Japan is now going through a major social transformation resulting from the increasing number of visitors from abroad and demographic changes among others. It is anticipated that more than 30% of the world's population will believe in Islam by around 2050. This suggests that it will become increasingly important for the Japanese public to be familiar with Islam, a religion and moreover a lifestyle of people of the religion.
The Japan Foundation has organized a program to invite young Muslims from Southeast Asian countries to promote mutual understanding between Japan and the region through Islam. As a follow-up of the previous endeavors, the Japan Foundation Asia Center will hold a symposium on Islam in Southeast Asia and its implication to Japanese society.
Starting with a keynote lecture on Islam in Southeast Asia, where about half of the world's Muslim population live in, the symposium will explore how Islamic values have been represented in Muslim’s lifestyle in the region. It will also look at the state of Muslims living in contemporary Japan. The presentations will be followed by a panel discussion on how we can move forward to realize a society that is more tolerant of diversity, referring to Southeast Asia’s long experiences of enjoying a profound level of multi-cultural environment.
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Profile of Speakers
Maszlee Bin Malik
Former Minister of Education, Malaysia
19th Education Minister of Malaysia and Member of Parliament for Simpang Renggam. Dr. Maszlee received his PhD on Good Governance from the School of Government and International Affairs, University of Durham, UK and has taught at the International Islamic University for Malaysia for nearly ten years. During his time in academia, he committed to helping students remain globally competitive in an era of vast technological change and globalization, and continued his efforts as Minister of Education to equip students with the digital literacy required to master the tech-driven future through #STEM4ALL campaign. During his time in the cabinet, he also pioneered to improve the access and quality of education for marginalized and disadvantaged communities. He firmly believes that true positive and sustained change in education requires the involvement of impacted stakeholders on the ground and exemplified this through his constant engagement with students and teachers. With Dr. Maszlee’s rare mixed heritage of Hakka Chinese and Malay, appreciating diversity is second nature to him. His efforts to scale up cultural cohesion and unity in education involved overseeing the review of the national curriculum to embed cross-cultural values such as love, happiness, and mutual respect, which he believes are fundamental values of diverse Malaysian community.
Creative Director / Modest Fashion Designer
Nanida Jenahara Nasution is one of Indonesia's most renowned fashion designers, particularly in the area of modest fashion, and one of the most influential figures amongst Indonesia's modern hijabis. Since starting her self-titled fashion label JENAHARA in 2011, she has successfully made a name for herself in Indonesia's and international fashion scene through numerous runway shows and collaborations. Jenahara is also known for her role in actively campaigning women empowerment. Through her fashion label and personal social media platforms, she constantly encourages modern women to look after themselves and their family, as well as to make positive changes in their communities. A member of the founders and first president of Hijabers Community - now one of the largest community for Muslim women in Indonesia. This year, Jenahara is extending her personal image as a fitness and wellness enthusiast by releasing regular contents on workout routines, clean-eating tips and recipes, as well as beauty-related contents that are applicable for modern hijabis like herself. She hopes to influence her followers to be informed about the choices they have and to live a healthier and happier life for themselves, their family, and their communities.
Associate Professor at Faculty of Policy Management, Keio University
Dr. Nonaka received her Master’s degree on the Recent Movement for Jilbab among Secular High-educated Muslim Women in Indonesia in 2005 and got her PhD on the History and Thoughts of Student Dakwah Movement in Indonesia in 2011 both from the Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University. Her research interests includes Muslim’s lifestyle in Indonesia and Southeast Asia especially among women and young people. She has studied them from the various aspects including women’s fashion, student Islamic movement, Islamic novels and films, the Halal issues, etc. Her major publications are Muslim Fashion in Indonesia – Why did the veils of Indonesian muslimah become colorful? (in Japanese, Fukumura Shuppan, 2015) and “Islamic Novels: Popularizing Islamic Values”, Aiko Kurasawa and William Bradley Horton eds. Consuming Indonesia – Consumption in Indonesia in the Early 21st Century: 193 – 215, Jakarta: Gramedia, 2015.
Secretary General of Shizuoka Muslim Association
Ms. Essaadi received her Master’s degree on Public Administration from the Graduate School of Portland State University, U.S.A. She became a Muslim at the age of 24. While raising her 4 children in Japan, she has been actively involved with society as a Muslim advocate via various seminars and events introducing Islam and real life of Muslims. She also focuses on the fields of inbound tourism, halal food and diversity living. President of i.SOLUTIONS, a private business to propose various services and product development for Muslim living in Japan. She also serves as Shizuoka Fuji-no-Kuni Tourism Promotion Advisor.
Professor at Faculty of Letters, Atomi University
Since entering the Japan Foundation in 1982, Dr. Ogawa has been engaged in international cultural exchange for the enhancement of mutual understanding between Japan and other countries. He successively held various posts including Director General at the Japan Foundation in New Delhi and in Jakarta before joining Atomi University in 2017. His research covers international cultural exchange policy, contemporary cultures in Asia and comparative religion and sociology. He has written several books and articles on international politics, particularly focusing on the Islamic world.