President Obama’s Trip to Japan and Korea echos the mission of ISC

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

President Barack Obama’s recent visits to Japan and Korea emphasize the importance of the trilateral alliance and relationship that the three countries have. Joint statements issued by President Obama and Prime Minister Abe, as well as President Obama and President Park, highlight the role of the youth in resolving past historical grievances between Korea and Japan, and in bringing the countries closer together through bridges of mutual understanding.

To this end, ISC hosted a trilateral symposium in 2013 and 2014 to bring JASC and KASC leaders together to discuss the future cooperation for the three countries. ISC is happy to play a critical part in this important dialogue and fully agrees with President Obama’s statement during a joint press conference with President Park.

“I think Prime Minister Abe recognizes, and certainly the Japanese people recognize, that the past is something that has to be recognized honestly and fairly. But I also think that it is in the interest of both Japan and the Korean people to look forward as well as backwards and to find ways in which the heartache and the pain of the past can be resolved, because, as has been said before, the interests today of the Korean and Japanese people so clearly converge. They’re both democracies. You both have thriving free markets. Both are cornerstones of a booming economic region.  Both are strong allies and friends of the United States. And so when you think about the young people of the Republic of Korea and Japan, my hope would be that we can honestly resolve some of these past tensions, but also keep our eye on the future and the possibilities of peace and prosperity for all people.” (April 25, 2014, Joint Press Conference with President Obama and President Park)

Fostering mutual understanding among American, Japanese and Korean university students as the future generation of leaders in the Asia Pacific is the mission of International Student Conferences (ISC), a non-profit organization that manages both the Korea-America Student Conference (KASC) and the Japan-America Student Conference (JASC). JASC is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year and has been recently recognized by President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Abe as an “indispensable” exchange program for developing the U.S.-Japan alliance. KASC was launched in 2008, and will be celebrating its 8th anniversary next summer. You can read more about ISC’s Trilateral Symposiums here and here.

Meet the New KASC Program Manager Minjun Chen

Hi everyone, my name is Minjun Chen, and I am the new KASC Program Manager! I’m an alumna of 3rd KASC in 2010, so I am very familiar with the program and am excited to help develop KASC in this new capacity. During 3rd KASC, I participated in the Environment Roundtable, and I had the chance to travel to American University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan and Stanford University for seminars, lectures, site visits, and cultural excursions. Not only was I exposed to more in-depth knowledge about US-Korea cooperation on green energy during the conference, but I also had the chance to learn about politics, identity, economics, and the Korean wave. I definitely credit my experience as a delegate for fostering my passion in the complex historical, political, and cultural relationship between Korea, China, and Japan, and the role that the younger generation from East Asia and the US have in bridging understanding as the future leaders of the region.

A little about me– I was born in Chaozhou, China, and moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland with my family when I was two years old. I’ve stayed on the East Coast, growing up in MD, and recently graduating from American University with a self-created B.A. in Korean Language and Area Studies, double minors in Chinese and Business Administration and a Certificate in Asian Studies. During my junior year, I studied abroad at Peking University in Beijing, China, and at Sungkyunkwan and Sogang University as a 2011-2012 Boren Scholar. I’ve very passionate about using media and youth exchange to promote East Asian reconciliation, and focused my senior capstone on the “Implications of Gangnam Style for Strengthening the Asian Diaspora Community in the United States and Promoting East Asian Reconciliation.” In addition, I was a 2012 Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow at Princeton University, 2013 Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL) Scholar and 2013 Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship Finalist. I’m also the co-editor of KoreaBANG, and co-founder of Voices of Asian America.

As Program Manager, not only will I be mentoring and guide the ECs as they put together the conference each year, but I’ll also be focusing my efforts on fundraising and creating scholarships for the delegates, promoting KASC and fostering partnerships with other organizations, as well as advocating for and continuing to develop our alumni. If you have any ideas or comments, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me via email at mchen@iscdc.org, or feel free to stop by our DC office to meet and talk! I’ll also be taking a trip to Korea in May, so hope to meet some of you there as well. Cheers!

 

ISC Hosted by the Consulate General of Japan in NYC

 

Ambassador Kusaka welcomes the audience to his residence.

On Monday, April 14, ISC was hosted by the Consulate General of Japan in NYC at his residence in Manhattan. The gathering brought together ISC alumni, Board members, corporate supporters, and other supportive individuals for the program “Celebrating U.S.-Japan Intellectual Exchange”. The program featured opening remarks by Deputy Consul General Kengo Yoshihara (JASC 41), remarks from Ambassador Sumio Kusaka, Consul General of Japan in New  York,  a keynote speech from ISC Board of Directors Vice Chairman and Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress Glen S. Fukushima (JASC 22; 23), a short presentation on the 66th JASC from American Executive Committee Vice Chair Pramodh Ganapathy, and a toast from Professor Hugh Patrick, R.D. Calkins Professor Emeritus of International Business and Director and Founder of the Center on Japanese Economy and Business at Columbia Business School.

In addition to celebrating the 80-year history of JASC and the people-to-people connection between Japan and the U.S., Ambassador Kusaka and Mr. Fukushima both took time to talk about the current status of the U.S.-Japan partnership, noting challenges they face together regionally. They both emphasized the need for greater understanding and discussion in the region, especially among the U.S., Japan, and Korea, applauding ISC’s recent efforts in JASC-KASC Trilateral Symposiums.

Glen S. Fukushima spoke about the current U.S.-Japan relationship and his personal JASC experience.

Mr. Fukushima also spoke in detail of his experience during his JASCs, including the five things he gained from JASC: knowledge, experience, network, friendship, and of course, his wife, Sakie T. Fukushima!

 

 

 

Pramodh Ganapathy, AEC Vice Chair and Duke University Senior, made a moving presentation about what JASC means to him and the rest of the American Executive Committee. He brought tears and laughter of nostalgia to the eyes of the alumni in attendance by showing a video about what JASC means to the current AEC. You can watch that video here: http://iscdc.org/jasc/2014/voices/. He also shared the plans for the 66th JASC to be held in the U.S. this coming August.

After the program, guests were invited upstairs for a reception. Professor Patrick made a toast to the prosperous future of the U.S.-Japan relationship. Guests networked and enjoyed each others company, refreshments, and Japanese cuisine for the rest of the evening.

JASC will be celebrating its 80th Anniversary this summer in San Francisco! Come out for a long weekend to see all of your old friends, meet some new ones, and interact with the 66th JASC delegation! For more details and to RSVP, visit  www.regonline.com/jasc80th 

KASC Alumni Recognized for Leadership and Diplomacy

ISC is happy to congratulate two of our alumni for their career and academic success.

 Alice HaeYeon Jeong (KASC 2008 & 2009) successfully passed Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs “UN Junior Professional Officer Exam” last summer. As a result, she is currently working for the UN Development Programme – UN Volunteers’ (UNDP-UNV) Peacebuilding Division in Bonn, Germany as a Programme Analyst at the P2 level and will be stationed in Germany for 2 years. She is “uber excited to start my career at the UN and welcome any KASCers who are travelling through Germany to stop by Bonn and say “hello.”

Lyndsey Twining (KASC 2013) has been named a 2014 Sang-Yong Nam Award Winner by the University of Michigan Nam Center for Korean Studies. She is a recipient of the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship and studying in Korea. According to the Nam Center, “Lyndsey’s research accomplishments are notable for an undergraduate student, participating in multiple exchanges and conferences on Korean studies in both the United States and Korea.” Read more at the Nam Center website.

 

Double Mirror Event on Korean-American Identity

KASCers and JASCers:
Check out this event that will feature 30 Korean and Korean-American artists at the Katzen Arts Center, American University, on April 4th and 5th.
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Mina Cheon aka Ilsoon Kim, Detail from Eat Choco·Pie Together, 2014 - Double Mirror 2014 - AU Katzen Museum
Double Mirror is a mixed media and mixed genre exhibition representing a group of 30 Korean and Korean-American artists whose works share, reflect, and refract the conditions of having bi-cultural identities in the ultra modern world. These unique artists convey the cultural complexity and richness of serving two countries, Korea and America, and are regretfully under-recognized by the mainstream American art world. This exhibition explores the ways these contemporary artists have faced, challenged, changed, and re-formulated the issue of physical, mental, and virtual immigration.Important dates: April 5th Gallery talk at 5pm, Artist Reception at 6pm.

For more information on current and upcoming exhibitions and events, please visit www.american.edu/museum

Image: Mina Cheon aka Ilsoon Kim, Detail from Eat Choco·Pie Together, 2014. Performance installation with 10,000 pieces of Choco-Pie. Courtesy of Ethan Cohen Fine Arts
Museum Hours: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday–Sunday Admission is free. Parking is available under the Katzen Arts Center and is free on evenings and weekends.
Want to learn more about the exhibitions and programs occuring at the American University Museum? Sign up to receive emails from the museum for information about opening receptions, gallery talks, and museum events. Email museum@american.edu to be added to the mailing list.
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW | Washington, DC 20016 US

JASC & KASC Still Accepting Applications!

Upon their review of the many excellent applicants, the Executive Committees of JASC and KASC decided to extend the deadline on a rolling-admissions basis in order to have a more diverse delegation. They will be accepting new applicants until the delegation is full, or until March 31. Students applying for JASC who also wish to apply for the S&R Foundation Scholarship must submit all of their application materials by March 24 to be considered.

   

In case you haven’t heard:
The Japan-America Student Conference (JASC) is currently recruiting student delegates for the 66th Annual Conference, which will be held in the U.S. in August 2014. This student-led exchange program, initiated in 1934 by university students concerned by the breakdown of bilateral relations prior to the Second World War, JASC has evolved into a leadership training program for both Japanese and American students. Our notable alumni list includes former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and former Prime Minister of Japan Kiichi Miyazawa, This year’s conference theme is “Communicate and Connect: Pursuing Peace at the Crossroads of Culture” and will visit Des Moines, IA, San Francisco, CA, New York, NY, and Washington, D.C. Applications are currently being accepted on a rolling-admission basis until March 31st, 2014. You can learn more about the 66th JASC here: http://iscdc.org/jasc/2014/.

The Korea-America Student Conference (KASC) is a student-led academic and cultural student exchange program with a focus on hands-on leadership training. Every July, 50 students equally represented from the U.S. and Korea gather for a month-long conference to discuss issues pertinent to the bilateral relationship. Together as a group, the delegation travels throughout the U.S./Korea while researching 5 specific roundtable topics and meeting with various experts. At the end of the conference, each roundtable group presents creative solutions to current bilateral issues before a panel of judges and a general audience. This year, guided by the theme “Introspection: Opportunity to Learn, Grow, and Prosper”, KASC will convene in South Korea, exploring four unique regions of the country. Applications are currently being accepted on a rolling-admission basis until March 31st, 2014. You can learn more about the 7th KASC here: http://iscdc.org/kasc/2014/.

6th KASCer Jessie Meier Chosen for CLS Program

Jessie Meier, the 6th KASC alumna was chosen for this year’s Critical Language Scholarship(CLS) Program. CLS Program is a fully-funded summer intensive language program for U.S. university students and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. This year’s CLS Program is hosted by Yonsei University in Wonju, South Korea. CLS is a two month program, during which, scholarship recipients are required to speak only Korean. Participants live in dorms with Korean roommates and will also have a homestay experience with a local Korean family for one week. At the end of the 8 weeks, students take an American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)-certified post-program oral proficiency interview assessment. Students have four hours of language class and five hours of culture class each day, four hours of peer tutoring and four hours of internship per week, and weekly cultural excursions to museums, theaters, and local events.
On behalf of the entire KASC family, ISC commends Jessie for her passion for US-Korea understanding and congratulates her for this awesome opportunity!
Read more about CLS here.

Summer Course for KASCers and JASCers by Prof. Roland Wilson!

Hi everyone! There is interesting information for you. This summer Professor Roland Wilson from George Mason University will teach a class on conflict resolution and resolving conflicts in Northeast Asia at Chonbuk National University International Summer School. This topic would be very interesting because this course is designed for students interested in understanding and helping to resolve conflicts in Northeast Asia. Let us know if you’re interested!

# You should mention Professor Ronald Wilson to get a good discount when you sign up!

If you are interested please visit the website at http://iss.jbnu.ac.kr/
Link for his class and others http://iss.jbnu.ac.kr/sub.php?menucode=2020
Link on how to sign up: http://iss.jbnu.ac.kr/sub.php?menucode=3040

This is description for the course:

Welcome to “Resolving Conflicts in Northeast Asia, an Introductory Course in Conflict Analysis and Resolution” (CAR). This course is especially designed for students interested in understanding and helping to resolve conflicts in Northeast Asia.  However, the theories and tools learned in this course can be applied to other conflicts around the world.

CAR is a relatively new and exciting hybrid academic field that incorporates a multidisciplinary approach, including ideas drawn from the study of psychology, sociology, anthropology, law, and political science to name a few.

Conflicts are natural phenomena in human beings’ lives.  However, depending on their intensity, conflicts are expressed either nonviolent or violently. Moreover, conflicts occur at all levels of society: between individuals, groups, institutions and even at the state and international levels. In this course, you will learn basic CAR theories and tools in order to understand, analyze, and practice resolving these various types of conflicts.

The course includes an overview of the field; origins and causes of conflict; how to map a conflict; and strategies for transforming and resolving the conflict. Key questions that will be explored include: What is conflict? What are the causes/roots of conflict? Why do individuals make certain choices in situations of conflict? What are some of the major models and approaches used to help understand and resolve conflicts?

At the end of the course, you should be able to identify the basic concepts, frameworks, and techniques in the field of CAR, and look at unique ways to analyze and help resolve conflicts.

This course, like the CAR fields, will be examined through the integrated lenses of theory, research and practice (also known as intervention).  This is an interactive course that will use seminar style discussions of the readings and will include group projects on a conflict in Northeast Asia, presentations and games.