In all world regions, Asia is a renowned area where it marks to be the fastest growing economic region. Much attention is focused there, and it can be estimated that Southeast Asia will be an enormous market in the near future.
Although wealth within Asia is vast, a huge gap between the poor and the rich exists among countries due to prosperous distinguished historical backgrounds, cultures, religions, governing systems, and such. Moreover natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons often occur in Asia. Therefore because Asia is diverse in such areas, people suffer from controversial disputes and catastrophes.
The past few years have been tragic: issues among Senkaku/Dokdo Islands, Northern Territories, and East China Sea, and comfort woman problem. Asia has been facing some serious problems and the situation is still grave. As the issues escalate, it is imperative for people from all over the world to be concerned not only about their country but also about the other states.
HPAIR. I came to encounter with The Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations (HPAIR). It is a student-run organization sponsored by the Harvard University since 1991. Their goals are “to give a platform for the delegates to exchange opinions on international issues related to Asia, build strong relationships among participants, and provide an opportunity for the delegates to have discussions with professionals in academia, business and government.”
This August, they cooperated with the Keio University, Japan and held a 5-day long student conference in Tokyo. Having the world face many complicated issues, I set great store by the conference and realized that it is essential for me to participate, mingle with new people from different countries, and to discuss problems related to Asia.
As a member of the security and diplomacy panel at HPAIR, I attained much knowledge regarding to the topics on “future of Korea, East China Sea dispute, and China’s function in globalization in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.” Although the problems we face today are difficult to solve, it is necessary for people to not be ignorant, and get involved in some kind of way.
Written by Serina Omata