Forskning Forskarutbildning

Region- och kulturstudier hör till institutionen för världens kulturer.

Unionsgatan 38 A (PB 59)
00014 Helsingfors universitet
tel. +358 (0)294 1911 (växel)

Asia-Pacific Forum

Asia-Pacific Forum on Aasian ja Tyynenmeren alueen tutkimuksen vierailuluentosarja. Vierailuluentoja on useita lukuvuodessa ja tulevista luennoista ilmoitetaan mm. tällä verkkosivulla. Monet vierailuluennoista ovat englanninkielisiä.



Intercultural Communication: From a research culture of WAR to a
research culture of PEACE

Prof. Min-Sun Kim, Department of Speech, University of Hawaii
Thu 23.9.2010 at 2 pm, Main Building, Hall 5

In this guest lecture, Professor Min-Sun Kim will point out how former intercultural research has been seeking to define, dominate and absorb the Other. Contrarily, she will suggest a change of perspective and reveal how intercultural researchers might contribute to making the world a better place.



Sino-US Catholic Marriage
Matti Nojonen, Programme Director at Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Thu 26.11.2009, at 3 pm, Renvall Institute, (Unioninkatu 38A), Russian room A109

The interdependence between the surplus economy of China and the deficit economy of the United States is reminiscent of an unhappy catholic marriage. They are like spouses who are unable to file for divorce despite having greatly disparate understandings of the world order and not sharing any common set of values. This marriage was born in a rather subtle manner during the first decade of the 21st century. The gravity of power between China and the United
States is gradually sliding towards Beijing as the Obama regime is moving away from value-driven China politics to a more cooperative and constructive set of policies. China has more muscle to manoeuvre, but it is facing increasing risks of domestic turmoil, and domestic
political pressure to mend its potentially risky dependency on the United States is mounting. However, these two spouses are tightly tied by their hips to each other. Any drastic manoeuvre will make them both stumble.

Topics: A shift away from value based politics; The dollar-circulating pump; The financial crisis impact on China, Emerging critical discussion in China, The strategic options of the
US, China tip-toeing away while tied by the hip

Graffiti with Chinese Characteristics?
Minna Valjakka, Ph.D Candidate
Thu 24.9.2009 at 2pm, Renvall Institute (Unioninkatu 38A), Russian room, 109

This lecture focuses on the emergence and characteristics of graffiti in China. In the
western countries graffiti is commonly regarded as criminal activity that destroys public
property. However, for some, it has also become an enduring genre of public art. In
China, graffiti in its modern form, as an urban self-expression, is a relatively young
phenomenon emerging gradually since the mid-1990s. Although also in China making graffiti
is illegal, it nevertheless exists. When visiting the art areas of Beijing or Shanghai,
one can not escape noticing colourful graffiti created in these areas or in their close
neighbourhoods. What makes this phenomenon even more interesting is the fact that in the
other areas in Chinese cities graffiti is hard to find. Art areas seem to be an
interesting exception to public norms. What is graffiti’s relationship with contemporary
art? How graffiti regarded in today’s China? What are the differences and similarities in
Chinese graffiti if compared with graffiti in Western countries? Besides addressing these
questions relating to the contemporary situation, this lecture will also address the
difficulties of defining graffiti and its historical development in China.

Bali: A Paradise Globalised
Prof. Michael Hitchcock, Deputy Dean, External Relations and Research, University of Chichester
Time: Wed 30.9. at 3 pm
Venue: SSKH (Svenska social- och kommunalhögskolan, Snellmaninkatu 12, entrance from Yrjö Koskisen katu), room 210

The presentation reflects on the lecturer's recent book "Tourism, Development, and Terrorism in Bali". It investigates tourism as a form of globalisation at a time when interest in analysing globalisation seems to be less to the fore than in recent years. The case of Bali in relation to the broad theoretical debates about globalisation is explored, covering the history of how Bali became a major tourism destination during the height of the colonial era, and the rise and fall of tourism in response to a succession of crises, notably the bombings of 2002 and 2005.

Katsaus Kambodzhan poliittiseen tilanteeseen
Toimittaja Joona Pietarila
Torstai, 22.1.2009 klo 15–17, Renvall-instituutti, Venäjä-huone (Unioninkatu 38 A, 1 krs.)

Joona Pietarila analysoi Kambodzhan nykypolitiikkaa ja tuo esille maan lähihistorian vaikutuksia nykyhetkeen. Luennolla käsitellään esimerkiksi käynnissä olevaa kansamurhaoikeudenkäyntiä ja rajakriisiä Preah Vihearin temppelialueesta Thaimaan kanssa. Joona Pietarila on Kambodzhan Ystävyysseuran aktiivi ja vieraillut maassa säännöllisesti vuodesta 1994 alkaen toimittajana ja kehitysyhteistyöprojektien puitteissa.  


Imaginary Japan: Japanese Fantasy in Contemporary Popular Culture
Conference at the University of Helsinki (18.-20.9.2008), Main Building, Fabianinkatu 33,
The Finnish Society for Cinema Studies (SETS) organises with Asia-Pacific Studies programme an international conference on Japanese popular culture from 18th to 20th September 2008. The conference explores the popular images of Japan in intercultural and multidisciplinary context and concentrates on the theme of intercultural encounters. The conference will bring together Japanese and Western views on contemporary Japanese audiovisual and popular culture including for example film, television, animation, media, music, games and fashion.
Read more

Security Environment in Asia from Japan's Perspective
Ambassador Jorma Julin
Monday, 8 September, 2008 at 16.15-18.00 , Russian room, A109, Renvall Institute (Unioninkatu 38 A), University of Helsinki

There have been significant changes not only in economic but also political and security environment in Asia during the past twenty years or so. China and India have emerged as major economic and political powers. Particularly China's military power has gained much strength and continues to do so. Its military outlays are already assessed to be the 2nd biggest in the world. Multilateral security arrangements are very modest. In East Asia security situation is still much influenced by the results of WW II and the Korean War. However, there are currently efforts underway in the six-party talks to find solutions to Korean issues. The US continues to be a big player and its military presence is important. Between Japan and Russia no peace agreement exists after 50 years since the war ended. How does this multipolar development and tension which is necessarily caused influence the security outlook in Asia?

Dynamics of Asia-Pacific Studies: Politics, Gender and Culture
A workshop for researchers on May 29-30, 2008 arranged by Asia-Pacific Studies Program, East Asian Studies Program and Confucius Institute. Venue: Confucius Institute (Unioninkatu 33, 3rd floor, entrance from the backside of the building).

The Theory of Skill Learning in Budo - Japanese Martial Arts
Professor Ryuichi Takeda
Tuesday, 4 March, 2008 at 12.15-14.00, University of Helsinki, Unioninkatu 38, room F211

How to Teach Chinese Listening Comprehension
Lecturer Fu You, Renmin University of China, China, Language Teacher at Confucius Institute

Finnish-Japanese Co-operation during Russo-Japanese War
Professor Chiharu Inaba, Meijo University, Japan, Visiting Researcher at the Asia-Pacific Studies Programme
Thursday, 21 February, 2008 at 16.15-18.00, Confucius Institute, Unioninkatu 33


The Role of Japan in Asia
Ambassador Hitoshi Honda, Embassy of Japan
Tuesday, 16 October, 2007 at 14.15-16.00, Main Building, University of Helsinki, Unioninkatu 34, Runeberg-Hall, 2nd floor

Regional economic integration and regional politico-economic co-operation activities in the Asia-Pacific region have intensified during the last few years. In this process Japan has actively widened its co-operation in the area. In his presentation Ambassador Honda analyses the following topics: Asia as the centre of growth in the world economy; ASEAN – the success story of regional co-operation in Asia; Japan ’s co-operation with the ASEAN; Regional integration in Asia in the future; Japan - China relations; Japan - India relations.

Ambassador Hitoshi Honda has been Ambassador of Finland and Estonia since autumn 2006. As the representative of Government of Japan he has been working e.g. in the USA and Ukraine. Similarly, he has profound experience of various European countries such as France and Hungary.

Aceh: the Shadow Economy of insurgency and Peace
Edward Aspinall, Australian National University
Wednesday, 26 September 2007, at 10.15 -12.00
Main Building, University of Helsinki, Unioninkatu 34, auditorium III

During the recent separatist insurgency in Aceh (1999-2005) the two
sides, Indonesian security forces and the rebels of the Free Aceh
Movement were sworn enemies, with incompatible political goals and
ideologies. But they were also connected by a subterranean shadow
economy, in which the adversaries met, negotiated, struck deals, and
made money. Now that peace has come to Aceh, former rebels are being
reintegrated into Indonesia's national structures, not only by way of
politics, but also by connecting to the patrimonial networks which infuse
state and economy.

In making this presentation, Edward Aspinall will draw from material
from a recently completed book manuscript on the Aceh conflict and its
aftermath. Edward Aspinall is a fellow in the Department of Political and Social
Change, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National
University. He is the author of “Opposing Suharto: Compromise, Resistance
and Regime Change in Indonesia” (2005).

Asian Values versus Universal Human Rights Revisited -seminar
International researcher seminar organised by the Asia-Pacific Studies Programme.
31 May – 1 June, 2007. University of Helsinki, Hall AUD XIII, Unioninkatu 34.
Read more

Confucianism and Modernity
Professor, Torbjörn Loden (University of Stockholm)
Wednesday 23, May 2007, 2-4pm,
hall AUD XI, 3rd floor, Main building (add. Unioninkatu 34), University of Helsinki

The role of Confucianism for modernization has been a central issue in Chinese culture for the past century. Against the background of an overview of the historical evolution of Confucian thought, Torbjörn Lodén will in his lecture discuss the social dynamics of Confucianism with regard to modernization and modernity. As he sees it, Confucianism is an open and ongoing discussion rather than a closed system of thought, and he will argue that the role of Confucianism for modernization is not so much a question how the original Confucian ideas themselves relate to modernization and modernity as how people choose to interpret these ideas. In particular, he will focus on the role of Confucianism as an indigenous cultural tradition in which to anchor and define the Chinese identity in the modern globalized world.

Future of Aceh: sustainability of peace and economic development
Monday, 19 March, 2007, at 13.00-16.00
University of Helsinki, Hall 5 (add. Fabianinkatu 33, 3rd floor)
Seminaarin ohjelma

Drinking with the Devil: Plantation community and world capitalism in Java, 1870s-2000s
Dr. Pujo Semedi, Dept. of Anthropology, Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia
Friday, February 16, at 14-16 pm, University Main Building, Unioninkatu 34, AUD IX (3rd floor)

Plantations are an important element in Indonesian socio-economic life. Established during the heyday of colonialism, they had served as a spearhead of colon­ialism to siphon off the colony wealth to the European mother country, the Netherlands. Numbered around 1.300 at the late colonial period, plantations in Java contributed eighty percent of the colony export, valued at f 604 million guilder in 1940. Now the colonial regime has gone into oblivion, the colonized country has become sovereign and independent one, but the plantations are still there. Present Indonesian plantations must somehow be different from colonial plantations, but to what extent do they differ? This presentation try to answer the question based on historical-ethnographic research on a tea plantation in southern Pekalongan, central Java, named Jolotigo.


Finnish-Chinese Conference on Mannerheim
C. G. Mannerheim’s Ride Across Asia (1906-1908)
Helsinki Meeting, August 23-24, 2006, Porthania, PII, Yliopistonkatu 3

Korean Shamanism and Shamanistic Traditions in Eurasia seminar
Thursday 11 May 2006, at 9.40am - 4pm.
Finnish Literature Society, Main Hall, Hallituskatu 1, 2nd floor

Humanity at the Turning Point: Rethinking Nature, Culture and Freedom. Essays on Contemporary Philosophy by Sonja Servomaa (ed.)
Renvall Institute Publications; 23. University of Helsinki.
Book publishing event April 10, 2006. Renvall Institute, U38, A132.

Japan after the War and in the Future
Professor Masahisa Hayashi, Wednesday March 29, 4.15pm - 6pm
Renvall Institute, Unioninkatu 38, building A, room 132.

In his welcome lecture Masahisa Hayashi, the new visiting professor at Asia-Pacific Studies programme, will discuss Japan's post-war period and the future alternatives of Japan in the international community.

Japan was completely devastated in the Second World War. With the bitter experience of almost unconditional surrender, Japan made a swift turn to democracy, pacifism and concentrated on economic development. Japan's success was spectacular. Professor Hayashi will reflect these topics on the basis of his own personal experiences. Japan has enjoyed long peaceful and prosperous period after the war, but now faces many serious problems, both domestic and international ones, including fast aging of the society, and an enormous public debt.

Mr. Masahisa Hayashi is a professor at the Graduate School and Faculty of Social Sciences at Waseda University, Tokyo. He is specialized in public finance and local government finance.

Love Your Country on Nanjjing Road: The British and the May Fourth Movement in Shanghai by Ph.D. Tiina Airaksinen
Renvall Institute Publications; 19. University of Helsinki.
Book publishing event on March 3, 2006, Renvall Institute, U38 A109.

Korealaisen ja suomalaisen puhe- ja viestintäkulttuurin eroja
DI Mira Shin, 1.3.2006 klo 16.15-18.00
Yliopiston päärakennus, aud IV. Unioninkatu 34, 2 krs.

Miten suomalainen ja korealainen kulttuuri eroavat toisistaan? Mitkä seikat vaikuttavat erojen muodostumiseen?

Luennolla käsitellään seuraavia asioita: käyttäytymisen, arvojen ja normien eroavaisuudet suomalaisessa ja korealaisessa yhteiskunnassa; historian, kulttuurin ja maantieteellisten seikkojen vaikutus mentaliteetin muodostumiseen; miten suomalaiset ja korealaiset toimivat yksilöinä sekä yhteisön jäseninä


Kiinan yhteiskunta muutoksessa. 30.11.2005. Keskustelutilaisuus Kiinan nyky-yhteiskunnasta, järjestetty yhdessä Suomi-Kiina Seuran ja Gaudeamuksen kanssa.

Miten talouskasvu on muuttanut Kiinaa ja millä hinnalla? Miten muutokset näkyvät kiinalaisten arkielämässä?

Tervetuloa kuulemaan suomalaisten Kiinan-tutkijoiden näkemyksiä Kiinasta. Paikalla mm. Jyrki Kallio (aiheena keskiluokka Kiinassa), Tiina H. Airaksinen (aiheena protestiliikehdintä) ja Mikael Mattlin (aiheena yhteiskunnallisen vakauden syyt).

Keskustelua vetävät Kiinan yhteiskunta muutoksessa-kirjan toimittajat Raisa Asikainen (Helsingin yliopisto) ja Juha Vuori (Turun yliopisto).

ISUD 6th World Congress: Humanity at the Turning Point: Rethinking Nature, Culture and Freedom. 15.-20.7.2005. Organised in co-operation with International Society for Universal Dialogue and Department of Social and Moral Philosophy.

7th Biennial Nordic Conference on Chinese Studies: CHINA AND GLOBALISATION: Poverty, Inequality or Welfare Reforms? 7.-9.6.2005. Organised in co-operation with the Nordic Association for China Studies.

Punaisten khmerien hallinto Kambodzhassa vuosina 1975-1979 ja sen vaikutukset nykyhetkeen. 3.5.2005. Toimittaja Joona Pietarila, 3.5.2005.

The Myth of the East Asian Community. 22.3.2005. Prof. Corrado Molteni (University of Milan). Organised in co-operation with the Institute for Asian and African Studies.

Professor Molteni will present a brief description of the increasing regional economic integration via FDI, trade and financial linkages. He will also discuss about the idea of the proposed East Asia Community, particularly referring to scholarly works in Japan and other countries, and also to Koizumi's statements advocating the birth of such a Community.

His discussion of the obstacles to deeper integration will focus e.g. on:
* regional economic differentials and disparities
* the issue of leadership and regional rivalries between China and Japan
* the problem of how to deal with the United States' economic role
* weakness of existing, planned or envisaged arrangements to promote regional integration

Prof. Molteni will also present his view on the way ahead, focusing on Japan's options and policies.

The Asian Economic Community—Myth or Reality? 8.3.2005. Prof. Lim Hua Sing (Waseda University).

Human rights situation in the Philippines in 2004. 2.2.2005. Leena Sandström , MA (The Embassy of Finland, Manila, The Philippines).


Challenges of International Cooperation on International Affairs Education in Asia. 9.11.2004. Linda J. Yarr, Executive Director (Program for International Studies in Asia, The George Washington University).

Japanese Foreign Direct Investment in China: Trend, Structure, and the Role of Exchange Rates.
8.9.2004. Researcher Yuqing Xing (International University of Japan)

In his presentation Dr. Xing pays special attention to Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) as a factor behind increasing Chinese exports. Why are so many international brands now produced in China? How does Japanese FDI boost exports from China to Japan? Dr. Xing will also explain how yuan's cumulative devaluation has influenced FDI inflows.

Dr. Yuqing Xing holds M.A. in Economics from the Peking University (1989) and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Illinois (1995). Since 1996 he has worked at the International University of Japan, where he became appointed as Associate Professor of Economics in 2002.

Exploration and Conservation in China's Remote Areas.
28.4.2004. Wong How Man, explorer, writer and photographer (China Exploration and Research Society).

Tibetans in India.
31.3.2004. Thupten Konchog Rikey, M.Phil.

Focus on Asia - Challenges in Politics and Research.
23.1.2004. Organised in co-operation with the National Network of Universities for East and Southeast Asian Studies.


A Guinness in Malaysia: Cultural Politics and National Identity in Malaysia.
26.11.2003. Dr. Alberto G. Gomes (La Trobe University, Australia).

Recent Debates on Japan's Colonial Past and Post-colonial Present.
15.10.2003. Dr. Mikako Iwatake, Researcher (University of Helsinki).

Okinawa: Social, Cultural and Regional Identities of Japan's Southern Frontier.

Antinomies of Culture, Technology and the Nation State.
7.5.2003. Professor Raul Pertierra (Ateneo de Manila University, The Philippines).

Democratization in Taiwan.
24.4.2003. Mr. Wu Ming-yen, Representative (Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Finland).

The Taiwan Issue: Current Situation & Future Perspectives.
16.4.2003. Arranged on the occasion of the visit to Finland by Minister Chen Yunlin (Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China) and his delegation.

Contemporary Japanese Society and Politics.
30.1.2003. Prof. Mutsuko Takahashi (University of Shimane) and Prof. Mika Merviö (University of Shimane).

Regionalism in Industrial Asia: ASEAN+3
( China, South Korea and Japan). 13.1.2003. Dr. Cesar de Prado Yepes (University of Lund, Sweden).

Cesar de Prado Yepes' talk will overview regionalisation efforts in and around industrial Asia. The lecture will focus on ASEAN+3 (the 3 being China, South Korea and Japan). 


Japan-China Relations: Looking Back and Ahead.
11.11.2002. Professor Zhao Quansheng (American University).

Japan 's role in the promotion of regional stability in Asia.
5.11.2002. H.E. Mr. Norimasa Hasegawa, Ambassador of Japan.

Asia's perception of China's Economic Performance: Challenge or Opportunity? 30.10.2002. Professor Lim Hua Sing (Waseda University).

Kaukoidän turvallisuuspoliittinen rakenne.
15.10.2002. Mr. Auvo Kantanen, Researcher (Finnish Defence Forces).

Asia-Pacific Day / Aasian ja Tyynenmeren alueen tutkimuksen päivä. 23.5.2002. Katso ohjelma ja raportti päivän annista.

WTO and China.
22.5.2002. Organised in cooperation with Bank of Finland and Sitra, Finnish National Fund for Research and Development.

Itä-Aasia suomalaisyritysten markkina-alueena.
10.4.2002. Mr. Ilpo Kaislaniemi, Vice President, Finpro, Finland Trade Center Division.

The debate on interpreting China's economic growth.
27.3.2002. Prof. Wing Thye Woo (University of California at Davis). 

The Spirit of Kendo.
15.3.2002. Prof. Shinichi Yamagami (Kagawa University).

Minimalism and Japanese art.
14.3.2002. Prof. Masaru Sekine (Waseda University).


Grassroots-level Elections in P.R. China A Sign of Democratization or a Sop to the Masses? 12.11.2001. Ms. Linda Jakobson, researcher (Finnish Institute of International Affairs).

Welfare Development in ASEAN Countries. 15.10.2001. Mr. Meer Mah Fuzul, M.Sc. (University of Helsinki).

A Nordic Forerunner in Asia-Pacific – A.E. Nordenskiöld’s Contribution to Science and Our Knowledge of Japan.
25.9.2001. A Finno-Japanese symposium organised in co-operation with Helsinki University Library. Read more

Recent Events in Sino-ASEAN Relations.
31.8.2001. Prof. Joseph Y.S. Cheng, (City University of Hong Kong).

Recent Developments on the Korean Peninsula and Their Impact on Europe.
21.3.2001. Dr. Yang Dong-chil, H.E. the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea.


  • comparison of political typology in  South and North Korea

  • international relations of Seoul and Pyongyang

  • South Korea´s Northern Dimension Policy

  • Korean unification: progress and prospects

  • Korea-EU relations


The Fluid Strategic Situation in the Asia-Pacific Region. 4.8.2000. Prof. Zhang Zuqian, Director of Department of European Studies (Shanghai Institute for International Studies).