Transcending national boundaries,
the Japan Foundation Asia Center carries out
cultural exchange programs to build up heart-to-heart
relationships between people and enrich the future of Asia.


Forum "Designing Multicultural Coexistence Societies: An Asian Perspective"

Philippines, Japan

The Japan Foundation Asia Center presents, as part of the EYES Project for Embracing Diversity, a forum of people who are tackling the challenges of multicultural coexistence in Japan and other Asian countries. In Part 1 of the forum, reports will be provided on case studies of initiatives in Japan and the "EYES Project for Embracing Diversity: Multicultural Coexistence and Art," which is part of the FY2019 program. And in Part 2 of the forum, there will be opportunities to hear stories of the front-line about multicultural coexistence case studies from EYES Project Fellows from Asian countries who have been invited to speak at the forum.
This will be an opportunity to understand, from diverse perspectives, the latest trends in the movement of people in Asia as well as current efforts to address multicultural coexistence in Asian countries. It is possible to attend both Part 1 and Part 2 or just one of the parts, so please feel free to attend.

Event Details

Dates and Times October 20, 2019 (Sunday)
[Part 1] 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Public discussion, "Designing Multicultural Coexistence"
[Part 2] 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Public seminar, "Multicultural Coexistence: An Asian Perspective"

Note: After both parts are complete, there will be an opportunity to speak with the speakers (for around 30 minutes).

Venue Tokyo Midtown Design Hub International Design Liaison Center Access
5th floor of Midtown Tower, 9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo Google map
Languages Japanese and English (Japanese-to-English simultaneous interpretation available)
Admission Free of charge; 80-people capacity (in order of application)
Application Applications must be made in advance. Please apply by using one of the methods below.

Inquiries Maki Kudo (Ms.)
Arts, Culture and Exchange Section 2, The Japan Foundation Asia Center
Organizer The Japan Foundation Asia Center

Event Details

Note: Details of the program are subject to change.

Part 1: Public discussion, "Designing Multicultural Coexistence"
1:00 p.m. to 1:05 p.m. Opening Remarks (The Japan Foundation)
1:05 p.m. to 1:25 p.m. "Accepting Foreign Workers in Japan: The Present Situation"; Ms. Tomoko Tokunaga (University of Tsukuba, assistant professor)
1:25 p.m. to 1:40 p.m. "Introducing Case Studies of Multi-cultural Symbiosis Initiatives That Use Art"; Ms. Shuko Ebihara (representative of the board of directors at Kuriya, a non-profit organization)
1:40 p.m. to 1:50 p.m. "The Front-line in the Philippines, a Country Sending Labor Overseas" (EYES Project report)
1:50 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. "Initiatives in Japan, a Country Accepting Foreign Workers" (EYES Project report)
2:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Q&A and discussion

Part 2: Public seminar; "Multicultural Coexistence: An Asian Perspective"
2:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Case studies from the Philippines
2:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Case studies from India
3:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Case studies from Malaysia
3:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Case studies from Thailand
3:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Case studies from Indonesia
3:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Case studies from Myanmar
4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Q&A and talk session

Part 1 Speakers

Tomoko Tokunaga (University of Tsukuba assistant professor/EYES Project2019 advisor)
Ms. Tomoko Tokunaga is an assistant professor of the Faculty of Human Sciences at the University of Tsukuba. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Maryland, College Park, and M.A. in Education at the University of Tokyo. Her research focuses on the impact of migration on immigrant youth and their potential roles in a globalized world. More recently, she has conducted Participatory Action Research in an attempt to empower and support creation of ibasho (places where one feels comfortable, safe, and accepted) for immigrant youth in Japan and the United States.

Shuko Ebihara (representative of the board of directors at Kuriya, a non-profit organization)
Shuko Ebihara grew up in culturally diverse countries; Peru, the UK, and Japan. After graduating from Keio University, she worked at the Japan Foundation and the United Nations (the International Organization for Migration [IOM]). In 2009, she set up an art project for children and young people who are immigrants. And until the present, she has held over 100 workshops that use photographs, videos, and other means to create multicultural communities. In 2016, she founded a non-profit organization called Kuriya; and she has tackled the challenges of preventing school drop-outs and providing career support through community building for young immigrants at part-time high schools. She was selected to represent Japan for the 2016 Global Cultural Leadership Programme. And from 2019, she has served as a Japanese-language-education advisor for MEXT.


Mr. Ben Suzuki; Director, Arts, Culture and Exchange Section 2, the Japan Foundation Asia Center

What is the EYES Project?
The EYES Project is a 13-day research program in which participants consider what form multicultural coexistence societies in Asia should take. These participants will be the next-generation leaders who will promote diversity in various countries. Training will be carried out in the Philippines and in Japan, and, in the training, multicultural coexistence that aims to create a rich society that embraces cultural differences will be contemplated. In the 13 days of training, participants will form a network of workers in Asian regions, and they will gain comprehension of the reality of the movement of people in both of the countries in which this training is being carried out (e.g., from the aspect of a country sending labor overseas [the Philippines], from the aspect of a country accepting foreign workers [Japan]) and of activities to promote multicultural coexistence. Furthermore, a workshop that uses art techniques will be used to learn about and promote societies that are multicultural coexistence.

EYES Project 2019 Fellows

Meninaputri Wismurti(Indonesia)

A photo of Ms. Meninaputri Wismurti

Maria Kariz Lucila Elfante Del Rosario(Philippines)
Batis Center for Women, Program Coordinator

A photo of Ms. Maria Kariz Lucila Elfante Del Rosario

Raquitico, Raul JR. Lorenzo(Philippines)
Freelance Artist、Graphic Designer、Daloy Dance Company Senior Member

A photo of Mr. Raquitico, Raul JR. Lorenzo

Dr. Suwichan Phatthanaphraiwan(Thailand)
Srinakarinwirot University Asistant Professor, Musician

A photo of Dr. Suwichan Phatthanaphraiwan

Sarawut Takham(Thailand)
Community-Based Tourism Officer of Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Development

A photo of Mr. Sarawut Takham

Theimila MARCHANG(India)
Shiksha Rath Associate Director

A photo of Ms. Theimila MARCHANG

Shruti RAMLINGAIA(India)
Independent Curator

A photo of Ms. Shruti RAMLINGAIA

Siti Rahayu Binti Baharin(Malaysia)
Co-Founder of Buku Jalanan Chow Kit

A photo of Ms. Siti Rahayu Binti Baharin

Htet Htet Aung(Myanmar)
Training Consultant

A photo of Ms. Htet Htet Aung

Kasumi Shirahata(Japan)
Founder, Exective Director of An-Nahal

A photo of Ms. Kasumi Shirahata

Aiko Hashizume(Japan)
Staff of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Freelance Art Manager

A photo of Ms. Aiko Hashizume

Cynthia Shibata(Japan)
IT company
(staff of NPO for supporting refugees in Japan from January 2020)

A photo of Ms. Cynthia Shibata