Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far
and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
"The Old Poets of China" by Mary Oliver

The UP Asian Center in partnership with Japan Foundation Manila will be hosting a webinar via Zoom, "REFUGE OR REFUSE?: Afghanistan and Japan’s Racialized State Control” on 10 October 2022, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Philippine Standard Time. The webinar is free and open to the public. Registration and signing in to a (free) Zoom account is required.


On 15th August 2021, the Taliban seized control over Afghanistan which led to the harrowing exodus of thousands in fear of what will come next. The fear was real for those who have worked for international organizations, foreign governments, ethnic and religious minority groups, and highly educated women who became the primary target of the Taliban.
Since the fall of Kabul last year, Japan recognized 133 Afghans and their families as refugees. The media considered Japan’s response a ‘rare move,’ given that the country has been reluctant to take in refugees, marked by a very low acceptance rate and rigid screening process.
This presentation is concerned with the issues related to the evacuation of Afghans and Japan’s refugee policies during the pandemic. It begins with discussing the evacuation of Afghans following Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. Secondly, it describes the racialized and gendered nature of Japan’s refugee migration regime. Immigration policy based on the nuclear family with the male-breadwinner model, excluded the members of the expanded family particularly the most vulnerable and in need of care, such as old-age parents. Thirdly, it relates the kind/s of support received by the Afghan evacuees with other refugees (e.g. Ukrainians) to emphasize how Japan’s refugee migration regime constitutes interlocking systems of exclusion based on race, gender, class, religion and international politics. The paper contends that the ways in which the Japanese state responded to the evacuation of Afghans, effectively visualized the fortification of border control based on this pattern of exclusion that is deeply embedded within the racialized state institutions.


The four winners of the Fourth Japan Studies in the Philippines Research Competition will present their reflections about the study and research of Japan in the Philippines during the pandemic and their experiences as winners of the competition. In partnership with the Japan Foundation Manila, the activity was held in March 2022 via Zoom.
• Chalieh Alob (Undergraduate )
• Daniel Dominic Ambat (Graduate)
• Almira Chantrelle Reyes (Graduate)
• Shannen Liz Carreon (Graduate)


Prof. Reiko Ogawa is a professor at the Graduate School of Social Sciences, Chiba University. She serves as a board member for the Japan Association for Migration Policy Studies, chairperson of Gender Equality Committee of Chiba City, Refugee Counselor of Ministry of Justice, and representative of Chiba Studies on Migration and Refugees. Some of her publications are: “When Local Meets Global: The Changing Face of Old-Age Care in Japan” in The Global Old Age Care Industry edited by Horn, V. et al., (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), “Making of Migrant Care Workers in East Asia” in Routledge Handbook on Gender in East Asia edited by Jeon, Y. et al., (Routledge, 2020), “Use and Abuse of Trafficking Discourse in Japan”, Journal of Population and Social Studies, 2020, 28:106–125 and a co-edited book entitled Gender, Care and Migration in East Asia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). Her research interests are migration, gender, and civil society.


• Chalieh Alob is a BS Psychology student from the University of San Carlos, Cebu City.
Daniel Dominic Ambat is a Masters in Asian Studies graduate of the Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman.
Altamira Chantrelle Reyes is an MA in Asian Studies student of the Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman.
Shannen Liz Carreon is an MA Sociology student of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of the Philippines Diliman.


The event is organized by the UP Asian Center and Japan Foundation, Manila.


For inquiries, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
The Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The UP Asian Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. It also offers a Ph.D. program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. For an overview of these graduate programs, click here. As an area studies institution, the Asian Center also publishes Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, the latest issue of which can be downloaded at the journal's website.