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Greetings from the Chair of the Steering Committee for the Establishment of the Association



We cannot avoid studying human security


First President

Kinhide Mushakoji


Welcome to the website of the Japanese Association for Human Security Studies. Not just for the sake of giving ceremonial greetings, I would like to contribute this message in order to share an occasion with you who are visiting our website to ponder the special raison d'être of this Association, which is dedicated to the human security studies.


It is of great symbolic significance that the Association is launched on September 17, 2011, which, beyond mere coincidence, seems to correlate with two incidents that have shaken the basis of human security. One is the anti-American terrorist attack which took place ten years ago, September 11, 2001, and the other is the Great East Japan Earthquake which occurred six months ago, March 11, 2011.


September 11 was a human-made disaster caused by the purposeful attacks targeting the World Trade Center in New York, being aggravated by an unexpected disaster, the collapse of the twin towers induced by their structural defects. As for the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, the natural disasters triggered a human-made disaster, the nuclear accident at Fukushima power plant. What is in common in both incidents is the situation where vulnerable people in a certain place were exposed to the extremity of human insecurity. In addition, the former has proliferated such insecure situations to the entire world in the name of the “war on terror,” while the latter has also caused human insecurity in a wider region, spreading radioactive materials into the atmosphere and the sea, which will continue for a considerable period.


Against the backdrop of our decision to launch this Association on human security lies our urge, as humans, to study human insecurity in times dominated by such multiple insecurities. In our times, given the present political and economic structures, the situations like those triggered by the events of September 11 and March 11 may loom large, at any moment, in any place. We share the aspiration, as researchers in this age, to grasp the nature of such insecurities and reduce them as far as possible. The message of my greeting is therefore to convey this shared intention to all of you who have visited this home page.


An ancient Greek laid stress upon philosophein en ananke, saying that even “if one does not have to philosophize, one still has to philosophize”. Likewise, living in the contemporary world, we are acutely aware that we cannot avoid studying human security. We hope that you will grasp our intellectual orientations throughout our website, which underlie our “epistemic community” of human security


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