The 19th NZASIA Conference held on the weekend of July 2-4th 2011 attracted delegates from around the world presenting a wide range of seminars from many disciplines. Most topics were based around political issues, history, literature and social sciences. There were also a variety of non-academic seminars (such as descriptive talks about intercultural experiences) that provided some light relief.
IPC has been active and generous with supporting participation at such conferences, and this has been no exception. IPC had five presenters (Ms Hannah White, Dr Ling Guan, Ms Sasiphattra Siriwato, Ms Akie Hirata and Dr James To) talking about their areas of expertise – the lay jury system in Japan, cultural differences in Chinese-Japanese translation, female participation in the Thai police force, comparative discourse analysis, and overseas Chinese re-connection with their ancestral heritage, respectively. They were also joined by former IPC lecturer Dr Takao Sebata who had come all the way from Japan to make his presentation on contemporary Japanese security policy. Ms Lan Nguyen also attended. This was the second biggest group after the hosts Massey University. The IPC talks were well-received and attracted questions and discussions in a very open, free and welcome environment to pursue collective understanding.
In addition to presenting their papers or chairing sessions, participants contributed to the overarching dialogue of New Zealand Asia relations by asking questions at every opportunity during the sessions – some in the context of their own research; others in light of contemporary issues. The conference reflected the internationality and diversity of education, raising cross-cultural awareness for different Asian countries and societies at a deeper level.
Akie Hirata, Ling Guan, James To