The University of Tokyo Human Security Program Spring Symposium “Human Security in Myanmar: The Impact of COVID-19 And the Role of Japan”


Title: “Human Security in Myanmar: The Impact of COVID-19 And the Role of Japan”

The Flyer of this symposium (English & Japanese version) is here.




Human security entails freedom from fear. In Myanmar, since the military coup in February, violence and fear have been used to suppress non-violent anti-coup protestors. As a Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), they demand the restoration of the democratic government according to the results of the November 2020 elections. Despite the peaceful nature of the protests, the number of people killed and arrested by the military continues to rise. Myanmar, a country also hard hit by COVID-19, now faces the additional challenges of a seriously paralyzed economy in the wake of its violent military coup. Humanitarian crisis by food shortage, new influx of refugees and IDPs as well as the escalation of civil war are highly concerned.

For the people of Myanmar, the crisis continues to be amplified by the pandemic. Recent UN interventions have proven ineffective, and negotiations by both ASEAN and Japan have yet to produce any results. In the dilemma of freedom from fear and want, what realistic approach can be taken to restore human security in Myanmar and protect the lives of its people? What reforms might be promoted to safeguard Myanmar’s democratic process? What is the role and responsibility of Japan? How can non-governmental actors, including academia, protect and empower the people of Myanmar, whose human security is now under threat from violence, poverty, fear, and COVID-19? Efforts to protect human security in Myanmar must be undertaken to secure the dignity and safety of the people in Myanmar.

For our 2021 academic Spring Symposium, we invite keynote speaker Ms. Zin Mar Aung, appointed Foreign Minister of the National Unity Government (NUG) by the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw of elected parliamentarians at Myanmar’s national elections in November 2020, to share insights on NUG’s approaches and strategies to overcome the situation. A panel discussion is to follow on the roles of academia in Japan, non-governmental actors, and second track collaborations in Asia to address Myanmar’s human security crisis.


Date & Time:


Saturday, July 10, 2021, from 11:00 to 13:00 (JST)

Venue: Online (Platform TBD)



English version:
Japanese version:


11:00-11:05 Moderator Dr. Yasunobu Sato

Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences,

Deputy Director of Research Center for Sustainable Peace,
The University of Tokyo





Opening Remarks


Dr. Takumi Moriyama
Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences,
The University of Tokyo

11:10-11:30 Keynote Speech Foreign Minister Zin Mar Aung

Foreign Minister, National Unity Government of Myanmar

11:30-11:45 Q & A Dr. Ai Kihara-Hunt

Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences,

Director of Research Center for Sustainable Peace,

The University of Tokyo



Panel Discussion


 Moderator: Dr. Yasunobu Sato

11:50-12:00 Prof. Kei Nemoto

Professor, Faculty of Global Studies, Sophia University

12:00-12:10 Dr. Maiko Ichihara

Associate Professor, Graduate School of Law, Hitotsubashi University

Visiting Scholar, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

12:10-12:20 Dr. Evan A. Laksmana

Senior Researcher, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Indonesia

12:20-12:30 Mr. Romain Caillaud,

Principal, Strategic Intelligence Public Affairs (SIPA) Partners, Associate Fellow, the Myanmar Studies Programme at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute

12:30-12:50 Q &A Dr. Ai Kihara-Hunt
12:50-13:00 Closing Remarks Prof. Moriyuki Hoshino,

Director, Graduate Program on Human Security, The University of Tokyo

Dr. Yasunobu Sato





The Graduate Program on Human Security (HSP),
Research Center for Sustainable Peace (RCSP) and
Research Center for Sustainable Development (RCSD),
Institute of Advanced Global Studies (IAGS),
The University of Tokyo


Organizing Partners: IAGS and the Global Studies Initiative (GSI),  The University of Tokyo



The Japan Association for Human Security Studies,

The Japan Society for International Development,

The Japan Chapter of the Asian Society of International Law,

Asian Society for International Law,

The Society of Researchers for International Development

Other Points of Attention:
1. This symposium is the academic event without any intent or motivation to siding with any political propaganda.
2. Its organizer is the HSP and the Research Center for Sustainable of The UTokyo, Not The UTokyo itself. The UTokyo itself is not involved in organizing it as its official university event.
3. The organizer would appreciate media coverage not to instigate any political partisanship in order to maintain good environment for study to respect diversity and appreciate different opinions, which are the most fundamental mission of the university or academia.


The Flyer of this symposium (English & Japanese version) is here.