bottom of this page for the information about registration.)

Date Thursday, March 12, 2009
Venue Pia NPO
(2-8-24, Chikko, Minato-ku, Osaka 552-0021)  Access
Organizers The Japan Foundation
Konrad Adenauer Foundation Logo of Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Kansai NPO Alliane Logo of Kansai NPO Alliane
Language English-Japanese simultaneous translation
Fee Free
Register Please register by Monday March 2, by sending your name, affiliation, and contact info (e-mail or phone/fax number) via e-mail ( E-mail ) or FAX (03-5369-6041).
Contact International Symposium on “Human Mobility and Cultural Identity”
Europe, Middle East and Africa Div.
Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange Dept.
Ai Goto (Ms.) TEL: 03-5369-6071, FAX: 03-5369-6041
4-4-1, Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0004 E-mail

Opening & Keynote Address

14:00 Opening
14:10 Keynote Address: Prof. Yasushi Iguchi, Kwansei Gakuin University "Realities surrounding Human Mobility in Japan and Germany"

Session 1: Report of the experts' meeting on March 11th "Issues and Realities Surrounding Human Mobility and Identity at Local, National/Federal, and Regional Levels"

14:30-15:45 Moderator: Akio Nakayama, Special IOM Liaison Mission in Tokyo
  • Local level policies
    Prof. Yasuyuki Kitawaki, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
  • National/federal level policies
    Bülent Arslan Chair, German-Turkish Forum
  • Regional level policies
    Dr. Pontus Odmalm, Lecturer in Politics, Politics and International Relations, University of Edinburgh
15:45-16:00 Break

Session 2: Panel Discussion "Human Mobility and Regional Integration in East Asia and Europe: Today and Future of Identity of Individuals, Nations, and Regions"

Prof. Yasushi Iguchi
Prof. Nana Oishi, International Christian University
Hiroshi Inoue, Director, Industrial Affairs BureauⅠ, Nippon Keidanren
Thomas Kufen, State Commissioner for Migration of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia
Yasuhiko Ota, Senior Writer / Editorial Writer, Nikkei Inc.
Dr. Evi Arifin, Visiting research fellow, the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS)
<Q&A Discussion with audience>
17:40-17:50 Wrap-up and policy suggestions by the chair
Prof. Yasushi Iguchi


17:50 Closing remarks


Introduction of Participants

Keynote Address & Moderator

Prof. Yasushi Iguchi, Kwansei Gakuin University

Dr. IGUCHI received his Bachelor of Economics from Hitotsubashi University, Japan, in 1976. Between 1980 and 1982, he went through post graduate study at University of Erlangen-Nuernberg and Federal Institute for Employment and Vocation, Germany. In 1999, he was awarded his Doctor of Economics from Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan. He is currently a professor at School of Economics, and since 2005, Director of the Research Center of Economies with Declining Fertilite, Kwansei Gakuin University, specializing in labor economics, international economics and migration study. He has also taught at Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Lille 1, France, and has been a guest researcher at Max-Planck-Institute for I.A.S.R. in Munich, Germany. From 2002 on, he has served as an advisor for the Congress of Municipalities with high density of Foreign Inhabitants, Japan, and since 2006, he was appointed Special Member of the Council on Regulatory Reform (Task force on migration), Government of Japan. Besides his native tongue, Japanese, he is fluent in English, German and French.


Akio Nakayama, Head of Special IOM Liaison Mission in Tokyo

He received M.A. in international relations from the Australian National University in 1995. He joined the IOM Office in Manila in 1996 as an associate expert. After working in Kosovo and Pakistan, he also served as a donor relations officer at the IOM HQs from 2001 to 2004 prior to taking up his current position in Tokyo. His current role is to strengthen cooperation with Japan in support of migrants world-wide, as well as to assist Japan in meeting migration challenges.


Bülent Arslan, Chair of German-Turkish Forum

He was born in Nevsehir, Turkey, on February 17, 1975 and moved to Germany with his parents in 1976. At the age of 22 he acquired German citizenship. He studied political economy and political science at the University of Duisburg from 1994 to 2000 and was fellow of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung from 1995 onwards. After graduation, he founded the “imap” - institute for intercultural management and politic consulting. Currently he holds the post of director. In 1991 he joined the CDU and its youthwing; and occupied the post of Commissioner of Foreigners from 1996-2004 within the CDU district chapter of Viersen. Since 1997 he is chairman of the German-Turkish Forum within CDU in North Rhine-Westphalia, which advocates German integration policies. Furthermore he was national chairman of the German-Turkish league of amity from 2002-2004. In 2002 and 2005 he stood for German Parliament for CDU in North Rhine-Westphalia, but was not elected.  He is member of the Islam-conference which was initiated by Chancellor Merkel.

Hiroshi Inoue, Director, Industrial Affairs Bureau, Nippon Keidanren

After receiving his Bachelor of Commerce in 1980 from Waseda University, he started to work in Federation of Economic Organizations (Nippon Keidanren). He was in charge of a project-team working for the vision of the future of the nation, with policy recommendations to achieve the goal of making Japan a vibrant, dynamic place attractive to people throughout the world (Japan 2025), 2002-2003. He took the position of Manager of Chairman's office, and Deputy Director of General Administration Bureau, 2004-2006. He has been in his current position since 2002.

Prof. Yasuyuki Kitawaki, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies

He received a bachelor's degree from Department of Law, Tokyo University in 1974 and M.A. in political science from Graduate School, Cornell University in 1981. He served at Ministry of Home Affairs as a public officer from 1974 to 1995. He was elected to be a member of the House of Representatives 1996-1999 and became Mayor of Hamamatsu City from 1999 to 2007. He proposed the foundation of "Gaikokujinshuju-toshi-kaigi" (a conference of the cities with big migrant population) in 2001. 2007 to present, he is a professor at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. He is also Director, Center for Multilingual Multicultural Education and Research, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies from 2008 to present. His expertise lies in migration policy.

Thomas Kufen, State Commissioner for Migration of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia

Thomas Kufen was born in Essen, Germany in 1973. After graduation from High School, he trained as an office administrator and worked in his parental enterprise until 2000. From 1993 through 1997 he was chairman of the youthwing of the CDU in his hometown and from 1996 through 2002 in the Ruhr district. In 2000 he joined the state parliament in North Rhine-Westphalia where he held a seat until 2005. Since 2005 he is acting chairman of the CDU in the Ruhr district. The most important issue throughout his political career has been the integration of immigrants into German society. As such, he is co-founder and acting chairman of the German-Turkish Forum as well as State Commissioner for Migration of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Dr. Pontus Odmalm, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, University of Edinburgh

Pontus Odmalm is a Lecturer in Politics. His research focuses on the social and political impact of migration using a comparative European perspective. Particular research interests include citizenship (national and European), political mobilization and how institutions affect migrant political participation. From 2009-2011, he will work on his ESRC-funded project 'Old Politics, New issues and Institutional Constraints: How to Explain Parties' Positions on EU Membership and Immigration'.

Prof. Nana Oishi, International Christian University

Dr. Nana Oishi was born in 1967. After receiving her B.A. from International Christian University, she completed her M.A. in sociology at University of Toronto under the Government of Canada Award. She joined the International Labour Organization (Geneva HQ) in 1993 to work on immigration issues. In 1996, she took research leave from the ILO and began her doctoral studies at Harvard University as a Fulbright Scholar. After receiving her Ph.D., she returned to the ILO and was seconded to the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization as a policy analyst in 2002-2003. In September 2003, she joined International Christian University as an assistant professor (associate professor since 2007). Her research field is international labor migration.

Yasu Ota, Senior Writer / Editorial Writer, Nikkei Inc. (Nihon Keizai Shimbun)

Graduated from Faculty of Science at Hokkaido University with a major in Physical Chemistry. Finished graduate school course of Night Science Journalism Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He became staff writer of Nikkei in 1985 as science writer. After having covered industrial and international news based in Tokyo, he was assigned to Washington DC correspondent in 1994, where he reported US economic policies of the Clinton administration, mostly on US-Japan trade dispute and WTO negotiation. After coming back to Tokyo in 1998, he has covered international trade issues, monetary markets, and Japanese monetary policy of Bank of Japan in Tokyo. He became bureau chief of Frankfurt, Germany in 2000. Since 2004 he is editorial writer and senior writer at international news department.

Evi Nurvidya Arifin, Visiting research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS)

Previously, she was a post-doctoral fellow at the Asian Meta Centre for Population and Sustainable Development Analysis, c/o Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. She is a social statistician, majoring in demography, with an inter-disciplinary approach. She has been applying her statistical expertise beyond demography since she earned her Ph.D in Social Statistics from University of Southampton, United Kingdom, in 2001. She has published books encompassing issues on population, migration, ageing, and politics. Indonesia’s Population: Ethnicity and Religion in a Changing Political Landscape (Leo Suryadinata, Evi Nurvidya Arifin and Aris Ananta, 2003), Indonesian Electoral Behaviour: A Statistical Perspective (Aris Ananta, Evi Nurvidya Arifin, and Leo Suryadinata, 2004); International Migration in Southeast Asia (Aris Ananta and Evi Nurvidya Arifin editors, 2004); Emerging Democracy in Indonesia (Aris Ananta, Evi Nurvidya Arifin, and Leo Suryadinata, 2005). She was a member of guest editors for the special issue of the Journal of Population Research, Vol. 20(1), 2003 on “Fertility Decline in Asia: Trends, Implications and Futures; and Asia Pacific Population Journal, Vol. 21(3), December 2006 on “Growing Old in Asia: declining labour supply, living arrangements and active ageing”. Her newest edited book is Older Persons in Southeast Asia: An Emerging Asset, forthcoming (2009) (Evi Nurvidya Arifin and Aris Ananta, eds).

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