Youth has historically been at the centre of change in East Asian societies, such as in the
Gwangju Uprising in South Korea, in the May Fourth Movement in China and the Anpo
protestations in Japan. Generation Z is the current and future driving force of these
countries, and are faced to conflict and peace, stability and instability at the same moment.
How is this youth doing today in South Korea, China and Japan? What challenges do they
currently face? LSE SU Korea Future Association, China Development Society and Japan
Society co-organized the 2020 LSE SU East Asia Forum and question the status quo of
East Asian youth.
The forum comprises four-panel discussions. The Cultural Shift panel will explore the
generational gap in the region, as the youth drifts apart from Confucian values towards
individualism and materialism, while contributing to demographic change, and
demanding for more gender equality including LGTBQ’s rights. The Politics panel will
discuss how youth political participation varies in each country, how media - a platform
that massively impacts youth - and politics mutually influence each other, before
examining how Generation Z will lead international relations in the region. The Education
panel will consider the problems of East Asian education systems, by first examining their
negative impact on mental health, then the tendency of increasing inequalities among the
population, along with the differences between East Asian and Western styles of
education. Moreover, the panel speakers will attempt to detail potential solutions to these
issues. Finally, the Economy panel will focus on the East Asian labour market, more
specifically on the issues of unemployment and the growing number of irregular jobs
which are mitigated by digitalization as well as youth entrepreneurship, contributing to
the market transition.