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Seminars & Symposiums

Seminar #3 in a Series by GLOCOL & Hurights Osaka

2009-6-5 (Fri) 6:30 p.m. -

Co-sponsored by Global Collaboration Center (GLOCOL) & Asia-Pacific Human Rights Information Center (Hurights Osaka)


Seminar series topic: "Questioning Japan from a war zone"

Topic of Seminar #3: "The Conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Japan--the shift from connection to concern"

Reporter: Virgil HAWKINS 

Date: June 5 (Friday), 2009

Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Venue: Conference Room #201, 2nd floor of pia NPO, 2-8-24 Chikko, Minato-ku, Osaka, 552-0021

Access: Walk west 200 meters from exit #4 of the Osaka-ko Station on the Chuo Subway Line

Sponsors: Hurights Osaka & GLOCOL

Entrance fee: 300 yen (Free for Hurights Osaka members)


The war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has lasted over 10 years, dragging in eight neighboring countries, and causing 5.4 million civilian deaths--the largest number ever since WWII!

 In spite of such large-scale war, however, the media has rarely addressed this issue. Most people in Japan don't even know that a war is going on there.

 Such ignorance and apathy cause a lack of humanitarian aid and lives that could be saved with appropriate measures are being claimed by hunger, diarrhea, and malaria--94% of the deaths are due to these!

 Awareness and interest can move civil organizations, governments and international organizations, leading to some response.

 On the other hand, there is another approach. That approach is to bring about a change in the mindset: "Those people, their country has a connection to us, so let's pay attention." Normally this can be done by making people aware of certain facts, for example, that raw materials for electronic parts used in mobile phones, personal computers, and digital cameras all come from mines in the DRC. Also, making people aware that innocent mountain gorillas are in danger of extinction directly and indirectly because of this war.

 However, with the growth of globalization, creating a connection between "them" and "us" in today's world no longer has the "weight" it once did. That is, with globalization, people take these connections between one country and the next for granted. Thus, even if the connection is stressed, this connection neither moves people or draws their attention.

 In the first half of this seminar, the war in the DRC and the connections of the DRC and its people to our modern society and the way we live will be explained.

In the second half of the seminar, in addition to learning about these connections, examining approaches for raising awareness and concern will be topics for a workshop.

Date: 2009-6-5 (Fri) 6:30 p.m. -

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