Speakers (2017)

The Asian Conference on Ethics, Religion & Philosophy 2017 (ACERP2017) was a multidisciplinary conference held concurrently with The Asian Conference on Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences 2017 (ACP2017).

This page provides information about presenters. For details of presentations and other programming, please visit the 2017 Programme page.


  • Koji Higashikawa
    Koji Higashikawa
    Kanazawa University, Japan
  • David Matas
    David Matas
    Author & Human Rights Lawyer
  • Ronald Mellado Miller
    Ronald Mellado Miller
    Brigham Young University – Hawaii, USA
  • Thomas Brian Mooney
    Thomas Brian Mooney
    Charles Darwin University, Australia
  • Keizo Nagao
    Keizo Nagao
    Nagao Mental-health Clinic, Japan & NHO Sakakibara Hospital, Japan
  • Frank S. Ravitch
    Frank S. Ravitch
    Michigan State University College of Law, USA
  • Monty P. Satiadarma
    Monty P. Satiadarma
    Tarumanagara University, Indonesia
  • Hiroshi Nittono
    Hiroshi Nittono
    Osaka University, Japan
  • Dexter Da Silva
    Dexter Da Silva
    Keisen University, Japan
  • Shiki Tomimasu
    Shiki Tomimasu
    Kamogawa Law Office, Japan
  • Brian Victoria
    Brian Victoria
    Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, UK
  • Sokthan Yeng
    Sokthan Yeng
    Adelphi University, USA
Koji Higashikawa
Kanazawa University, Japan

Biography

Koji Higashikawa is a professor of law at Kanazawa University, Japan. He teaches Anglo-American law to Japanese students with particular emphasis on American law, and also teaches Japanese law to international students. He earned his Ph.D. with the dissertation on American election law system and minority voting rights from Kobe University Graduate School of Law in 2001, and published a dozen of academic articles in the field of election law. As a free speech scholar, he has been interested in reconciling possible conflict between free speech right of aggressive, violent, and offensive speakers and the victims of such speech. He is the author of case notes on recent cases from the Supreme Court of the United States including Snyder v. Phelps (funeral picketing), Brown v. EMA (violent video game regulation), and US v. Alvarez (false speech). He has given presentations on hate speech issue both in Japan and in the United States, one of which is “Recent Development on Hate Speech Controversy in Japan” in the Law and Society Association Annual Conference of 2015 held in Seattle where he discussed the impact of Zaitokukai case, the first judicial ruling on hate speech in Japan. His research interests include comparative analysis of judicial system as well as free speech issue and election law in the United States. He is a councilor and a member of editorial board at Japanese American Society for Legal Studies.


Previous Presentations

Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | Free Speech & Hate Speech – History, Story, Narrative
David Matas
Author & Human Rights Lawyer

Biography

David Matas is a lawyer in Winnipeg, Canada, practising international human rights, immigration and refugee law. He has produced eleven different books, including Bloody Harvest: the Killing of Falun Gong for their Organs, co-authored with David Kilgour in November 2009, and State Organs: Transplant Abuse in China in August 2012, co-edited with Torsten Trey. He is a member of the Order of Canada. In 2010, he and David Kilgour were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for their work on Falun Gong and organ transplant abuse.

Spotlight Presentation (2017) | Identity Constructs as Drivers of Persecution and Obstacles to Justice
Ronald Mellado Miller
Brigham Young University – Hawaii, USA

Biography

Dr Ronald Mellado Miller received his PhD from Purdue University in Experimental Psychology, USA, and is currently a professor at Brigham Young University in Hawaii. Dr Miller’s main interests have been in the area of applied statistical analysis and predictive modelling. As a result, his research and work have been quite eclectic. He has research published in journals ranging from Animal Learning and Behavior, Learning and Motivation, Applied Neuropsychology, TechTrends, and the Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, out of Oxford University Press, where he has also served as a reviewer. He has worked for a number of major airlines (Fedex, United, US Airways, etc.) in the area of safety. His international projects have ranged from India and the Philippines, where he was able to assist NGOs established to aid those in poverty, to China, where he worked with the largest entertainment company in the country. He has led research in Tonga, Fiji, and Samoa, working with governments and NGOs to improve educational and other social outcomes. He has a great love for teaching and mentoring. His students have participated in each of his consulting projects and have been accepted to prestigious schools around the world, including Oxford University, MIT, and Columbia University, among others.

Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | Psychological Literacy: The Most Important Literacy for the 21st Century

Previous Presentations

Featured Presentation (2017) | A Poverty of Hope: Towards a Psychology of Humanitarian Success
Thomas Brian Mooney
Charles Darwin University, Australia

Biography

Thomas Brian Mooney is Professor of Philosophy and Head of the School of Creative Arts and Humanities, Charles Darwin University, Australia.

His major research interests are in Moral Philosophy, Political Philosophy and Ancient Philosophy, and his recent books include Aquinas, Education and the East (2014), Understanding Teaching and Learning (2012), Meaning and Morality: Essays on the Philosophy of Julius Kovesi (2013) and Critical and Creative Thinking (2014).

Originally from the North of Ireland, he received his BA and MA from The Queen’s University, Belfast before moving to Australia to continue his doctoral work. He was awarded his PhD in 1993 on the “Philosophy of Love and Friendship” at La Trobe University. Since then he has taught at a number of Australian institutions including Melbourne University, Deakin University, Swinburne University, Edith Cowan University and the University of Notre Dame. He has also taught at the University of Ghana and prior to his current post was at Singapore Management University.

Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | Perspectives on Natural Religion
Keizo Nagao
Nagao Mental-health Clinic, Japan & NHO Sakakibara Hospital, Japan

Biography

Dr Nagao is a child and adolescent psychiatrist, and his interest is in school mental-health, local organization, and child psychiatry education. He has been a chairperson of the school mental-health committee from 2004 in the Mie Prefecture Doctor Association. After retiring from the National Hospital Organization Sakakibara Hospital in 2010, he organized a regional network in Mie Prefecture called MCMN (the Mie Child Mental-health Network), consisting of multi-disciplinary professionals including school teachers, investigators, child welfare staffs, health care officers, and pediatrician and child psychiatrists. It has regular meetings every six months. To learn more about child psychiatry for young psychiatrists, he translated as a supervisor the Rutter’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 4th and 5th Ed. His clinical specialty is on infant language development, PTSD, and childhood depression. His book Pre Linguistic Ability Test has been published three times.


Previous Presentations

Featured Presentation (2017) | Adolescent Depression and Identity Development
Frank S. Ravitch
Michigan State University College of Law, USA

Biography

Frank S. Ravitch is Professor of Law and the Walter H. Stowers Chair in Law and Religion at the Michigan State University College of Law, and Director of the Kyoto, Japan Summer Program. He is the author of several books: Marketing Intelligent Design: Law And The Creationist Agenda (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2011); Masters Of Illusion: The Supreme Court And The Religion Clauses (NYU Press 2007); Law And Religion, A Reader: Cases, Concepts, And Theory, 2nd Ed. (West 2008) (First Ed. 2004); Employment Discrimination Law (Prentice Hall 2005) (with Pamela Sumners and Janis McDonald); and School Prayer And Discrimination: The Civil Rights Of Religious Minorities And Dissenters (Northeastern University Press, 1999 & paperback edition 2001). Professor Ravitch has also published a number of law review articles addressing US and Japanese constitutional law, law & religion, and civil rights law in leading journals. Moreover, he has written a number of amicus briefs addressing constitutional issues to the United States Supreme Court.

In 2001, Professor Ravitch was named a Fulbright Scholar and served on the Faculty of Law at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. Currently, he directs the Michigan State University College of Law Japan summer programme. Professor Ravitch regularly serves as an expert for print and broadcast media, and speaks on topics related to US Constitutional Law, Japanese Law, and Israeli Law to a wide range of national, international and local organisations. He speaks English, Japanese and Hebrew.

Keynote Presentation (2018) | Law, Religion and Authoritarianism: From State Shinto to Religio-Trumpism

Previous Presentations

Featured Presentation (2017) | Freedom’s Edge: Balancing Religious Freedom and Equal Access to Facilities and Services for Transexuals
Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | Free Speech and Hate Speech – History, Story, Narrative
Monty P. Satiadarma
Tarumanagara University, Indonesia

Biography

Dr Satiadarma is a clinical psychologist who has been teaching psychology at Tarumanagara University since 1994. He was one of the founders of the Department of Psychology at Tarumanagara, as well as the Dean of Psychology, Vice Rector and Rector of the university. He graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of Indonesia, art therapy from Emporia State, Kansas, family counselling from Notre Dame de Namur, California, and clinical hypnotherapy from Irvine, California. He has nationally published a number of books with a particular interest in educational psychology, and in music and art therapy – methods with which he treated survivors of the Indonesian tsunami on behalf of the International Red Cross and the United Nations. He is a board member and area chair of the International Council of Psychology, and a founder and board member of the Asian Psychology Association.

Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | Psychological Literacy

Previous Presentations

IAAB Presentation (2017) | Life Changes, Identity Loss and Psychological Problems
Spotlight Presentation (2016) | Fairness and Happiness
Spotlight Presentation (2015) | The Lucifer Effect in Indonesian Educational Settings
Featured Presentation (2014)
Featured Presentation (2013)
Featured Presentation (2012)
Hiroshi Nittono
Osaka University, Japan

Biography

Professor Hiroshi Nittono received his PhD in Human Sciences (Experimental Psychology) from Osaka University in 1998. From 2005 to 2016 he was an Associate Professor and Director of the Cognitive Psychophysiology Laboratory at Hiroshima University. In April 2016 he moved to the Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University, as Full Professor of Experimental Psychology. His research interests include psychophysiology and engineering psychology. It was only by chance that he started research in the area of kawaii. In 2007, an undergraduate student happened to ask him whether it was possible to do some psychological research on kawaii as part of her graduation thesis, simply because she was keen on kawaii things. At that point, there were few serious studies on kawaii in the field of psychology. Since then he and his students have conducted both theoretical and empirical studies on this topic. A journal article published in 2012 entitled ‘The Power of Kawaii: Viewing Cute Images Promotes a Careful Behavior and Narrows Attentional Focus’ was covered by more than 70 newspapers and journals around the world. Currently he also serves as General Advisor of the Kawaii-Mono Kenkyukai (Research Society for Kawaii Things) sponsored by a government agency, Chugoku Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry. The society aims to create high-quality products that combine Japanese traditional craftsmanship and feelings of kawaii or cuteness.


Previous Presentations

Keynote Presentation (2017) | Beyond Cuteness: An Emerging Field of the Psychology of “Kawaii”
Dexter Da Silva
Keisen University, Japan

Biography

Dr Dexter Da Silva is currently Professor of Educational Psychology at Keisen University in Tokyo. He has taught EFL at junior high school, language schools, and universities in Sydney, and for the past two decades has been living and teaching at the tertiary level in Japan. Professor Da Silva was educated at the University of Sydney (BA, Dip. Ed., MA), and the University of Western Sydney (PhD) He has presented and co-presented at conferences in Asia, Australia, Europe and the United States, and written or co-written articles and book chapters on education-related topics, such as trust, student motivation, autonomy, and content-based language teaching. He is a past editor and current associate editor of On CUE Journal, regular reviewer for conferences and proceedings, and recent co-chair of the 2011 CUE Conference on Motivation.

Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | Psychological Literacy

Previous Presentations

Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | Battles of Ideas: Identity and Alienation
Featured Presentation (2015)
Featured Presentation (2014)
Featured Presentation (2012)
Shiki Tomimasu
Kamogawa Law Office, Japan

Biography

Born in Japan, Mr Tomimasu went to high school in the United States, and graduated from Stanford University in 2000 with a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies, before returning to Japan to commence legal studies. He completed the judicial apprenticeship training program conducted by the Legal Training and Research Institute of the Supreme Court of Japan in 2005, and was admitted to the Kyoto Bar Association in the same year.

He has a wide area of legal experience, but has gained a reputation in representing the rights of foreign citizens, and won particular acclaim for his role as the lead counsel successfully representing The Kyoto Korean Elementary School, which had been targeted by anti-Korean protestors shouting racist slogans. This was to be an important free hate speech test case that made its way to the Japanese Supreme Court, and was widely covered in the domestic and foreign press.


Previous Presentations

Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | Free Speech & Hate Speech – History, Story, Narrative
Brian Victoria
Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, UK

Biography

Brian Victoria is a native of Omaha, Nebraska and a 1961 graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska. He holds a MA in Buddhist Studies from Sōtō Zen sect-affiliated Komazawa University in Tokyo, and a PhD from the Department of Religious Studies at Temple University.

In addition to a second, enlarged edition of Zen At War (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), Brian's major writings include Zen War Stories (RoutledgeCurzon, 2003); an autobiographical work in Japanese entitled Gaijin de ari, Zen bozu de ari (As a Foreigner, As a Zen Priest), published by San-ichi Shobo in 1971; Zen Master Dōgen, coauthored with Prof. Yokoi Yūhō of Aichi-gakuin University (Weatherhill, 1976); and a translation of The Zen Life by Sato Koji (Weatherhill, 1972). In addition, Brian has published numerous journal articles, focusing on the relationship of not only Buddhism but religion in general, to violence and warfare.

From 2005 to 2013 Brian was a Professor of Japanese Studies and director of the AEA “Japan and Its Buddhist Traditions Program” at Antioch University in Yellow Springs, OH, USA. From 2013-2015 he was a Visiting Research Fellow at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, Japan where he is writing a book tentatively entitled: Zen Terror in 1930s Japan. Brian currently continues his research as a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, and is a fully ordained Buddhist priest in the Sōtō Zen sect.

Featured Presentation (2019) | Is Religious Tolerance Always Desirable: The Case of Shinto and Buddhism

Previous Presentations

Featured Presentation (2018) | Shinto: Window on Universal Religion
Featured Presentation (2017) | Military Conscription, Slavery and the Modern State
Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | Battles of Ideas: Identity and Alienation
Sokthan Yeng
Adelphi University, USA

Biography

Dr Sokthan Yeng is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Adelphi University, USA. She has research interests in the areas of French contemporary philosophy, feminism, and critical race theory. Her book, The Biopolitics of Race: State Racism and U.S. Immigration, was published with Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield in 2014. She is also writing a book on Buddhist feminism and the transformation of anger.

Spotlight Presentation (2017) | Buddhism and Non-Discrimination: The Rise of Black Buddhist Feminism