We hereby declare that the East Asian Sociological Association (hereafter EASA) has been established at Wuhan, China, on the 29th of October, 2017, in the occasion of the 15th East Asian Sociologists’ Network (hereafter EASN) Conference. The EASA finds its root in the activities of the EASN that has flourished over the past 15 years. The EASN was first launched at the meetings of the Korean Sociological Association in 2002. Ever since its launching, East Asian sociologists have enjoyed academic exchange in the name of the EASN in various places such as Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, and other cities. During the past 15 years, not only academic exchange but friendship and solidarity have been ripe enough to bring them from exchange of ideas to shared values. At the center of the academic exchange have been central figures including, but not limited to, Bing Zheng, Li Peilin, Yazawa Shujiro, Han Sang-Jin, and Kim Seungkuk, Li See-Jae, along with numerous sociologists from China, Japan, Korea and other regions of East Asia.
The long-standing academic exchange, friendship, and solidarity made it possible for the members to announce the Sophia Resolution (also known as East Asian Sociologists’ Resolution towards an East Asian Community) at Sophia University, Tokyo, in 2012 when the territorial dispute between China and Japan threatened the region. In this resolution the members of the EASN proposed to construct an East Asian Community, a non-political academic network to resolve issues of East Asian history and territorial disputes. In 2014 the EASN witnessed another significant achievement by publishing A Quest for East Asian Sociologies, a volume representing the accumulated academic exchange within the network, by the Seoul National University Press. This volume solidly founds itself on sociological theories originating from the West but at the same time firmly places itself in the context of East Asian history and realities, thereby sending a signal of East Asian sociologies far to the rest of the world. The volume is an essence of diverse searches for East Asian sociologies that can properly deal with multiple layers of modernity. We recognize that the present situation of increasing tension and the threat of war calls even further for the shared understanding among East Asian sociologists.
In order for the EASN to move one more step forward beyond friendship and solidarity among individual scholars, we realize that institutionalization of the organization may no longer be postponed. In order for the East Asian sociology to go one step further to become a forefront of sociological knowledge based on the East Asian perspective and history, we realize that the introduction of a broader range of new members and more diverse topics may no longer be postponed. Thus the EASN decided to transform itself to establish the EASA. On its new institutional basis, the EASA will widely open its door to the whole world, and cooperate with other national, regional and international academic associations and organizations.
The preparatory meetings have been held in Beijing (May 2016), Seoul (November 2016), Beijing (March 2017), and Shanghai (July 2017). After a long period of deliberation, we hereby declare that the EASA is now established on the 29th of October 2017 in Wuhan, China.
From now on the EASA shall place itself as the central platform for the development of East Asian sociology. Every member shall belong to one or more Research Networks and the EASA shall function as the network of Research Networks. This platform shall connect existing networks for research in East Asia and facilitate the forming new such networks. This platform shall be a window open to not only East Asian sociologists but anyone interested in the region.
Until now we have searched for East Asian sociology based on the East Asian perspectives and history. From now on, we hope to contribute to sociology in the world by deepening East Asian sociology within the EASA. In facing the increasing conflicts according to the interests of nation states, we as sociologists also resolve to contribute to our maximum capability to the peace and progress of East Asia.
October 29, 2017