In October 2021, I received the news with great surprise that I was elected President of the Asian Population Association (APA). I feel honoured and tightened myself with the responsibility for the advancement of population studies in Asia.
Together with my fellow Council members, who are prominent and active population scholars from Indonesia, India, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore, Australia and Iran, we will serve the three years from 2022 to 2024.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting our activities. The Fifth Asian Population Conference was initially planned to be held face to face in Yogyakarta in November 2020, but the virus obliged us to postpone the Conference entirely online in August 2021. Our first Council Member meeting was held in January online, so we only saw the faces through the digitized images. However, we should be positive to take it as a chance. Online meetings have become our habit, and it will make our conversation easier, regardless of the place we stay. We will be able to make international meetings more often. That is how we plan to strengthen the network of members and the regional and national population associations and population research institutions in the region.
As of November 2021, there are 2,418 members of APA. As have been mentioned by the past Presidents, increasing the member is our aim, as well as improving the payment. We are facing barriers of international money transfer, the global problem identified and included in the SDGs indicator 10.7.2. We will solve the problems one by one, and also, we will improve the benefit of members so that each will feel worthwhile to become a member.
Since the inauguration of APA in 2007, five Asian Population Conferences have been held, and 10 Scientific Groups have worked or continue to work. Various seminars and webinars were conducted. These activities are a great asset of the APA. We will soon announce the call for proposals for the Sixth Asian Population Conference and the Scientific Group.
Asia is a vast region, holding 60% of the world population, with distinct cultures and histories. There are similarities and differences between our societies. Asian population studies aim to understand these differentiated contexts of populations and promote the well-being of each one in society. APA is open to all who are working on the Asian population. I hope your active participation so that we can deepen the understanding of the Asian population.
Reiko Hayashi President, Asian Population Association