From May 26-29, 2023, scholars and professionals convened at the Toshi Center Hotel in Tokyo for The 14th Asian Conference on Arts & Humanities (ACAH2023) and The 14th Asian Conference on the Social Sciences (ACSS2023). These tandem conferences emphasised the intrinsic links between the disciplines of Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences, offering a rigorous academic platform to explore, critique, and understand the complexities of human societies and their cultural narratives.
This joint event with the IAFOR Research Centre at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) at Osaka University, exemplifies IAFOR’s internationalising mission, bringing together more than 240 delegates from 35 countries.
The conference was launched with an enlightening keynote by Professor Jun Arima, President of IAFOR, and the senior academic officer of the organisation.
The inaugural address from Professor Arima highlighted the challenge of global climate change mitigation due to disparities in priorities between developed and developing countries, exacerbated by emerging geopolitical tensions.
Day one of the conference featured a presentation from Joseph Coleman, Roy W. Howard Professor of Practice in Journalism at Indiana University Bloomington's Media School, who discussed how Japan's rapid ageing, high proportion of elderly citizens, and decline due to low fertility and limited immigration have broad societal and economic consequences, which can serve as an example for other countries including the United States and China.
Professor Coleman was followed by a panel presentation consisting of Will Baber, from the Kyoto University Graduate School of Management, Anshuman Khare, Professor in Operations Management at Athabasca University, Kanji Kitamura, adjunct faculty member at Hawaii Pacific University and Loyola University, and Yuko Onozaka, Professor of Market Analysis in the Department of Economics and Finance at the UiS Business School, University of Stavanger.
The panel presentation delved into Digital Transformation (DX) in Japanese business, covering impediments posed by leaders' technical skills, strategies for addressing IT skill shortages, government initiatives' influence, motivation from partners, and actionable advice for managers.
Plenary day concluded with a featured presentation by Alfonso J. García Osuna, Professor at Hofstra University and at City University of NY-Kingsborough with over 35 years of experience. In his presentation, Dr Osuna emphasised the crucial role of publication for academic success and institution reputation, highlighting common mistakes in manuscript submission and outlining efforts to improve understanding and maximise acceptance chances through practical advice from an experienced editor.
Days two and three were parallel presentation days held at the Toshi Center Hotel, before day four was held entirely online.
While formal presentations are the backbone of IAFOR conferences, the value of informal, yet intellectual, interaction among peers is not overlooked. This was exemplified by the stunning conference dinner at Gonpachi Nishi-Azabu, an iconic venue featured in the movie “Kill Bill”, where delegates experienced a lively atmosphere and a delicious fusion of western and Japanese cuisine.
Delegates were also treated to a cultural presentation by the Fusuma Club from the University of Tokyo. Exploring the art of Japanese aesthetics and cultural nuances, the club brings together enthusiasts to appreciate and learn about the captivating world of traditional sliding door paintings and their historical significance.
As we look towards future events, we are grateful to the speakers, participants, and Organising Committee for their commitment and contributions. For those who missed out, online catch-up options and high-quality recordings of plenary presentations are available on the conference website.
ACAH2023 & ACSS2023 have once again underlined IAFOR's vision - a vision of academia's potential for positive change, and of its responsibility to promote and generate innovation, by connecting and educating. We look forward to seeing you again next year!