Dear SIETAR Members and Friends,
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to J. F. Oberlin University in Tokyo to host the SIETAR Japan’s 30th annual conference. The theme of this conference is “Critical Reflections on War and Peace: Dialogue for the Future,” commemorating 70 years after World War II. We have invited two keynote speakers: Ms. Koko Kondo will give a speech titled “Striving toward World Peace: From the Perspectives of an Atomic Bomb Survivor,” and Ms. Ponnareth Kugo will give a speech titled “Experiences of Deprivation of Liberty and Human Rights under Khmer Rouge, and Life in Japan as a Cambodian Refugee.” Both will share us their sufferings and hardships during and after the war, as well as their transformative experiences of meeting their previous “enemies” or “wrongdoers” many years later, which helped them interpret their past experiences differently. We will also show a documentary film “Hibakusha: At the End of the World” to raise awareness of the commonality between victims of radiation around the world.
In commemorating our 30th Anniversary, we will hold a panel discussion titled “SIETAR Japan 30 Year-Journey – Past and Future.” We are honored to have as our panlelists, Dr. Janet M. Bennett (executive director of ICI), Ms. Dianne Hofner Saphiere (intercultural consultant), Ms. Shoko Araki (Professor, J.F.Oberlin University), and Dr. Kiyoko Sueda (Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University), all of whom are key contributors to the successful growth and development of SIETAR Japan. We also have an exciting pre-conference fieldtrip to Tokyo Camii, a Turkish Mosque, and special lecture by Dr. Bennet in the evening. We are also very much grateful that we have a total of 64 programs (including 5 workshops, 3 panels, and 16 poster sessions), which is yet the largest conference since SIETAR Japan was founded.
We hope that this conference will provide you with many opportunities to meet and interact with a diverse range of people. I am very grateful to the Conference Steering Committee members, the SIETAR Japan Steering Committee members, as well as all our colleagues for all their preparation and hard work to ensure a stimulating and enjoyable experience for us all.
Akiko Asai, Conference Director