Aichi University, a partner institution of the Ministry of Culture through the Spotlight Taiwan project in Japan, will organize a series of seminars and film screenings under the theme "Cultural Impact of the New Southbound Policy" from Sept. 15 through Oct. 14.
Marking its fifth year of Spotlight Taiwan participation this year, Aichi University will collaborate with Kansai University, Kinjo Gakuin University, and Taiwanese scholars to examine and discuss the historic and contemporary relations between Taiwan and Southeast Asia.
Director Chu Wen-ching (朱文清) of the Taipei Cultural Center in Tokyo noted that the previous administration under President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had proposed a similar southbound policy to diversify ties with regional states.
When President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in 2016, she launched the New Southbound Policy to actively boost ties with Southeast Asian states, as well as with regional players such as India and Australia, and promote exchanges in culture, tourism, and skills, he added.
In response, the Ministry of Culture has established its Southeast Asia Advisory Committee in 2015 to strengthen cultural ties with Southeast Asian nations.
Scheduled for Osaka, the first seminar will invite scholars Cheng Ching-ren (鄭欽仁), Hsueh Hua-yuan (薛化元), and Wu Chieh-min (吳介民) to discuss historical policies for enhancing cooperation between Taiwan and Southeast Asian countries in the past, and explore how to annul China's influence while seeking to advance ties with regional partners.
The second seminar scheduled for Sept. 30 will invite professor Hsia Hsiao-chuan (夏曉鵑) to explore issues relating to migrant workers and foreign spouses under the impact of globalization.
The third seminar and accompanying film screenings, titled "Look South・ Southbound: Political Insights on the Visual Arts of Taiwan," will be held on Oct. 14 by Nagoya University, Kansai University, and Kinjo Gakuin University.
The event will invite scholars and directors including Kuo Liang-yin (郭亮吟), Shuhei Fujita (藤田修平), Chen Ru-shou (陳儒修), Wang Ya-wei (王亞維), Qiu Kun-liang (邱坤良), Sing Song-yong (孫松榮), and Wu from the Osaka seminar to hold a discourse on Taiwan's historical perceptions of itself and the surrounding Southeast Asian states.
The seminar will also explore how Taiwan's contemporary visual artworks provide a new interpretive set of lens for understanding migrant workers and new immigrants from Southeast Asia.