On March 17th, 2016, old and new friends of the border studies community in Japan (from Hokkaido to Kyushu!) met in Fukuoka for the Kyushu University Center for Asia-Pacific Future Studies Spring Workshop titled, "A Fresh Look at Borders." The workshop consisted of two panels which focused particularly on Asian borders.
The first session looked at migration and borders in an international airport. The first speaker, Naomi Chi from Hokkaido University, looked at migration policies and ethnic minorities in East Asia, particularly Japan and Korea, and analyzed the transition of migration and the politics of inclusion and exclusion that exist in the two respective countries. The second speaker, Nobuhiro Aizawa of Kyushu University, presented his work "Political Borders in an International Airport" where he examined the control of borders through the political contestation of constructing and managing an international airport vis-à-vis the case of Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International airport, the hub airport of mainland Southeast Asia and conversely how this politics shaped the national power structure.
In the second session, Fuminori Kawakubo from Chuo Gakuin University presented his work on "Border Walls and the Global War on Terror" and how the continuous fencing and building of walls in the name of war against terror has negative and irreversible effects on border security. Last but not least, CAFS very own Ted Boyle presented his work "Fencing the Indian Northeast" where he explored his observations from his recent field work in Northeast India. While there is a strong Indian national discourse on "fencing" the northeastern part of India, the local people enjoy some freedom of movement, various "informal" markets and trade.
(written by Naomi CHI)