Okinawa Conference Report


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More than 300 EWC alumni, friends and colleagues from 28 countries gathered at the 2014 EWC/EWCA International Conference in Naha, Okinawa on Sept. 17-19, 2014.The conference program on the theme of “Developing a Peaceful and Sustainable Asia Pacific Community” featured more than 100 presenters involved in substantive panels and expert discussions on a range of key regional topics, as well as a special luncheon honoring EWC’s 2014 distinguished alumni and volunteers.

(View videos from the conference.)
“The very first EWC student to step off the boat in 1960, the late Abdul Zia … once observed that at the East-West Center there are no foreigners,” Center President Charles E. Morrison said in the conference’s keynote address. “I always found that very apt, both as a description of a reality and as an aspiration for how we want it always to be … we are one family, sharing a dream together as we navigate toward a destiny of a better region and better world.”

As part of the conference opening ceremony, Dr. Morrison was also awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Okinawa’s University of the Ryukyus, a longtime EWC partner. Also at the conference, EWC officials announced a new partnership with the Okinawa Prefecture Government that will continue the Obuchi Scholarship Program, which allows several Okinawan students each year to pursue graduate degree or leadership program study at the Center.

2014 Distinguished Alumni_webIn addition to paper presentations and discussion panels, attendees participated in a variety of Okinawan cultural workshops, including shisa face pottery-making, Okinawa-style tea ceremony, Okinawan kimono-wearing, spontaneous dance and the three-stringed instrument shansin. Participants also enjoyed a welcoming cultural performance featuring performers from the Okinawa Prefectural University of the Arts, and put on their own traditional talent show during the closing Aloha Banquet.

The conference was hosted by East-West Center, East-West Center Association and the EWCA Okinawa Alumni Chapter in cooperation with the Okinawa Prefectural Government. Click to see a full list of sponsors.

Okinawa Conf flags web