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

Abstracts/submissions are now open for the 7th Biennial International e-Conference of the Japanese Studies Association in Southeast Asia. Deadline of submissions are on 30 September 2021. With the theme, "Southeast Asia and Japan: Bonds and Connections towards 2030," the conference proper will be held from 15–17 December 2021.


This conference was scheduled in 2020 to showcase the newest partner of JSA-ASEAN, National University of Laos.  However, with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and national borders closed for travel, JSA-ASEAN opted to postpone the conference in the hopes that the situation would improve in 2021.  However, with onset of new variants, the Steering Committee has decided to hold an online conference to not disrupt the tradition and uphold the spirit of sharing scholarship within the region.
The three-day e-conference invites and gathers researchers, educators, practitioners and students who are conducting Japan-related research within the Southeast Asian region as well as elsewhere.  The first day will be a keynote and plenary address to talk about the issues affecting the region in these pandemic times.  The succeeding two days will be concurrent which includes a workshop for graduate students on how to conduct research in the midst of a pandemic.  This e-gathering becomes an opportunity for new members of the Association to highlight new critical perspectives to and approaches in Japanese studies in these ever changing times.
Inspired from “The Mekong-Japan Initiative for SDGs towards 2030” released by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Mekong region lies in the center of the dynamic Asia – Pacific region, which is witnessing robust economic growth.  With the cooperation of Japan, the countries have optimized their development strategy, steadily achieving economic growth and improving people’s lives in a sustainable matter.


The theme revolves around the various “bonds” and “connections” between Southeast Asia and Japan. The conference organizers invite individual papers, panels, posters and short films/videos relating to the conference theme. The sub-themes may include:
      • A. Peace and security

      • B. Social classes and subcultures

      • C. Gender

      • D. International relations

      • E. Political economy

      • F. Migration

      • G. Disaster

      • H. Community activism and networking
      • I. Language and literature
      • New and aspiring proposals in other areas are also welcome


The conference is co-organized by the Japanese Studies Program, Ateneo de Manila University; International Studies Department, De La Salle University; and Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman in cooperation with Institute of Lao-Japan Human Resource Development, National University of Laos with the support of Japan Foundation and Toshiba International Foundation.
For details and submissions procedures, please visit the JSA-ASEAN website.

The UP Asian Center offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The 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. The Center 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. 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. For other news and upcoming events at the Asian Center, click here