三、以上の二つの例は、「現代アジア学」にとっては力強い味方です。政治学者として私は、一昨年のCOE-CASシンポジウムで、現代アジアの諸国に共通する政治体制として「政府党体制」、「開発体制」の二つをあげました。しばしば、アジアの固有の特徴はその多様性にある、と指摘されます。しかし、欧米出自のものとは異質なるものが近現代アジアの政治、経済、社会、文化、国家・諸民族関係を通底していることはどうしても否定できません。ここに集うアジアの研究者の一つの仕事は、こうしたasianness ないし networks with Asian characteristics を解明していくことではないでしょうか? 本日の「アジア共生に向けた知の創造」と題したワークショップでの討論に大いに期待したいと思います。
Altantsetseg Noosgoi, School of Foreign Service, National University of Mongolia
Lee Mei-Hsien, Graduate Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, National Chi Nan University
Ki-Soo Eun, Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University
Andrew Kim, Division of International Studies, Korea University
Purnawan Junadi, University of Indonesia
Katayama Yutaka, Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University
Sonoda Shigeto, Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University
) Opening Remarks, Mori Kazuko, Project Leader, Waseda University COE-CAS
Good morning. I am Mori Kazuko, Project leader of the Waseda University COE-CAS. I am sorry to have brought you here in the middle of your summer vacation. Today we will hold two symposia, the first discussing Asian collaboration and the methodologies of networking between Asian countries, and the second centering on the creation of wisdom in the Asian region to aid Asian co-existence.
A discussion of Asian values and public wisdom is very challenging. By way of explanation I offer this anecdote involving my colleague Professor Hara. In the course of his discussions with orthodox economists studying the Asian region, they produced the viewpoint that in instances when economic theory predicts a result which differs from reality, it is the reality that should be corrected to account for this. Professor Hara’s response was that perhaps if theory and reality differ then the theory should in turn be corrected.
Another colleague, Professor Yasuda of Nagoya University, proposed a course of study in Asian Law, which would constitute a new discipline in jurisprudence. Asian Law can be analyzed in terms of three tiers:
The thing to keep in mind is that Western conceptions of law cannot be applied to Asian law systems because they differ in many respects. For instance, owing to many historical factors, two or more of these law tiers exist simultaneously inside of one country.
The dilemma of Asian law is but one example of a reason why it is necessary to identify “What is Asian?” How do we design a community in East Asia? For that is the first step towards creating an East Asian Network. What kind of network should it be? What probability does it have for community building? It is important to keep the EU in mind while developing it. Will it be a national community, or a peoples’ community- who will be the actor? What are the social goods that the community should hope to achieve? Who will provide them? I believe that the region should, but this is one issue coming under discussion today.
Thanks very much to all the panelists, many of whom have come from overseas to join us today. With that, let us give the panelists the floor.
) Panel Discussion: Asian Collaboration- Awareness and Network
Sonoda (Moderator): Hello and welcome. The format of this discussion is to first have all the panelists speak and then offer the floor to impressions and thoughts from students.
The first question we should address is the possibility of furthering networking between Asian countries. Who are the targets of networking, and to what purposes? This may be na?ve, but at this point I’d like to bring up Professor Inouchi from Tokyo University’s famous “Asian Barometer” study, wherein he asked many people throughout the region whether they considered themselves Asian. Japanese, Chinese, and Indian respondents overwhelmingly said that they did not. However Cambodians, Thais, and others from smaller or developing countries responded in the affirmative to a large degree, approaching 90%. We can deduce that people have many different perceptions about being Asian, informed by nationalism and history. Even if there is rapid economic exchange between these countries, people are often not on the same page in terms of viewpoint. Japanese people may enjoy Korean TV shows, or vice versa, but does this add up towards an Asian identity? We must ask- what is Asia? What are the views and opinions of the people?
Please take 8 minutes to answer this question.
Thanks very much to all involved with the discussion. The subjects to be deliberated here are very complex and entangled, but it is good that we are here sharing our opinions.
“Asia” itself is a very broad concept with origins in Colonialism. For that reason, it is impossible to conceive of “Asian issues” or “Asian values” while looking solely at Asia. The Cold War between the US and to USSR was also heavily involved in the history of defining Asia.
An Asian community, if it was to exist, would serve as a means to solve many problems facing the region, but so far any cooperative agreements formed between Asian nations have been far from perfect. Mongolia, for example, essentially does not participate in any meaningful Asian forum except perhaps the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
If economic cooperation does not develop in a more multilateral way, then the region could become even more centered around China, which is making every effort to become a major regional and international power. Countries around China must make sure they do not become completely economically dependent on the Chinese, which would hinder true community. Additionally, Asian countries must be sure to develop Soft Power networks combining cultural, educational, and political networks if community is to be established.
Considered with a pan-Asian viewpoint, PM Koizumi’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine can be conceived differently than it usually is. For example, the visit gave Mongolia an impetus to develop strategic and educational relationships with Japan.
I am very interested in the challenging topic of creating a single “Asia.” Inequalities in economic development characterize the region. Japan and Singapore are considered fully “developed,” fully First World countries, and other nations become providers of migrant workers or brides.
The difficulties in integrating such a region are indeed the legacy of the Cold War and Neo-Colonialism. How are we to overcome them? To start we must first ask- who is Asian and what countries are to be included in “The Asian Region?”
According to Americans, Asian peoples want to be identified in terms of their nationality, but the truth is more nuanced than that. We live in an era of layered identity- witness the Hakka Chinese peoples of Indonesia, who commonly wish to be identified primarily as Hakka, then as Chinese, then Indonesian, and finally Asian. Personally, I believe that even the 90% figure named in Professor Inouchi’s Asian Barometer study would probably prefer national nomenclature. This all serves to create and refine an idea of “us” and “them,” which has roots in the Colonial idea of “superior” versus “inferior.” These concepts become very important to people when confronting those whom they don’t understand. This doesn’t have to lead to conflicts of actual power; for example, the immigration situation in Taiwan is characterized by the Taiwanese rejecting South Asian migrant workers because they don’t properly understand those workers’ situation. Thus power is delineated in terms of “superior” and “inferior” zones, and people are not properly respected.
For this reason I am not particularly optimistic about Asian regionalism, because it is difficult to get past nationalism and come together under shared values. For example, values differ between generations, and even groups as similar in other respects as students and teachers experience difficulty understanding the actions of the other. Such an action is even more difficult for people living in different countries and having different experiences.
Yes, we should acknowledge a bit of pessimism as valid. Mr. Eun, you are next.
Perhaps first we should approach this in terms of anecdote. I have interviewed many Korean students and found that overwhelmingly, when asked what countries they feel should be included in an Asian network, they mention only North Asian countries and consistently neglect to mention Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia etc. The also focused on the difficulties inherent in getting China, Japan and Korea to cooperate.
Thus one deduction we can make is that “ordinary” Koreans conceptualize Asia in terms of Taiwan, China, Japan, and Korea. Their thinking is likewise heavily informed by media reports regarding visits to the Yasukuni shrine, the Dokdo Islands situation, and other highly divisive occurrences. Given that peoples’ opinions are so overwhelmingly influenced by this kind of reporting, it does not seem very likely that they will easily coalesce into a unified “Asian view.”
In my experience ordinary Koreans think of China and Japan as states to be competed with or fought against. This kind of thinking is rooted in present circumstances as well as history. Thus, if we were to judge only by the experiences of “ordinary” Koreans, we could deduce that the likelihood of Asian community and networking occurring in the near future is slim.
This topic is something that is really worthy of discussion, especially because Asian people have lived for too long in a Westernized culture without giving the Asian community a lot of thought. First, we must clarify what a “community” is- many definitions are on the web, and using wikipedia gives a good definition. I have a problem with terms such as “Asia” and “East Asia” being interchanged, not because I think that South Asia is fundamentally different from Asia, but because it is a Western concept that includes the Middle East, India, 2/3 of the population of the world, and all are grouped together under one term, even though it represents people of different ethnicities and religions. It is not a term that makes a lot of sense. In the same way that there are distinctions in Europe, such as Eastern European, Western European, and Scandinavian, there should be similar differences in Asia.
It is also important to keep “Orientalism” in mind when evaluating Asia. Edward Said argues that Orientalism is a western view which describes Asia as eccentric, exotic, and inferior; and unfortunately Asian nations are internalizing those theories. Although there is economic development and trade between countries, does that really mean that there is respect for the neighboring countries and their people and history? I think that Korean history is very interesting, but so many things about it are written off as not being a big deal. We have to overcome Orientalism, towards all countries of East Asia, and that would be a good start. Like racism, Orientalism ascribes stereotypes and discriminate against other people. There must be a sense of dependency and role playing, and this “Orientalism within us” has severely limited community building. I am sure that I brought up something that is familiar to all of us, but I believe it is important to keep it in mind.
When you ask people in China, Korea, or Japan, “What country is your favorite?” the top ten answers are always Western nations. However, if you ask the same question in Europe, the answers are always the neighboring countries. I hope one day it will be that way in East Asia.
I used to be very skeptical about community building, but because the world is built on interdependence, I believe there is no reason to try t live in an isolationist world with one language and one people. I have been very influenced by ___________’s Fifth Discipline book, which theorizes that structures influence human behavior. If you put people in the same system, then people will tend to work and behave in the same the same way. For example, my people in Indonesia are not well-behaved, but when they go abroad to places like Singapore they will be well-behaved. Nature will compel people to efficiency. People should remember that if they don’t drive efficient cars and litters, they are littering the world.
Indonesia is wider than China, but has 13 islands, and so many different ethnic backgrounds from China, Aborginal, etc. All of the problems of the world are reflected in Indonesia, from ethnic and religious conflicts, Tsunami, work problems, prostitution, to street children, if you name the problem, we have it. In 1998 Indonesia underwent structural changes; the country moved from military regime to “democracy” and a decentralized system ? Suharto ( it used to be one king, but now there are 440 kings) it used to be one corrupt system, but now there are many. Indonesia is a good example of using the internet to topple down military regimes: you can use handsets, headphones, and internet to organize the demonstrations and topple the military.
The internet can also be a way to tie the Asian community, you can use the internet to invite and communicate, it is very cheap, Indonesia is working to give cheap internet to the rural areas that they can sell goods to other regions and communicate with other nations. Because Asia encompasses 60% of world the populations, then Asian should be the leaders of movements.
Katayama- I would like to make a few comments about the common Asian identity. I think it is important to consider what we have done so far to create common Asian identity. The East Asia region is very unique because of democratic sustained equal economic growth. Until now, East Asia has achieved sustainable economic growth and development and integration without widening gap between the populations. The democratic elements are also very important. What factors have made this possible?
They key lies in mutual learning and understanding, Eastern Asian countries have learned from each other about the failures of other countries. Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand has all learned from Japan and achieved high development and growth, and other nations are also following. China and India are also following the East Asian countries- so I am not so pessimistic about the shared wisdom.
However, these characteristics raise challenging questions, such as if the democracy is real or simply a fa?ade. Critical Western observers wonder about the democracy in Asia, because even though regimes have been toppled by elections, but the methods of the elections remain unclear. We must focus on relationships between the corporation and government, rent-seeking, and responding well to globalization. Some countries responded well to globalizations, especially urban regions in countries, but this means there is widening and creating obvious gaps in income. Until now, Asian countries have sustained economic growth while maintaining equality, but the new type of globalization exacerbates the income gap.
How do we solve this problem? The solution comes from enhancing shared values and emphasizing a high level mutual understanding. For example, communities must revitalize their civil society especially when the state and market has failed. For now, I am optimistic about the Asian region.
I agree with Mr. Lee’s discussion regarding colonialism. For example, the collaboration between US and Britain, researchers use Western theories and use the “civil society” models and simply use data and a type of methodology without talking to people. Some researchers are trapped into this methodology, and some intellectuals are very pessimistic about the idea of an Asian community, and even laughed at our idea for this summer seminar at Waseda. Therefore, I would like to introduce what we have done during our summer seminar.
In the first day of the seminar, I asked students about what kind of image people have about an Asian community. Half the students answered that their perspective was that it was positive, while the other half thought it was negative. We discussed the research survey data Promoting Asian Wide which was started in 2003. This research covers countries from Mongolia to the rest of Asia. Our students discussed the hardships standing in the way of the creation of an Asian community and what types of solutions there are.
The second day was focused on Economic Interdependence, and the third day was on the topic of diplomatic relations. The students were taken on a visit to Yasukuni Shrine, even though there were faculty members who thought it was a bad idea to take leading international students to Yasukuni. However, I think it is very important for people to see what kind of narrow interpretation there is. I wanted to ask the students about what they learned, and how they evaluated their own ideas and how they evaluate other students.
There were three students who presented their ideas in themes:
ASEAN and Political Forces
(Thai Student at Waseda) To answer the questions of whether I am optimistic about the integration of an East Asian community, I would have to answer yes and no. I want to be positive, since there are so many different meanings of community. However, if you search the internet for East Asian community, one will not get a lot of hits, because it is very new, and there are so many obstacles and challenges to overcome. Through those lenses, over the conservation in the past few days, I believe that ASEAN is the vehicle for integration. Since the world continues to become more competitive, we have to integrate in this region to make sure that Asia will be competitive against Western countries. Japan and Korea are seen as allies in this competition.
Thailand is a very small country, so it is very hard to “play” and “work” together with other superpowers in the region. Through ASEAN meetings and the inclusion of other countries (+3) Korea, China, Japan, as well as Australia and India and others, a total gathering of 16 countries, we have defined the importance of the roles that each country plays. Smaller Asian nations were successful in brining large powers to come and participate in regional discussions. ASEAN has a unique diplomatic method, which is an ASEAN “way,” which consists of networking among the members. Since its founding ASEAN countries have had no military disputer, even though regional disputes and ethnic and other tensions exist. Although critics say that a “talking map” is not a good road map, it is better than having conflicts. The international community believes that ASEAN can be an effective solution after ASEAN solved the Cambodia problem. China, Korea, and Japan seem unlikely to resolve its problems, but through ASEAN, they have been having more diplomatic relations. Although China and Japan has hot economics, they are known to have cold politics. ASEAN would have to remain a neutral third party with no stances towards other countries in order to solve conflicts.
Comparisons to the European Unison is irrelevant to the Asian region, because Asia could never come together in a way that overcomes nationalism, and Asian countries do not want that. There are many problems to integration, but countries can still be linked together because of a globalizing world. Changumu, the Korean drama, is a good example, because Thai people are very interested in Korean food and culture, and this is because maybe people and see their common values. My conclusion is that ASEAN is driving toward integration and China, Korea, and Japan is the powerful engine.
Jess- General Asian Environment and Focusing on Social Aspects
Many enthusiastic students have many views, but it is important to give a balanced view of the students. Many students thought that there should be a multilateral organization that can help solve the large issues, or a combination of India, Japan, China and Korea, and national problems should solved by consensus. Asian countries do not want other countries interfering in their politics, like China does not want other countries solving their ethnic conflict. Some of the conflicts such as political problems are very difficult to solve. The historical and cultural problems are also as difficult, but maybe having an exchange or network of well-defined civil society would be positive. All students think that there needs to be regional integration. The nuclear issue is another problem. Economic integration, if led in the correct way, could be very helpful for the region. Asian people differ in culture and way of thinking, which makes power struggles harder to over come and power struggles hard to deal with. This problem arises because different countries have different interests. There are still many problems that exist, but there are problems that are not going to be solved right away, so we must have a long term view. Students also differ in the definition of “Asian.”
I would like to share my personal view also. When I interviewed for the attendance to this conferences, I pointed out more problems than successful points, but when I came to this seminar, I found that the delegations members all had the same goals and worries. This problem should be approached in an Asian Way, that is to say that the European View is not always applicable to Asia. Maybe a new theoretical framework can be used to pave the new way of Asian integration.
Shirley ? University of Hong Kong (Dr. Hu’s student)
Economic issues were representational in student views. I would like to discuss what the students learned in terms of three points. In today’s world, Asian countries are competing against trading blocs. For this conference, there were 18 specialties and professions, as well as 20 countries represented. In this globalizing world, all of us enjoyed food and drink from different countries. Movement of capital, labor, and goods, as well as FDI is on the rise, and inter-trade in Asia also is on the rise. Most students are in favor of these trends. However, can currency flow be integrated in Asia? Is this accelerated pace better for the region? In terms of economics regarding the movement of people, the government must look at it from different perspectives and study the underlying forces of the movement and study what this means for social stability. The challenges that the region faces are a host of issues including movement of goods, imbalanced trade, energy, and China’s dilemma between becoming a responsible trading partner, nuclear dilemma and non-proliferation.
It is also important to think about the integration of institutions, because it is not developed as it is in Europe. After the Asian Financial Crisis, Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand all believed that their countries came out stronger. The Crisis actually helped the region come together.
There are three issues however, which are challenges to integration. The role of nationalism and the question of can economic integration eliminate nationalism? Most governments do not want to integrate at political cost. The best example is the Yasukuni Shrine visit by Koizumi. My grandfather fought in the Philippines as an involuntary foot solider, and I wanted to pay him a visit, but I had a problem with him, being there, and I found it very troubling. The Asian barometer was clear about Asian attitudes. Even in the political sphere, our visit to the UN showed that people were interested in advocating their own country, and worrying about personal career issues. However, it is really important to express my gratitude to be invited by an Asian host country for a conference with Asian delegates.
We can see that young students have positive optimism towards the integration, and the young student charge far ahead in the integration. I am happy to see that they are very sensitive and understanding the importance of communicating with each other. Older generations have their own task, of figuring out how to promote collaboration in Asia. In a personal note, I used to work at Chuo University to promote international exchange and research programs and partners. It was very difficult to find a research partner and the money to do research. It is difficult when partners have to understand each other by making efforts. I would now like to ask the panelists what kinds of things are important to promoting collaboration in Asia? What challenges do we have to overcome?
First we must clarify what “Asian Wisdom” is. We have to figure out why Asian students go to Asian nations, and we must improve the conditions that student leaders and academics don’t leave for other nations. There are so many communications problems, and we must make sure to define common terms, and this conference is a great step. We must respect each other beyond cultural and economic integration to try to solve these problems. Young students have different opinions about the possibility of integration, and it will be up to personal initiative because young people will have to solve it.
There must be incentives to promote integration, such as a lottery to have an exchange system with other Asian nations, similar to the American green card system. This system would be attractive to Asian people- that would lead to further integration and community. This must be a system that would be blind to race, gender, class, and nationality. Only then would integration be possible. What the Yasukuni Shrine problem shows us is that history is very elite centered, and people need to back away. People need to focus on how a family lives after a son dies, how people die, etc. If we are too focused on the war itself, then it impassions people too much and makes them fight. If we pay attention to what we have lost, maybe that would be the feedback that finally lead people to ask our governments to stop war in the future.
As a woman, I had to leave my daughter behind at home. I was very touched by these students because they were so impassioned, but when you have children, it is very hard not to feel guilty to leave them at home, but I don’t think that males have the same experience. Women are not fully emancipated, and we need to collect those similar Asian experiences, from women, working women, survivors of the war, the everyday lives are more important, to get more understanding in the future. This is not a mature idea, but I think it is from the bottom of my heart.
How will we promote cooperation? Korea has been very successful in economic development and economic integration under the US security umbrella. Asian economic integration has been less important, but without the recognition, it is hard to know the importance. Government and corporations understand the importance, but what about ordinary people? The ordinary citizens, even students that I interviewed for this conference had negative views on cooperation. Cultural exchange is good, but I don’t think it is enough for mutual understanding. I think that in Asian studies, which there aren’t many “area studies” to begin with, there is less contact and networks. I was invited to a conference in Thailand, Indonesia, and now here, not because I am brilliant, but because I knew the contacts. But, how about for the ordinary people? There isn’t enough exchange or knowledge to promote mutual integration. Asia Studies are in colleges and universities, but it should be part of everyday life beginning with elementary schools. There maybe a more special way to do it, but public education is the best way, such as exchange programs.
I like a quote that translates as “The earth one country, its citizens one people.” I feel that because of a general lack of respect and understanding of each other, there is a less than desirable level of cooperation and integration. I regret to acknowledge that in Korea we have not been educated to appreciate other cultures that aren’t Western. Students are inculcated and shaped to appreciate things Western, and disregard neighboring countries, and this makes people look down on migrant workers and others unlike themselves. What are the ways to promote cooperation? I would mention the Three Big J’s of Jimmy Hendrix, Janice Joplin, and Jim Morrison .The biggest thing that hinders the development of a new society is old men. They hinder politics, because for any true social change, anyone who is over 40 should be dead. Some of the hostile feelings that we have developed between each other is because issues have been politicized such as history. Koizumi has politicized the Yasukuni visit. Independent efforts must be made to forge relationships, because students are starting to sense the need. We must overcome the indifferences over other Asian countries.
It is not possible to live in an isolated world when there are transnational problems such as Avian flu. It is not possible to stop the disease, and all nations must work together to collect information and aid in the cure. The fact that we are all here wearing suits and living in “towns,” are all evidence of globalization and part of being people of the world. I believe that we must increase the role of the university. Right now, only about 1% of the people in my country have college education. We must have exchanges between professors and students to learn more about Asian nations, and not just America. We should be able to decrease barriers by eliminating visa problems, and intermarry between Asian nations (joke). We should eliminate the barriers, even though it is difficult because of geopolitical and demographic issues. The U.S. doesn’t have to be the only country that provides the public goods in the region, but Japan and Korea can as well. I thank the Asahi Shimbun, Waseda and the Japan Foundation for supporting our conference.
In his new book, Putnam analyzes why American is deteriorating, mutual trust among American citizens are declining, and why women are not safe at night. How do we get key information? Before, we got it from family members and neighbors, but now information comes through mass media and internet. This is one of the factors that effect the community. Information obtained through mass media and mass communication is always one-sided. American society has relied on face to face contact, and because there is less face to face contact, American society is losing social capital and trust. Putnam focuses on increasing face to face contact, not just communication with internet and media as being integral to revitalizing the American society. Waseda should organize another program, because Putnam also emphasizes that repeated transactions are very important, to keep actors from free-riding and escape from the prisoner’s dilemma.
We are calling this as a first delegation, and we are hoping for a better unit and better forum to have this summer seminar. Personally I would love to continue this program as long as possible; on the other hand, I would like to go to other universities which will host other rounds. As I have explained before, I took my students to other countries such as Korea and China, and in the year 2005, we have witnessed anti-Japanese movements in Beijing and Shanghai, but I took 12 Japanese undergraduate students to share their knowledge. With their own language, the explanation becomes very complicated and nationalistic, but using English, it was more focused on making the other people understand. If we stick to our own language, then there is no room for compromise, but if they use a common language such as English, even though it is operating under the influence and imperialism of America, but its important to create the regional understanding.
Wang Yizhou, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Science
Richard Hu Weixing, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Faculty of Social Science, University of Hong Kong
Wang Ming, School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University
Chantana Wungaeo, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University
Tereso S. Tullao, Jr., College of Business and Economics, De La Salle University-Manila
Andrew MacIntyre, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, Australian National University
Amako Satoshi, Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University
Ogura Kazuo, President, the Japan Foundation
“Creating an Asian Community: the Concept and Importance of Asia”
Thank you all very much for giving me the opportunity to speak here today, but in frankness I will tell you that I would rather be listening to the thoughts and presentations of the students.
Today I am going to talk about the concept of “Asia,” “Asian values,” and “Asian community. In July of 1993, I wrote a paper, which you have in front of you, entitled “A Call for a New Concept of Asia.” Back when I wrote it, it was widely criticized. At that time the EA-EAC was under strong criticism. The concept itself was not taboo per se, but it was widely thought that China would have little interest in community-building. Additionally, it was thought that my ideas would weaken ASEAN, and that was also poorly received. Essentially, my thinking back then differed from the general consensus, and if I may say so myself, I believe I was somewhat ahead of the curve. However, looking back on the paper today, my views have changed somewhat in the intervening years.
Before I can talk about my current thinking I must first define the concept of an Asian community. It is not something that exists naturally. It was manufactured by Europeans. And why? In order to define themselves, they had to create an Other; to create Europeans they created non-Europeans, and to create Europe they created Asia. At that time, to be Asian meant to be backward, an individual in need of being enlightened by wise Europeans.
I actually shouldn’t say “created”?“manufactured” is more appropriate. Anyway, there has been some conception of Asia by Asians as well. For example, Sun Wen of China and Robindranath Thagore of Bangladesh- when they wrote of Asia, they wrote of a place defined against Europe in spiritual terms. Later, when Japan advocated a Greater Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere, their thinking was in ways similar to Wen and Thagore’s beliefs. The common thread was that the ideas were created in terms of victims striking back against the conqueror- unless we keep that in mind, we’ll have a hard time understanding the subject.
Asia has always been defined by the negative instead of the positive. We see this in Japan with the prewar slogan脱亜入欧,translated as “Quit Asia, Join Europe.” On the surface it means that in order to break free of colonialism you have to be a part of the European civilization, but ironically the Chinese and Koreans were thinking in these terms as well. They were all thinking of getting away from things Asian, all the way up until the second world war.
After the war, the concept of Asia was used in a different way, once again manufactured by non-Asians, in this case the Americans and Europeans. The Japanese economic successes of the 60s and 70s, and the subsequent successes of other Asian economies, led Western countries to speculate that there existed some underlying difference of Asian countries, some unique element. Even the World Bank thought in this fashion.
When PM Mahartir of Singapore started to talk about Asian democracy and Asian values, his message and words were distorted and this resulted in a great deal of international misunderstanding. Even if his ideas were correct, they were taken hold of by certain people and abused. An interesting concept that hasn’t been discussed is the rise of conceptions of human rights, fundamental and universal human rights. These ideas didn’t come from Europe per se, nor were they dissipated from Asia to Europe, but they arose in Asia as an outgrowth of Asian values. If Europe is thought of as the sole source for all universal laws, this is mistaken and it is important to strip it of this status.
Look at Kim Dae Jung and his ideas about Korean farmers’ movements. This was during the Song dynasty; his ideas about currency and commerce paralleled major developments in the history of capitalism. It is not always Europeans who come up with economic theory and practice, and this knowledge is important when conceptualizing Asia. Today, these ideas are often used as a catalyst for change in Europe!
Essentially there are three categories of “Asian Values” which exist. The first is Asian values which have existed in the past. The second is Asian values which exist today, and have been shared among Asian countries. The third is Asian values which need to be created. All of these are mixed into a jumble and form aspects of the Asian identity.
The problem is that people tend to ignore this and define Asian values simplistically. This leads to a lot of inconsistencies. For instance, many people outside Asia tend to draw conclusions based on Japan and Korea’s shared propensity for cultivating intricate gardens. But upon examination, those gardens, which appear similar, point to deviating attitudes towards nature itself. Look at the picture of this famous Japanese garden, the way it is manicured and shaped; it is probably more like a British garden than anything, in the way that it demands that nature be subordinated to shape and function. In contrast, this famous Korean garden uses nature as the centerpiece and marginalizes man’s contribution to the scene. Thus, if we can deduce anything from gardens, it is actually that Japan and Korea have differing views toward nature.
However Asia does possess some concept of shared values which we can contrast with those of the West. For instance, in America, the integrity of the legal and electoral system is paramount, but this ignores the fact that even a beautiful and efficient infrastructure for elections fails if someone immoral is elected to power. Asian systems are usually engineered to prioritize internal values, assuming that those in power will be guided by virtue, and that morality will guide those in power.
Asian people must realize that Asia as a region faces many shared problems, like pollution, nuclear power, and natural disasters. Certainly every country must do her part.
Another difference between Asia and the West is highlighted when one thinks of robots. For a long time I lived in France, and I observed then that the French do not conceive of a robot as close to a human and would therefore never keep one as a pet. In France a robot is always threatening. In contrast, Japan has produced the Aibo robot dog which has been a big seller. You can’t really judge which belief is better, but it is important to realize that either will lead to different technology being produced. Some things, though, we can point to as normatively good, and should be exported. The mottai-nai concept of waste reduction is one of these.
The paradox is that within Asia we have shared values and differing ones, and thus we are simultaneously a society and a group of Others. We need to get past this to truly establish community. Nationalism is another hurdle; once we get across those we can truly be interdependent.
I have two questions. The first is this: if the term “Asian” in your speech were to be replaced with “East Asian,” do you feel that the meaning would change? Second: You have spoken about “Asian values” as if all Asians hold them, but if you look at someone like (future PM) Abe, you will find that he holds a lot of beliefs which could be considered US values. He says that Australia, India, and Japan should submit to a talk about human rights. What do you think?
Thanks for your insightful comment. I guess what I am trying to say is, if you want to have a concept of “Asian community,” and there are many who do, what is the significance of that concept? Is there a political significance? And when you look at political movements in Asia, the history of them, you’ll find a lot of nationalism, and to overcome that I think that you need to find or construct universal values. For example, some Muslims think that Islam is a universal value, but there are obviously plenty of unbelievers! I think the concept of Asia can be used to overcome these kinds of differences. But, as you have pointed out, the data which lead to this conclusion have also warranted a reexamination of our conceptions of interdependence, which could be modified to include Australia, New Zealand, or, in an extreme case, the United States. Maybe the concept of Asia as three possibilities can answer this dilemma.
Sir, thank you very much for your enlightened commentary.
“What is the creation of Wisdom towards Asian co-existence?”
To start I’d simply like to ask everyone on the panel what they think about the possibility of Asian co-existence. As Ambassador Ogura noted, some may feel that there is no need for this. I’d like to hear the views of the panelists.
I think that this conference attests to the fact that academic community-building is desirable. But to really build community we have to ask- what is Asia? What is food-Asia? What is economic-Asia? What is language-Asia? People think that this kind of integration is a dream, but it’s happening today on a certain level. However, there are still huge gaps, gaps which get in the way of broader integration efforts.
We should admit that Asian integration has a long way to go, but we should also realize that we have come a long way already. Look at where efforts were a generation ago. People of the younger generation are going to be influenced by our optimism or pessimism, and I think we owe it to them to be optimistic.
Indeed there is a generational force driving these efforts. I hope Waseda can be at the core of this.
Professor Mori asked all the right questions. What are these communities? Whom do they benefit? I’d like to focus on two points- the meaning of community building, and regional identity. There’s a lot of division along ethnic and regional lines, but if we get bogged down in that, then we’ll never move forward. As Ambassador Ogura said, we sometimes talk about Community with a capital C. But that implies that we already have it. When it’s referred to with a lowercase c, we get the sense that we’re still getting there.
Speaking about ASEAN, without this institutional factor, it would be too difficult to get China, Korea, and Japan to work together. But since the system is in effect, it’s already working, so much so that the PM of Korea produced an East Asian Working Group with a “vision” of East Asian community. It’s a slow process, but it’s a dialogue-based process, and it needs some time. Among the questions is a vision for the future. Who will be in the drivers’ seat for these efforts?
It’s not that I’m pessimistic, but I think it will be very difficult to create this community. I’d like to talk about three things.
First, there will need to be a foundation in terms of geography, politics, and society. The most important thing to consider is regional goods. Public goods are of the utmost importance.
Second, we need to have a shared ideology and values. Professor Sonoda referred to those citizens who consider themselves “Asian” and “not Asian.”
Third, we need to consider who is acting. Of course the elites in power will be doing most of the networking, but we also need to consider the people. If the citizens don’t buy into community, it will not be realized.
Hopefully we can solve this problem.
I’m pessimistic about a state-led community movement but I hold out hope for a people-based community. That’s already there, connecting the countries. There can be unity among diversity.
I have a different view of nationalism than has been mentioned previously; I believe that nationalism can define the self as well as the other. I believe in a positive nationalism which is about loving your own country, not hating others.
In Thailand for example, the rise of Muslims is seen as divisive, but at the same time there is a movement to globalize and be more like others. Nationalism should not be used to alienate others.
It’s our job to create a network that links people together. Asia should be a leader in diversity and human rights protection, and that means doing more than just copying Europe. There are some things we have to transcend. We need to work community from the top down and from the bottom up. ASEAN must be pressured to create more spaces for other countries to participate.
That’s a very interesting view about people-led movements. I believe that this kind of thinking will become more prevalent in the future and I hope it will be debated.
There are many “drivers” in the regionalization of Asia, NGOs, people, companies, all kinds of things. But the most important thing that has to happen is institutionalization.
Because countries are afraid of being exploited, they refuse to join these networks based on equity issues. If we had institutions we could mitigate this fear and be more equitable. This would also create common values.
What kind of goods could this create? It could handle things like transnational crimes, cross-border finance issues, environmental issues. Markets are not equipped to handle things like this.
But who will fund this? Every country should chip in with as much as they can afford, and participation should be universal.
Previously I have noted that social and cultural diversity creates problems in Asia. Asian identity comes in waves: originally Asia responded together to colonialism and this created identity. Later, during the 60s and 70s, there was a wave led by Japan and Malaysia about trade pressures. Also after the financial crisis of 1999, people felt unified. They felt that western-dominated institutions like the IMF were responsible.
The movement is now about relation to outside pressures like European or Western powers. ASEAN was unique in that it was the first time Asian leaders could meet without the US or the EU nations present. Policy elites in the region are working to create balance between Asian nations.
However this movement to think outside national boundaries is a new one. We should focus on economic and social ties, not ethnic ones. Australia for example is more integrated with East Asia economically than any other country- central to the Asian community movement is an idea of economic development.
We need to emphasize the economic and social aspects of community building to buy ourselves time to solve the political problems.
There were some specific points brought up by the panelists that I’d like to address. For example, whether we should institutionalize top-to-bottom or bottom-to-top. My position is close to Weixing’s. Where can we start this? At the University?
Further, how much should be let the market build Asian community?
Global trade has previously been a driving force, but that’s not enough. Citizens need to play a more active role in community-building.
I think this is a reason for institutionalization, to ensure equitable distribution of resources. ASEAN has been a mechanism for this but there need to be more institutions within ASEAN.
I agree with Wungaeo that economics aren’t enough; however they are a necessary precondition if not a sufficient one. A shared interest is a good starting point to build community. We can’t take economic prosperity for granted.
Who will address the distortions of economics brought about by development?
I think this is why we need a top-down and bottom-up approach. Countries are intertwined like a bowl of noodles, but does this get us anywhere? Just because the structure is complicated doesn’t mean it is stronger. I think it is important to get educational institutions to teach good things about other countries.
Sustainability in community-building should be a key word.
Mass media has a responsibility for community-building as well as states. It’s an indispensable part of society.
Let’s take a short break and, when we return, focus the discussion more.
Leaders like Nelson Mandela have made so many important changes to regionality. Political wisdom has the power to change and improve: there was a big debate in Europe about the possibility of “Historical Compromise” and it ended up happening, with all these countries essentially setting their history aside. We have to create most spaces for discourse besides history books and textbooks if we are going to reach young people, who are important.
In the first round we were able to think comprehensively, but I hope in the second we are able to answer more specific questions. Is there really such a thing as “Asian consciousness?” Is it on the rise? How are we to view non-state powers?
Some issues remain unaddressed, specifically what is the purpose for the community and to whom is it targeted? I hope these will be addressed next session.
My answer to that question is that we need to pursue peace and prosperity with a community that isn’t against anyone in the world.
That seems very broad. I am going to overstep my boundaries as a moderator and offer my own opinion: in reality a trade integration movement is already happening. How are we going to institutionalize this? For example the Asian currency crisis of 1999- who can solve that kind of problem?
Hsien, from audience: But there are parts of Asian countries where economic development doesn’t actually benefit anyone. Sometimes it makes things worse.
MacIntyre: It’s really a problem of all nations, and governments need to be helping distribution, but people moving around within a country also alleviates that.
How can Australia really integrate with East Asia, being so ethnically different?
I don’t think regional community should be about skin color. There are lots of communites with an “odd man out,” but Australia kind of functions as an “odd man in.” I think it’s dangerous to have an ethnic perception of Asia.
Student: I think it’s important to note that Asians all share a historical heritage from India and China, in religion and culture. Why shouldn’t Asian states look to the past for inspiration? My personal research is about local governments, which I think are important.
I would like to ask a question after hearing MacIntyre’s response to Mori’s question: is there a way to build peace and prosperity without Asian community?
I think it will be a costly endeavor, but when we look at the 1999 crisis and the 2004 tsunami crisis, I think it’s something that needs to be done. We need to band together to mitigate these problems somehow.
Again, we need to have a transnational institution to address these things as well as things like Avian Flu.
It will indeed be difficult to address crises that go beyond the financial. How does everybody feel about Asian community and the US?
Well, Australia is an ally of the US, and has deep interests there, as do a lot of Asian nations, but I think it’s important to organize things on multilateral lines.
Responding to Mori’s question, because North America and Europe have been organized into trading blocs, it makes sense to have an Asian organization. But we are also facing common problems: Avian flu, international crime, SARS- and these need to be addressed between governments. We can’t be too restrictive though or that kills the whole purpose of the thing. I don’t feel like having lots of mechanisms is going to be helpful. We have now a bunch of organizations geared towards specific issues. This doesn’t really work.
The problems here go across borders. Thai people want to solve the problem of Thai women being trafficked to Japan, and dams in Thailand are being built by the World Bank sitting in New York. People have different needs for a community. But we need to be truthful and honest about Asia. Are the people are really involved with what the Academics are saying?
Professor Mori, your question is very difficult and raises a number of other questions. There are a lot of elements involved in the process.
Yes, this issue is very difficult.
Katayama, from audience: Simply put, I think that an Asian community is necessary to deal with upcoming financial crises. The East Asian region is lucky in that we have never experienced a huge crisis, like ones in Latin America, but that could happen. We need to make sure social welfare can be provided for.
What do you think are the most important obstacles or countries? Personally I feel that they are Japan and China because they are the regional powers. They are fiercely competitive and unfortunately they both use history as a fuel for this. What is the solution? I don’t think that top-down is feasible.
Why does an Asian community have to be open? The EU and NAFTA are closed and the WTO proves that having too many parties involved can slow things down.
We are facing a dilemma because having too many people will defeat the purpose of community building but having too few will also. Since the APEC process stalled, there was a new range of community building. On one side are the pulls of market forces, and on the other there is the regional problem. Small countries, now, are mitigating, but questions remain: “What is Asianness?” “How are we going to build this community?”
I am in favor of a closed community, like ASEAN+3.
We have been looking at difficult issues, but I’d like to know- what are the easy ones? What can be debated for years, and what are the ones that can be solved at the next conference.
How do we use our imagination to widen our perspective on these problems?
As to Professor Mori’s question, I believe that there are many benefits, but that those benefits are often conflicting.
In terms of economic integration, historical and social issues are often keeping the community from coming together. So should we have different approaches towards making a middle pathway?
As my last comment, I will note that historical problems are not always the sole arbiter of bilateral relations. There are broadening relations between Japan and China, and Japan and Korea. The people are forming their own relations personally. For example, I am involved on the textbook committee, and my view is completely different than, say, Abe’s, so it’s not like Japan has but one view. I have been attacked for publicly speaking against the “New History Textbook,” and there is a new emerging nationalism to respond to the perceived “threat” of China, but it’s not the only aspect of modern Japan worth worrying about. Maturity in civil society is a challenge. I question the maturity of Japanese society compared with Taiwan etc. In closing, we are aming to establish inter-University networks and to that end have organized this symposium and student seminar.
In response to previously asked questions, the most easily achievable short-term goals of Asian community will address transnational crime and Avian Flu. The tricky part is when we start involving domestic politics and sovereignty.
Please read the East Asian Study Group’s midterm report from 2003. It lists 17 midterm milestones already achieved.
Big power politics is important in building community, but community is also a check on big power politics, as you can see if you look at Japan and China and their involvement in ASEAN +3.
Even though there are problems, I am optimistic. The younger generation hopefully is a more positive generation.
The security issue is very important. In order to achieve Asian security, we need a high-level exchange of views. Coordination will be necessary. I hope that everyone can have discussions here and take it home and utilize the knowledge you gain. Thank you.