[Obituary] Dr. Yumiko Tanaka

It is with great sadness and grief that we inform you of the passing of Dr. Yumiko Tanaka,JICA Senior Gender Advisor and Visiting Professor at Josai International University on September 26, 2023. Yumiko Tanaka has long been a valuable JASID member and active representative of the Gender and Development Research Group.

Yumiko Tanaka served as Director of the Social Development Department, International Cooperation Specialist (Gender and Development), and Senior Gender Advisor at JICA. She was a Representative of the Government of Japan for the UN Commission on the Status of  Women since 2018. She also taught at numerous universities for many years.

She was a pioneer and leading expert in gender and development leaving significant marksin the field of international development. She was also passionate about training younger scholars and gender experts.

We celebrate all that Dr. Tanaka accomplished in her lifetime and want to express our gratitude for all her contributions.


Gender and Development Research Group

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Gender and Development

The enhancement of gender equality and women’s empowerment is an important issue
to be addressed by the global community. It is also the target of an independent goal,
Goal 5, and considered from a cross-disciplinary perspective to tackle other goals in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The concept of ‘Gender and Development’ has been adopted since the 1970s. It has made women visible in the development field and raised awareness of gender issues in relation to policies, institutions, regional societies and households both at global and local levels. On the other hand, as demonstrated by the limited achievement of SDG5 and the low gender gap index, initiatives to solve gender issues have not been enough to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment. Although various activities have been implemented at the individual levels and treated as good practice, they have not combined into a corrective approach.

The core concept of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Leave No One
Behind, reminds us of the need for further discussions about differences between
women and men, and about gender and diversity and intersectionality. However,
discussion about issues surrounding diversity often leads to misunderstandings that negatively impact discussion of the inequality between women and men.

The aim of this group is to find effective approaches to the issues of gender
equality and women’s empowerment that fill the gaps between policies and
theories at the macro level and field activities at the micro (grass roots) level,
such as information sharing, field research and/or awareness raising. The
findings will be presented at the annual conference and compiled to share in
proceedings. The objective of the first year is information sharing among
members and planning for the activities of the second and third years.

Activity Report of the Research Group: ”Innovation and Development for Solving Social Problems” 

Activity Report in the FY 2022

(Oct. 2021-Sept. 2022)

IDSSP (Innovation and Development for Solving Social Problems) was launched in January 2022 after its establishment was approved in the 32nd Annual Conference of JASID in Nov. 2021. This research group was created to provide a platform for researchers in the field of international development to exchange ideas and share knowledge on the process of solving social issues, which are commonly observed in the World, and conduct inter-disciplinary research on applicable innovations. Since half of our members reside outside of Japan, all activities have been conducted online.

In Jan., 2022, a kick-off meeting was held and members were introduced. We also planned our activities for the financial year 2021-2022.

Between Feb. and April, 2022, we prepared for a round table session in the 23rd Spring Conference of JASID. We chose guest speakers and topics, and communicated with guest speakers to organize our session.

In June 2022, a roundtable session, titled “Prospects in Innovation and Development for Solving Social Problems: Learning from Cases in Asia“, was held during the 23rd Spring Conference of JASID. In this roundtable session, we discussed commonality and differences of social issues in Asia and the use of multifaceted approaches in problem-solving. We invited two guest speakers, Dr. Vincent Y-W Chen at the Department of Leisure Management, Minghsin University of Science and Technology and Technology & Institute of Fisheries Science, National Taiwan University, Taiwan, and Dr. Ariya Svetamra, Department of Women’s Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University, Thailand.

Dr. Chen presented on “The Application of AI Technology to Address SDG issues” and demonstrated the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to protect green sea turtles in Xiao Liuqiu island, Taiwan, and how to develop sustainable tourism and communities for nature conservation.

Dr. Svetamra presented on “Gendered Dynamics of Women Migrant Workers in Northern Thailand”, described the severe conditions, which migrant women in Northern Thailand had to face in their lives, and explained the application of FPAR (Feminist Participatory Action Research) to create their opportunities in the future. In the discussion session following two talks, participants shared the issues and knowledge in tourism development and international migration.

The vice representative, Dr. Pei-Hsin Hsu, and the representative, Dr. Naoko Shinkai, co-chaired this roundtable session.

 In July 2022, we had a research meeting with Dr. Chen to follow up on the issue of innovation and development from AI prospects.

In September 2022, a joint seminar, 2022 IDSSP-JASID research seminar/The 5th TU-RIPS seminar on “Business Innovation During the Crises: no trade-off between human rights and business performance “was held.

This seminar was co-organized by IDSSP and the Research Institute for Policy Studies, Tsuda University. In this seminar, two professors from Sri Lanka, Dr. Rukmal Weerasinghe, Professor, Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce and the Chairperson, Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, and Dr. Shirantha Heenkenda, Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka made presentations.

Dr. Weerasinghe provided a talk on the innovative business operations in Sri Lanka in a state of multiple crises, economic and financial crises, and pandemic, and illustrated how the right of employees was preserved.

Following the talk by Dr. Weerashinghe, Dr. Heenkenda made a speech and added the legal background of human rights in business in Sri Lanka and called attention to possible human rights risks during the crises. In the discussion session after two talks, we reviewed essential factors in leading and developing business in difficult times without sacrificing human rights.

In addition, we had a preparatory meeting with guest speakers and core members before each event and two supplemental research meetings with core members.

Innovation and Development for Solving Social Problems
Representative: Naoko Shinkai, Tsuda University

Innovation and Development for Solving Social Problems

There are social problems which have been commonly observed in the global society and lasting for decades . On the other hand, some social problems emerged only recently. The former type s of social problems can be largely divided into two groups; one involves those, which exists but are not understood or recognized fully and another includes those, which are recognized quite well and whose solutions have been discussed or applied but remain in the society because of various reasons , for climate change and gender inequality We can call these two groups of social problems as type 1 and 2. The latter type s of social problems are new, for instance, the inequality caused by the Covid-19 and individualization. We can call these emerging social problems as type 3. To tackle the second group of the former types of problems , type 2 and the latter types of social problems, type 3 new and innovative approaches may be needed.

For social problem solving, there are different actors, academia, citizens, international and national government, NGOs, private companies, and their roles could differ depending on the issues. Leading sector for solutions may
also differ and the process of social problem solving can be diverse. When social problems become complex, multidisciplinary methods may be 3 appropriate appropriate.

In this research, we will study we will study activities, projects, and services activities, projects, and services to solve to solve those type those type 2 and 32 and 3 problems problems in developing countries and Japan in developing countries and Japan, which require , which require innovative approaches innovative approaches. Essential factors and bottlenecks for Essential factors and bottlenecks for innovative innovative approaches and solutions to social approaches and solutions to social problems problems will be identified will be identified and policy and policy recommendations will be made recommendations will be made as a result of our studies as a result of our studies.

[Spanish] El 3ro Simposio Virtual “Hilando sueños con las mujeres rurales del Paraguay sobrepasando la virtualidad y lo presencial”

This announcement is available only in Japanese and Spanish. For Japanese post see

Programa de socios de JICA, Universidad Nacional de Yokohama y las 3 universidades en Paraguay, Proyecto de mejoramiento de la calidad de vida de las mujeres rurales del Paraguay

A todas las personas que nos apoyan: El primer programa de socios de JICA en la Universidad Nacional de Yokohama (YNU) “Proyecto de Mejoramiento de la Calidad de Vida de las Mujeres Rurales del Paraguay” inició en septiembre de 2016. Realizamos las capacitaciones en dos ocaciones en Japón y ya en diciembre de 2021 culminamos con todas las actividades del Proyecto con una duración total de 5 años y 4 meses. Después de la expansión del coronavirus (COVID-19), el proyecto ha venido utilizado las herramientas virtuales en distintos aspectos.

En esta ocasión, realizaremos el 3er Simposio Virtual en el cual presentaremos los trabajos que venimos realizando utilizando la herramienta en línea durante la pandemia, así como las capacidades de marketing y branding que han venido adquiriendo las mujeres del Proyecto y casos de empoderamiento. Además, se realizará la presentación de las actividades de empoderamiento y sostenibilidad de las universidades contrapartes.
Tendremos la presencia del Dr. Kazuo Kuroda, profesor, Decano de la Escuela Académica Internacional del Laboratorio de Estudios de Asia y el Pacífico, Universidad Waseda y la Dra. Yumiko Tanaka de la Universidad Internacional Josai.

En el siguiente enlace podrán acceder a la grabación de los dos simposios realizados hasta ahora.


Durante el simposio virtual estaremos recibiendo preguntas a través del chate en Zoom. Las preguntas que no puedan ser respondidas durante la sesión por la limitación del tiempo serán respondidas posteriormente en la web. Solicitamos la colaboración para llenar la encuesta al final del simposio.
Esperamos contar con la presencia de todos.
Gerente de proyecto: Dra. Prof. Yoko Fujikake

Para presentar una solicitud, póngase en contacto con:

3ro Simposio Virtual “Hilando sueños con las mujeres rurales del Paraguay sobrepasando la virtualidad y lo presencial”


Fecha: Viernes, 22 de octubre 21:00 – 22:30 (Hora japonesa), 8:00 – 9:30 (Hora paraguaya)

Plataforma de emisión: Zoom

Idiomas: Español y japonés (traducción simultánea)

  • Palabras de apertura:Dr. Izuru Umehara, Rector de la Universidad Nacional de Yokohama
  • Contraparte del proyecto: Dra. Hermelinda de Ortega, Senadora de la Nación y Rectora Adjunta de la Universidad Nihon Gakko
  • Contraparte del proyecto: Dr. Dionisio Ortega, Rector de la Universidad Nihon Gakko
  • Contraparte del proyecto: Dra. Zully Vera, Rectora de la Universidad Nacional de Asunción (video)
  • Contraparte del proyecto: Prof. Dr. Edgar Sánchez Báez, Director General de Postgrado y de Relaciones Internacionales de la Universidad Nacional de Asunción
  • Contraparte del proyecto: Prof. Mag. Angel Rodriguez, Rector de la Universidad Nacional de Caaguazú


Dra. Yoko Fujikake, Universidad Nacional de Yokohama
“Hilando sueños con las mujeres rurales del Paraguay sobrepasando la virtualidad y lo presencia – Aplicación del espacio virtual”

Prof. Dr. José Manuel Silvero, Docente Investigador de tiempo Completo en la Dirección General de investigación Científica y Tecnológica de la Universidad Nacional de Asunción
”Experiencia de las mujeres rurales en la esudadía en Japón“

Prof. Elsa Graffton, Universidad Nacional de Asunción, Prof. Mgt. Teófilo Burgos, Universidad Nacional de Caaguazú
“Determinación de la composición nutricional de algunos productos”

<Testimonio de las mujeres rurales>

Sra. Blanca Gonzalez, Ciudad de Coronel Oviedo
Sra. Ramona Cabañas, Ciudad de La Colmena

Comentador: Kazuo Kuroda, Escuela Académica Internacional del Laboratorio de Estudios de Asia y el Pacífico, Univarsidad Waseda
“Diferencia de género en la educación y el mundo ”

Comentadora: Profesora invitada: Tanaka, Universidad Internacional Josai
“Desde el punto de vista de Género y Desarrollo”

Comentario de JICA Yokohama / Oficina de JICA Paraguay

Sesión de preguntas y respuestas

Cierre Oficial – Palabras de Despedida:Excelentísimo Embajador de la República del Paraguay en Japón, Don Florentín Antola

Presentadora : Sra. Rumiko Fukumizu, de la Universidad Nacional de Yokohama
Traductora: Sra. Narumi Takahashi

Página de web del proyecto