The Youth Element: Military Service: National Duty or Nuisance?

Welcome to the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada’s new podcast series about youth cultures in East Asia. Over the next several weeks, join co-hosts Justin Kwan and Linda Qian as they travel across five cities in East Asia: Shanghai, Taipei, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul, to listen to the voices of millennials and learn more about contemporary East Asia through their views and the stories of their own lives.

The Youth Element is now available on iTunes and Google Play Music!

Ep 2: Military Service: National Duty or Nuisance?

When we consider the concept of “youth culture,” the military isn’t something that necessarily pops to mind. And it's definitely not the first topic we associate with millennials, or what it means to be living as a youth in East Asia. But if you stop to think about it, the military is definitely something that plays a large role in the lives of many Asia Pacific millennials, and especially so in South Korea and in Taiwan, where military service is mandatory.

In this episode of The Youth Element, join us as we explore how South Korea and Taiwan’s military service is more than just a stage in a young person's life. We’ll be looking at not only how today's generation of youth feels about national service and its purpose in their respective societies, but we’ll also look at how other aspects of life and culture are influenced by the military – from geopolitics to k-pop.


South Korea



The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.

Justin Kwan

Justin Kwan is a Project Specialist at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and the co-host of The Youth Element: A Podcast Series on East Asia's Millennials.

Asia Connect Dispatches: A Window into Chinese Life with Canada World YouthMore Exports to Asia Requires More Internships in AsiaVancouver Asian Film Festival Preview: We Heart Canada + Japan 90 Premiere Presentation Spotlight
Read more >

Linda Qian

Linda Qian is a Post-Graduate Research Fellow at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, and a graduate from the University of Oxford’s School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies.

The Youth Element: Visions of the FutureThe Youth Element: Consumption or Happiness in Uncertain TimesThe Youth Element: Politically Charged Youth in South Korea
Read more >

Use 'AND' or 'OR' to refine your search.

Use quotes " " to get exact matches or remove them to get more results.