Plenary at the JAHSS/JASID Conference on Refugees, Migrants, Education and Employment 16 November 2019

JAHSS JASID conference plenary

Plenary panel summary of the JAHSS-JASID joint conference on refugees, migrants, education and employment, summary report:

The plenary panel analyzed the global and Japanese trends on refugees and migrants. It was moderated by Dr. Ai Kihara-Hunt, the University of Tokyo.


First, Dr. Jeff Crisp of Oxford University identified recent global trends in relation to refugees and displaced people, and suggested that these trends created a “global refugee crisis.” He argued that the international community had been too slow in addressing this situation. Dr. Crisp explained the importance of the Global Compact on Refugees, while identifying its weaknesses and limitations. He suggested that progress is being made at the operational level, in terms of the way that UNHCR and other actors are meeting the needs of refugees.


Next, Ambassador Eva Åkerman Börje of International Organization for Migration spoke about the Global Compact for Migration. She introduced key figures on migration and preceding initiatives of the international community leading to the Global Compact (endorsed by the UN General Assembly in December 2018). She referred to the contents of the Compact focusing on improving cooperation. She explained that its implementation is not static and introduced various networks for its implementation.


Following that, Prof. Saburo Takizawa, former Representative of UNHCR Japan Office, addressed the Japanese context for refugees and migrants. He explained that three drivers exist: economic driver as a pull factor, social driver as a push-back factor, and political driver that balances the two. He made a critical evaluation of Japan’s policy and society that Japan lacks humanity. The presenter then argued that Japan’s new immigration policy shows a paradigm shift.


Commentator Dr. Diana Kartika of the University of Tokyo introduced factors for Singapore’s closed-door policy, and stressed the importance of whole-of-society approach. She highlighted shortcomings in terms of inclusive education for migrants and displaced persons, and stressed the importance of addressing their pathways to employment.

Congratulations – IHL Role Play Asia Regional Round

71917940_10157892311222853_5535478031474229248_nOn 16-17 November, there was International Humanitarian Law Role Play competition, Asia Regional Round. The team from the University of Tokyo, the winner of the Japan National Round (September 2019) joined the competition as the representative of Japan.

I, the coach for the team, could not accompany the team, as I was part of the organizing committee for a big international conference – JASID/JAHSS joint conference on Refugees, Migrants, Education and Employment – on the same dates.

Teams representing different countries in Asia competed for their knowledge and understanding of IHL, playing various roles in given scenarios. After general rounds, teams were selected for semi-finals, then finals, and our team won the first prize!

The team had no knowledge of international law when we started our class in April. Congratulations, team, and there is a next step – Jean Pictet competition in February/March 2020, as the winner of the Asia Regional Round.

All the best of luck to the team, we will practice further.

Thank you very much for all those who made this possible.

16-17 Nov Conference on Refugees/Migrants and Education at the University of Tokyo (Komaba Campus)

16-17 November – JAHSS/JASID conference on refugees/migrants and education – is a must-go event! We have Prof. Jeff Crisp (Oxford Refugees Studies Centre), Ms. Eva Akerman-Borje (IOM) and Prof. Saburo Takizawa (former UNHCR-Japan rep) on our keynote panel. I have an honour of moderating the keynote panel.

Another panel I am moderating – the Global Governance Panel – has an amazing group of speakers. A great analyst on the refugee protection machinery in Japan, Dr. Naoko Hashimoto, Global Governance Futures member and Google, Sayid Abdullaev, and Prof. Eiji Oyamada, Japan’s leading scholar on corruption.

There is an amazing line-up of leading academics and practitioners, as well as a series of exciting side events.

I will be presenting on the influence of sexual exploitation and abuse (both on the incidents of SEA and the UN’s way to tackle SEA) on policing.

Please see below for more information.

More details here:…

There is even a childcare service for a very modest fee and a prayer room (for those unfamiliar with the situation in Japan, this is absolutely amazing for Japan standard!)

See you all there!