top > ALFP Network > ALFP Reunion Conference 2005 (Fukuoka, Japan; Busan, Korea)

Asia as a Community: Concept or Reality?
June 26-30, 2005
Hotel Okura, Fukuoka / Marriott Hotel, Busan


How should the concept of Asia be defined? What is the impact of the emerging global system on citizens’ lives and their environment? How have Asian economies responded to the forces of globalization? How can the identity politics-in conjunction with human rights, such as the right to self determination-that persists to be a breeding ground for conflicts be surmounted in the quest for social justice? Can cultural resistance through artistic representation become a driving force to make a difference for societal change? How should Asian countries handle the rise of the United States as a unipolar power? What is the role of the media in dealing with this global agenda? Further, what is to be gained by looking at ‘Asia’ as a community-in economic, political and social terms? Is there a way in which this larger identity allows us, as Asians, to encompass our diversity and difference, but also acknowledge our specific, unique identities? How and what can Asians, in other words, learn from each other? These are some of the questions raised and addressed by the Asian intellectuals who have participated in the Asia Leadership Fellow Program, a joint initiative of the International House of Japan and the Japan Foundation.
These interdisciplinary issues underpinning their discussions reflect the raison d’ etre of the program, but in particular the theme of “the role of public intellectuals in civil society of Asia” has constantly been raised, and is a thread that runs through them. The program’s expressed goal is to create an intra-regional network among Asian intellectual leaders committed to engaging the public sphere beyond disciplinary and occupational boundaries in order to confront and overcome the challenges the global community faces today. These dialogues across borders are increasingly seen as vital in the search for durable solutions to problems across the entire region.
Over a nine-year period, the Asia Leadership Fellowship Program has made a unique contribution to several important discussions in the Asian region by bringing together some of the best minds in Asia to think and debate these many issues. The program now plans to take the remapping of Asia as a community a step further by posing fundamental questions on the validity of constructions of Asia, not only within Eurocentric and Orientalist, but also within Asia and Asian, discourses. We believe the moment is right for examining the identity of Asia as a hybrid entity with diverse and pluralistic values and a growing solidarity. The ALFP Reunion Conference intends to address these challenges


Tea Ceremony at a Zen temple, Fukuoka

Welcoming Reception

Group Session

Group Session

Group Session

Group Session

Semi-open Group Session

Semi-open Plenary Session

Plenary Session

Plenary Session


Final Session in Busan

Democracy Park in Busan

Mulmangol Community

Farewell Dinner

Media Coverage
ALFP Reunion Conference 2005 drew media attention and reports on it were carried in four newspapers (two Japanese and two Korean).

The Nishinippon Newspaper (2005.6.27) (In Japanese) (PDF)
The Yomiuri Newspaper (2005.6.28)(In Japanese) (PDF)
Busan Daily News (2005.7.1) Korean English (PDF)
Hangyoreh Newspaper(2005.7.7) Japanese Korean (PDF)