Short Essay: “Birth of EASTS”

The foundation of EASTS was determined at the Kawana Meeting held in November 1994.
At that time, the economics of East Asian countries was about to expand. With economic development, it was clear that 1) serious transportation problems would be occurred and 2) the transportation infrastructure investment in this region would be active most all over the world. On the other hand, in the field of transportation research and academia, the following problems were pointed out:

1) There is a shortage of transportation specialists both quantitatively and qualitatively.
2) Insufficient information exchange despite the same kind of traffic problems
3) Due to economic constraints, there are few opportunities to participate in international conferences in developed countries from developing countries/regions.
4) Insufficient research on problems peculiar to developing countries

Therefore, each country should establish an academic society on transportation in Japan to create a foundation for revitalizing discussions and research on transportation issues by public, academic and private experts. It was considered desirable to establish an international organization in the East Asian region with similar problems to provide opportunities and opportunities for exchange and study.
From this point of view, it was recommended to establish EASTS for the purpose of interacting and studying academic societies, policymakers and private transportation experts from East Asian and Pacific countries/regions. Preparations for the actual establishment began, and in a period of about two years, it was established in 1994 with the efforts of many researchers and related organizations in each countries/regions and Japan.

The day before the conference, the 80th anniversary symposium of the Japan Society of Civil Engineers was held, and representatives from each countries/regions were invited to this symposium. After the symposium held in Yokohama, the group stayed at the Kawana Club in Kawana, Ito City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan and deepened discussions on the establishment of the society for two full days on the 27th and 28th (Picture 1, 2, 3).
At the meeting, the establishment and activity status of domestic academic societies were reported, the significance of Society was shared, and the foundation was approved. The outline of the constitution of the society was decided and it was named Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies (EASTS). At the same time, it was decided to hold the first Conference in the following year 1995, in Manila, Philippines.
The minutes of the day were created on that day and are signed by all attendees (pdf).

To commemorate the foundation of EASTS, a wood carving was presented by the Transportation Science Society of the Philippines to Professor Hideo Nakamura, who was elected as the first president of EASTS.  This sculpture is still kept by EASTS Secretary Office with cooperation of EASTS-Japan (picture 4).

Picture1: Meeting on 26, November, 1994

Picture 2: Meeting on 27, November, 1994

Picture 3: Signature by participants

Picture 4: Memento of the Birth of EASTS


List of participants of Kawana Meeting
Representatives from 12 countries/regions
Australia: Mr. Michael. A. P. Taylor
China: Mr. Xiang Yuanjin
Indonesia: Mr. Sutanto Soehodho
Korea: Mr. Yang-Jae Lee
Japan: Mr. Hideo Nakamura
Malaysia: Mr. Yusoff Sulaiman
Myanmar: Mr. Tint Swe
Philippines: Mr. Primitivo C. Cal
Singapore: Mr. Tien Fang Fwa
Taiwan: Mr. Wilson Wucheng Chen
Thailand: Mr. Kanchit piu-Nual
Vietnam: Mr. Nguyen Xuan Dao
Philippines: Mr. Oregario Villoria
Japan: Mr. Hitoshi Ieda, Mr. Kaoru Ikeda (MOT), Mr. Haruo Ishida, Mr. Hajime Inamura, Mr. Shizuo Iwata (Almec), Mr. Takayuki Ueda, Mr. Hisao Uchiyama, Mr. Chihiro Kamei (MOT), Mr. Yoji Kawakami, Mr. Nobuyuki Kitani (MOC), Mr. Takeshi Kurokawa, Mr. Katsuhiko Kuroda, Mr. Nobuhiro Sato (IBS), Mr. Toshikazu Shimazaki, Mr. Takehiko Sugiyama, Mr. Yoji Takahashi, Mr. Masayoshi Tanishita, Mr. Tomoyuki Todoroki, Mr. Kenji Doi, Mr. Seiji Nishioka (MOC), Mr. Akio Hashimoto (APTS), Mr. Yoshitsugu Hayashi, Mr. Tetsuro Hyodo, Mr. Kazuaki Miyamoto, Mr. Naohisa Okamoto, Mr. Shigeru Morichi