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York Centre for Asian Research Updates                    Issue 53, Friday, July 21, 2006

In this issue

CMTP kicks off training program

 CMTP welcomes first batch of Chinese participants in Canada
  Call for papers  Canada-China symposium on social inclusion and economic development

Japan Foundation Events

 Japan Foundation pays homage to Toru Takemitsu

Asia Job Posting

 Oxfam seeks regional humanitarian coordinator for its Bangkok office

Asia News: Philippines

 Afterthoughts: Our very own dirty war by Walden Bello

CMTP welcomes first batch of Chinese participants in Canada

The China Management Training Project (CMTP) welcomed the first group of participants from the China Orient Asset Management Corporation (COAMC) who arrived on July 15 for 2 weeks of Financial Risk Management Training with partners in the Schulich Executive Education Centre. The group was given the notable distinction of opening up the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday, July 19. Because of the high levels of training and logistical support satisfaction, the CMTP will be receiving another group from COAMC later on in the semester. The CMTP is the training division of the Asian Business and Management Programme headed by Bernie Frolic. It administers and facilitates specifically designed professional and managerial courses for Chinese nationals. For more information on CMTP's training programmes, visit their website at or contact Máire O'Brien, CMTP Director at

Call for papers: Canada-China Symposium on Social Inclusion and Economic Development 

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Beijing, China, December 13-15, 2006

Co-organizers: Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, CASS (IEA of CASS), Policy Research Initiative Canada, Organizing Committee for the 16th International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (Organizing Committee for ICAES 2008). Supporter: Canadian Embassy in Beijing. Host: IEA of CASS. IEA of CASS in partnership with Policy Research Initiative Canada, the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, and the Organizing Committee for ICAES 2008 is holding a Canada-China Symposium on Social Inclusion and Economic Development on December 12-15, 2006 in Beijing, China. The objective of this symposium is to enhance the mutual understanding between the two countries on social and economic policy issues in order to explore potential for further dialogue. The symposium theme is social inclusion and economic development with topics ranging from social inclusion, ethno-cultural diversity and economic prosperity. The coverage of the symposium will include, but not be limited to, the following topics:

Social inclusion and Ethno-cultural diversity: Comparisons on social patterns and policies in Canada and China, Research on Modern development of aboriginal people in Canada and China, Policies to foster common citizenship and respect cultural diversity in Canada and China, Migration management, Poverty alleviation.

Economic prosperity: Trade and investment patterns between Canada and China, Employment and social protection (pension, health insurance), Research on Economic Patterns and Policies in Canada and China, Sino-Canada regional economic development, optimization of regional industrial structure.

Scientific Committee: The Scientific Committee of the symposium is formed by Professors Hao Shiyuan, Zhou Qingsheng, Du Fachun from IEA/CASS, Dr. Jean L. Kunz from Policy Research Initiative Canada, and Dr. Zhang Jijiao from the Organizing Committee for ICAES 2008.

Abstract submission: Interested participants should send an abstract of no longer than 400 words in Times New Roman 11 to the Scientific Committee at and, along with the name, title, affiliation, and contact information of the author (s).

Deadlines: August 30 - Deadline for abstracts. September 15 - Notification of paper acceptance. November 15 - Deadline for completed papers.  

Expenses for traveling and lodging will be born by individual attendees, and expenses for meals and the material costs shall be born by the symposium organizers.

Contact information: China: Mr. Du, Fachun, Associate Professor, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, No.27, Zhongguancun Nandajie Street, Beijing 100081, China. Tel: (8610) 8777-0292Fax: (8610) 6842-1864E-mail: Canada: Dr. Jean L. Kunz, Associate Project Director, Policy Research Initiative56 Sparks Street 1st floor, Ottawa, Ontario Canada K1P 5A9Tel: 613.992-5193Fax: 613.947-3809 E-mail:

Japan Foundation pays homage to Toru Takemitsu

WATERSCAPE: Homage to Toru Takemitsu NORIKO SAITO
On display until August 18, 2006, The Japan Foundation, Toronto, 131 Bloor Street West, 2nd Floor

Noriko Saito’s latest series of paintings, Waterscape, is dedicated to the iconic Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu on the 10th anniversary of his death. A presentation by Robin Engelman on “Toru Takemitsu, his Toronto relationships, his place in the history of Western Music in Japan and his personal and musical legacy” will take place on Friday, July 21, 6:30pm to 7:30pm. Robin Engelman, as a member of the internationally acclaimed percussion ensemble NEXUS, premiered several of Toru Takemitsu’s works, and developed a close professional and personal relationship with the composer. Noriko Saito’s Artist Talk will explore the process behind her latest collection of paintings inspired by Japanese composer, Toru Takemitsu on Saturday, August 5, 2pm to 3pm. Noriko Saito was born in Japan, but went on to receive her Master of Arts at HdK (Berlin University of the Arts). Having received numerous awards over the years, she has exhibited in several European cities in addition to showings in Tokyo, and Toronto where she now resides. Free Admission. RSVP required for BOTH events. 416.966.1600 x600 or . For complete details, including regular gallery hours please visit the foundation website at

From July to November 2006, The Japan Foundation, Toronto also presents a documentary video screening series twice a month on Thursday evenings at the Event Hall at 7pm introducing aspects of contemporary Japanese life and culture.

July 27 Dream Window. Renowned for their beauty, Japanese gardens have been retreats for people to rediscover the natural world and themselves for more than 1000 years. Filmed on location in Japan, the program takes a look at classical and contemporary Japanese gardens, including those of the legendary Moss Temple of Saiho-ji, Shugaku-in and Katsura Imperial Villas, and Sogetsu Hall. Prominent Japanese artists, including Toru Takemitsu (composer), add commentary, shedding light on the role of gardens in Japanese society today. Original music composed by Toru Takemitsu. (D. John Junkerman, Smithsonian, 1994, 57 min.).

August 10 Food and Meals. What do the Japanese eat at home? The Japanese diet is traditionally based on rice, but Western-style food culture has taken root among younger generations. This program shows the diversity of the dietary life in Japan today through the eating habits of two families from two different generations. (NHK, 2001, 20 min.).

Families Fostering the Forest. Seventy percent of Japan’s land surface is mountainous areas. Since ancient times, the famous cedar trees of Kyoto have been carefully fostered generation after generation with the foresters treating the mountainsides like fields. This program introduces the inhabitants of peaceful Japanese mountain villages-including the cedar craftsmen, logging families, and artists. (NHK, 2001, 20 min.).

Weekend Farmers. Eighty percent of Japan’s rice-producing farm households do not depend entirely on farming for a livelihood. The head of the household works at another job during the week and only farms on the weekends, leaving the weekday farming activities to his family. This has become possible due to modern farming techniques in rice cultivation. (NHK, 2001, 20 min.).

August 24 Confectionery Maker. At Mr. Takaya's long-established Japanese confectionery shop, his apprentice Mr. Ueno is learning how to create "Kinton", a sweet potato and bean confectionery that is popular in summer. He is struggling to display on one piece a scene of Kyoto in summer. The beauty of Japanese confectionery is born of the artistic sensibility and acquired skills of its creator. (NHK, 2000, 10 min.).

For a complete schedule of all the screenings up to November 2006, visit:

Asia Job Posting: Oxfam seeks Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for Bangkok Office

Oxfam GB is a development, relief, and campaigning organisation that works with others to find lasting solutions to poverty and suffering around the world. It works on a broad range of issues, including trade, conflict, debt and aid, and education. It is currently seeking a Regional Humanitarian Coordinator to be based in Bangkok, Thailand covering humanitarian work in Southeast Asia. Primary responsibility is to lead and coordinate its humanitarian preparedness and response work to ensure that it can provide prompt and effective aid for people and communities who need it most. Salary £21,855 – £30,766 net basic salary. Closing Date 8/6/2006.

It is also looking for a Finance Administration and Information Officer to provide financial support to the Thailand/Burma Programme team by maintaining the Thailand/Burma Financial and programme administration tasks, plus capacity building to partners on financial management and monitoring of programme partners. Salary: THB 561,816 gross annual salary. Position is open to Thai nationals only. Closing Date 7/31/2006.

For other work vacancies and to apply online, visit the Oxfam GB website at

AFTERTHOUGHTS: Our very own dirty war, by Walden Bello,

IN ARGENTINA during the “Dirty War” in the mid-1970s, the military loaded tortured university students onto helicopters and pushed them into the stormy South Atlantic.

We have not yet come to that, thank god. But the statistics are mounting, as almost every week activists and journalists are murdered or abducted. The dirty war is a grim reality that is unfolding, especially in the countryside.

Like many institutions, the University of the Philippines (UP) as a community has been slow in reacting to the spread of the dirty war. But when its very own were swept up in the dragnet, it finally reacted. Sherlyn Cadapan, an outstanding athlete, is with the College of Human Kinetics. Karen Empeno is a student at my unit, the Department of Sociology of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. Both Cadapan and Empeno were picked up by masked men with long firearms at 2 a.m. in Hagonoy town in the province of Bulacan, just north of Manila, along with a male companion from the same area.

In a letter to Ronaldo Puno, secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government, UP president Emerlinda Roman requested the assistance of government authorities in locating the two students. In the letter, the university president reminded Puno: “We know that you share with us a commitment to the spirit of the UN General Assembly’s ‘Declaration on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance…. We also know that the acts done by masked armed men are criminally punishable under our laws.”

Ten days after Roman’s letter, with still no word from the military or any other government agency on the whereabouts of the two students, the University Council approved with no negative votes a resolution reiterating her request for information and asking the government to “provide [the students] with medical and legal assistance and release them to the care of the University as soon as possible.”

The July 13 resolution added: “We consider the continuing silence of the authorities in this matter of life and death to be inexcusable and a betrayal of the public trust.”

The university community’s reaction, along with the recent Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines pastoral statement of July 11, which condemned the spate of killings, was an important gesture in the awakening of civic consciousness over the grave danger to institutions of liberal democracy posed by the rampant assassinations and abductions. But the protests from these two institutions are far from turning the black tide of state and paramilitary terrorism.

In contrast to the waning years of the Ferdinand Marcos regime and the early years of the Corazon Aquino presidency, there has yet been no mass outrage at the systematic assassination of activists and media people.

It could be that people have become cynical about the ability of the justice system to bring the perpetrators of such deeds to justice. This is understandable, since none of the perpetrators of the killings of high-profile figures -- Benigno Aquino, the student leader Lean Alejandro, labor leader Rolando Olalia -- have been brought to justice, much less identified. This cynicism about the justice system is part of the general disillusionment with the institutions of the unraveling EDSA liberal-democratic state that replaced the Marcos regime.

Lack of faith in mass actions, profound skepticism that the vote can change anything, a withdrawal into the private sphere, general dispiritedness: These are the elements of the miserable political context in which the killings are taking place.

The systematic assassinations and abductions are part of an anti-communist campaign that has run out of control. They are being perpetrated by elements of the security and defense establishment, along with private landed armies, and these forces are encouraged by the unwillingness of civilian authorities to check them. For the civilian authorities -- in this case, Malacañang -- are not only weak; they depend for their survival on the support of the military.

This symbiosis between a corrupt and weak civilian regime and a strong and reckless military is an opportunistic alliance that is stripping the EDSA state of its last liberal features. For all intents and purposes, we are living in a repressive, post-democratic state.

It is estimated that at least 15,000 young people were assassinated in the dirty war in Argentina. It will never get that bad here, some say. Well, let me tell these people that this is no longer a far-fetched scenario, and the only thing that will prevent it from transpiring is a mobilized civil society that says enough, and is angry enough to bring back the rule of law. Can we turn the tide? Yes, but that will take a lot of determination and a lot of courage.

Walden Bello is professor of Sociology at the University of the Philippines. For more info on Bello's works, visit the Transnational Institute website at

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