21st Century COE Program Archive


Date: January 22, 2005 (Jointly held with Section 2)
Location: Keisuikan, Shimmachi school buildings, Doshisha University
Title: U.S. Policies against Southeast Asia – Focusing on the War against Terrorism
Speaker: Takashi Shiraishi (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University)
Title: A View on U.S. Policies against the Middle East – Between Adventurism and Thought Stopping
Speaker: Maki Tahara (Special News Section, The Tokyo Shimbun)
  This meeting was held as the joint session of CISMOR Research Groups One and Two, in which Mr. Tahara from the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper and Dr. Shiraishi from Kyoto University spoke about their own research interests in relation to U.S. policy.
  Dr. Shiraishi regards Southeast Asia as a marginal area in U.S. foreign policy, and pointed out the peculiarity of its policy toward the region. According to him, the U.S. has been focusing on the stability of politico-militaristic affairs in Southeast Asia, counting this area as an infrastructure of U.S. forces but whose degree of importance changes according to the situation. Dr. Shiraishi also mentioned Jama Islamiya as a radical group in the Islamic movement. He explained the rise of the Islamic movement in Indonesia in relation to nation building. In the situation of a 'failed state,' in which the state’s raison d’etre is insufficient to its nation and where state authority does not function well, the Islamic movement becomes conspicuous: it displays antagonism toward other forms of 'justice' like those of other religions, tribal forms, and that of the Indonesian nation, demanding an absolute justice and an Islamic state.
  Mr. Tahara estimated that President Bush’s foreign policy in his second term would be adapted to suit domestic affairs. He examined the difficulties in Iraq, Palestine, Iran, and the Gulf area, and the situation of the peoples of the Arab countries generally. According to him, people in Arab countries are driven into a situation of 'multi-sided solitude' as they encounter American double standards with respect to its democratizing policy, autocratic governments in their own countries, and fear and disappointment toward the radical Islamic movements. He also mentioned the active radicals in several Islamic movements like al-Qaeda, irritation among pro-U.S. Middle Eastern countries, stagnant Arab intellectuals, and the presence of the neoconservatives in the U.S. government. Under these conditions, he concluded, there remain doubts about the chances for development in foreign affairs from the side of Middle Eastern countries as well as the U.S.
Asuka Nakamura(COE Research Instructor, CISMOR, Doshisha University )