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North America-Asia relations is focus of WMU conference

by Mark Schwerin

June 9, 2011 | WMU News

KALAMAZOO--Faculty scholars from universities across North America and Asia will join with their colleagues at Western Michigan University and high-ranking Michigan business leaders for this weekend's Fifth Facing East Facing West Conference.

The two-day multidisciplinary, multicultural conference Friday and Saturday, June 10-11, provides a forum to discuss business, social, cultural, legal, economic, political and environmental issues concerning North America's relations with Asian countries.

The conference runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the WMU Fetzer Center. International faculty and administrators presenting at the conference hail from such nations as Pakistan, China and Malaysia.

A conference highlight will include a keynote address at 9 a.m. Friday featuring Kenneth F. Davis, president of the Vehicle Group at the Eaton Corp. Since joining Eaton in 1986, Davis has held management positions of increasing responsibility including president of the company's Light and Medium-Duty Transmission business and vice president and general manager for its clutch business. He also has held managerial, sales and marketing positions in the corporation.

A high-ranking Japanese diplomat will take to the podium during a lunch presentation at 12:10 p.m. Friday. The address will feature Kuninori Matsuda, consul general of Japan in Detroit. After graduating from Tokyo University, Matsuda joined Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he has held positions in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the Defense Policy Division at the Ministry of Defense and the Division of General Management of the Foreign Minister's office.

Matsuda also served as deputy director of the Russian Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as first secretary to the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. He has held several positions in Japanese embassies, including his previous position of minister at the Embassy of Japan in Israel.

More than 40 concurrent sessions throughout the conference will focus on a wide variety of multidisciplinary topics and issues concerning North America's relations with Asian countries. Speakers represent such North American universities such as Hofstra University, Indiana University, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota and the University of North Florida.

International faculty and administrators presenting represent such universities as Lahore University of Management Sciences in Pakistan, Sun Yat-Sen University in China, University of Warsaw in Poland, Universidad de Burgos in Spain and the International Islamic University in Malaysia.

Sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of Education, the conference is a major event in Project EDGE--Enhancing and Developing Global Expertise--an effort designed to support initiatives to internationalize the curriculum, the faculty and students at WMU and to develop an understanding of international business as it relates to the Association of South East Asian Nations region.

The conference is organized by Project EDGE co-directors Dr. Mushtaq Luqmani, WMU chair and professor of marketing, Dr. Zahir A. Quraeshi, WMU professor of marketing and director of the Haworth College of Business Global Business Center, and Dr. Roger Tang, WMU professor of accountancy and the Upjohn Chair in Business Administration.

In addition to the U.S. Department of Education and WMU's Haworth College of Business Global Business Center, conference sponsors include WMU's Haenicke Institute for Global Education and Georgia State University Center for International Business Education and Research.

For more information, visit Facing East Facing West online or call Dr. Roger Tang, WMU professor of accountancy, at (269) 387-5247.