Message from ACS President
12th Annual Conference of the Asian Criminological Society (ACS)
Ryukoku University, Kyoto, Japan
18-21 June 2021
I would like to express a wholehearted welcome to the 12th Annual Conference of the Asian Criminological Society.
This conference was originally scheduled for October 2-5, 2020. The organizing committee established at Ryukoku University in Kyoto under Professor Shin’ichi Ishizuka had started its planning in the spring of 2019 and gave a presentation at the 11th Annual Conference in Cebu City of the Philippines in June 2019. The proposed theme of the conference was “Crime and Punishment under Asian Cultures: Tradition and Innovation in Criminology.” The organizing committee was designing a conference which would satisfy academic interests in criminology and criminal justice and provide cultural enjoyment only available in the historical city of Kyoto and the Buddhist heritage of Ryukoku University. However, the first patient of COVID-19 was found in Japan in January 2020 and the Japanese government issued its first announcement of a state of emergency in April 2020. It became clear that the conference should be delayed, and it became uncertain whether it could be held as a conventional, in-person event. The organizing committee was forced to postpone the conference until this year and hold it as an essentially virtual event. The conference was finally scheduled for June 18-21.
This change created a mountain of problems, including additional costs for staff and services as well as needing to redesign the registration and paper/session submission systems. But committee and staff members under Professors Ishizuka, Koichi Hamai, and Masahiro Tsushima managed to transform such a tremendous challenge into a blessing through broader programming and more careful planning. I have been impressed by their hard work by virtually attending their frequent meetings. You will understand this by just looking at the program which has eleven keynote and plenary sessions by speakers who represent a wide range of academic interests and different generations. This conference also offers an opportunity to examine the criminological and criminal justice implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I was initially worried about attendance and submissions of papers and sessions. However, such a fear has turned out to be utterly groundless. By April 2021, more than 200 people had registered, and more than 100 papers had been submitted. I am impressed by the enthusiasm expressed by all of you. It is vitally important to hold this conference – even as a virtual event – to maintain interaction among ACS members and sustain momentum for the growth of the ACS. I am convinced that this turnout is evidence of the robustness of our association.
Please enjoy the conference!
President, Asian Society of Criminology
Professor Emeritus, Kobe University
Senior Visiting Professor, University of California Hastings College of the Law
Affiliate Researcher, Ryukoku University