Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far
and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
"The Old Poets of China" by Mary Oliver

The UP Asian Center will be holding a webinar, “Border-Crossing Dilemmas under the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Focus on Filipino and other Southeast Asian Workers Residing in and Heading for Japan, on 23 September 2020, 2 – 4 pm (Philippine time), via Zoom. The event is free, but interested participants must register using an authenticated Zoom account.


The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the closure of national borders across the world. By late April 2020, almost all countries introduced travel restrictions, and prohibited the entry of foreigners. Although some Western countries began to lift entry restrictions since June, majority of Asian countries have kept a very cautious stance in accepting foreign travelers until present. Japan, as one of those countries, has already experienced a first and second wave of COVID-19 infections.
This presentation focuses on Japan’s foreign residents, whose numbers have reached 3 million by the end of 2019. When the pandemic hit Japan, many foreign temporary residents who wished to return to their home countries have faced difficulties due to the travel and entry restrictions in Japan and in their home countries. On the other hand, a number of Filipinos and other Asians who wished to head to Japan for work have been forced to stay and wait in their home countries for a long time due to the prolonged “Corona Border Closure.”
The speaker explores these dilemmas related to border-crossing and discusses migration policies of Japan and sending countries, such as the Philippines, under the global crisis. The arguments in his study are based on face-to-face or online interviews with Filipino, Vietnamese, and Indonesian workers residing in Japan and their home countries.  


Dr. Shun Ohno is a professor of the Department of Global Citizenship Studies, Seisen University in Tokyo, and an affiliated professor of Kyoto University’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS). He has published books written in Japanese and English, including Transforming Nikkeijin Identity and Citizenship: Untold Life Histories of Japanese Migrants and Their Descendants in the Philippines, 1903-2013. Currently, his research focuses on nursing and care migrants under the pandemic and the transformation of citizenship of Nikkeijin (persons descended from Japanese migrants) in Japan and the Philippines.  
He obtained his M.A. in Philippine Studies at the UP Asian Center, and his Ph.D. in East Asian and Southeast Asian Studies at the Australian National University. He was awarded UPAA [University of the Philippines Alumni Association] Distinguished Alumnus Award in Migration Studies in 2016.


    • When registering for the webinar, use the same email address that you use for your zoom account. If you do not have a Zoom account, sign up here.
    • If you have successfully registered, you will receive a confirmation email containing the link to the webinar. Please do not share your registration link. It is unique for every participant.
    • Registration is first-come, first-served. The webinar can only accommodate 500. Those who cannot register may watch it live on Youtube.
    • Automatic reminders regarding the webinar will be sent to your email one day before and one hour before the start of the webinar.
Webinar Proper: 
    • Questions for the speakers may be written under the Q&A panel. These will be posted anonymously and will only be visible to the host and the panelists.
    • The moderator and/or the main speaker will choose from the questions and answer them during the Open Forum.
    • The host(s) reserves the right to remove in-webinar participants who send rude, inappropriate questions or messages.


Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for inquiries.

The UP Asian Center offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. The Center offers a Ph.D.  program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. For an overview of these graduate programs, click here. The Asian Center also publishes Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, the latest issue of which can be downloaded at the journal's website. For other news and upcoming events at the Asian Center, click here.