What's New from the Secretariat May

At the second Executive Committee meeting of this year, on May 19, it was reported that the budget for direct costs and overhead costs for the first quarter of FY2005 was allocated on May 9. The budget for overhead costs is 10% of that for direct costs, but combining the two together will only amount to the last year's budget for direct costs alone, meaning that we will have a tough time with the management of the budget this year. Negotiations are currently being held with the university administration on how to deal with the budget for overhead costs so that the 21st Century COE Program can use it, by distinguishing it from other overhead costs, but we have not yet reached a conclusion.

With regard to the International Symposium scheduled to be held in Bangkok in November, Assistant Professor SUZUKI Reiji from the Working Group gave a report in the place of the chairperson, Prof. HIRAMATSU Kozo, who is out of the country. The overall theme of the symposium will be “Coexistence of Nature and Human Beings in a Glocalizing World: From the Perspective of Field Science.” It will be composed of four thematic sessions: “Earthquakes and tsunami,” “Areas studies and medical care, hygiene and welfare,” “Restoring our lost coexistence with nature,” and “Creating new research paradigms from field science”; a roundtable discussion by Thai and Japanese scholars who have studied in both countries; lectures from Prof. ISHII Yoneo from Japan and Prof. Nidhi Aeusrivongse from Thailand; and a session relating to the 21st Century COE Program, including poster presentations by graduate students. It was confirmed that all the poster presenters, including those from Thailand, will be given several minutes to make oral presentations. With the exception of the poster session, most of the speakers have already been decided, and the first meeting with the Department of International Affairs of the Central Administration Bureau, which is in charge of the symposium, is scheduled to be held on May 31.

The Public Relations Section presented a plan to release video images showing the sites of fieldwork on the website. One of the aims of our program is to develop and consolidate information on methods of fieldwork that can be used as resources for graduate school education, and in this sense, the compilation and uploading of video images on fieldwork can be quite meaningful. Video showing the vibrant images of graduate students working in the field can be a precious resource for education, and will also have a promotional effect on students hoping to study at ASAFAS.

One agenda item was discussion on recruiting presenters for the poster session at the International Symposium in Bangkok, and the credentials needed by presenters. Although the presenters will be mainly graduate students and researchers from ASAFAS, students from other departments with deep ties with ASAFAS through research supervision or joint studies would also be invited to participate when appropriate.

In addition, the head post of the Library Section became vacant after Prof. HAYASHI Yukio retired from the post, and in accordance with the recommendation by the Section, a decision was made to appoint Associate Prof. YAMAKOSHI Gen from the Division of African Area Studies.

Also, it was decided that the first meeting of the Working Group for the Symposium to be held in the final year of the Program will take place on June 2.

There are now less than two years left before the completion of the five-year program. In the coming two years, we very much hope that fruits of the program will sprout one after another.(Ichikawa)


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