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Annual Report 2012/2013 Promoting Japanese Studies across the Globe

Promoting Japanese Studies across the Globe

Support for Japanese Studies Institutions

Universities and other academic institutions that sponsor Japanese studies programs play a significant role not only in research but also in education and the training of future researchers. In fiscal 2012, the Japan Foundation provided support to a total of 82 core universities and institutions around the world with Japanese studies programs. The support program, designed to be responsive to the needs of individual institutions, provided resources for research, international conferences, book purchases, and staff expansion. The Japan Foundation also funded study tours to Japan or training in Japan for teachers and students, dispatched Japanese affiliate professors to overseas institutions, and supported research projects.

In China, the Japan Foundation operates the Beijing Center for Japanese Studies, which was established in 1985 based on an agreement with the Chinese government. Catering to graduate students of Japanese studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University and students in doctoral courses in the social science divisions of Peking University, the center offers contemporary Japanese studies courses with the aim of training and developing future Japan experts who will be instrumental in promoting Japan-China relations.

Japanese Studies Fellowships

In fiscal 2012, the Japan Foundation supported approximately 290 scholars and academics (including fiscal-2011 recipients with on-going projects) to conduct research in Japan in humanities and social sciences.

The research topics are diverse, ranging from politics, economy and other aspects of contemporary Japanese society to liberal arts disciplines such as linguistics, ancient history, and medieval literature. Once back home these international scholars help disseminate accurate information and understanding about Japan based on knowledge grounded in solid academic research. The fellowship program is a valuable resource for developing the next generation of Japanese studies scholars and experts on Japan.

Japanese Studies Seminar Tour in Vietnam

The Japan Foundation hosted a seminar consisting of a public lecture and a round-table discussion by two Japanese international relations specialists on "Japan's New International Relations: Japan-China-U.S. Relations and South East Asia" in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In his lecture entitled "Soft Power and Japan's International Cultural Engagements," Yasushi Watanabe, professor at Keio University, introduced Japan's experiences and challenges in public diplomacy, drawing on developments in this field in various other countries. Yoshihide Soeya, another professor at Keio University, delivered a speech on "The Rise of China and Japan's Responses: Implications for Regional Security." He argued that since Japan and Vietnam are both concerned about China's assertiveness, they should work together as equal partners to analyze and contemplate a joint strategy to such challenges. The seminars in the two cities together drew as many as 850 people.

Photo of Japanese Studies Seminar Tour in Vietnam 1

Photo of Japanese Studies Seminar Tour in Vietnam 2

A Statement by a Russian Japanese Studies Scholar in a News Article

"In the 1990s, when the Russian economy was in ruins and salaries went unpaid, the Japan Foundation distinguished itself with exceptional work. Asian countries that did not support the study of their own country-and most of them did not-ended up losing experts on their country. That Japanese studies survived owes much to the Japan Foundation's support, to which we bow down deeply, Russian style, in a show of appreciation." (A statement by Professor Alexander Mesheryakov, Russian State University for the Humanities. Source: Interview article "Foreign Countries Cannot Solve Russia's Problems" posted March 22, 2013, on the online newspaper Gazeta.ru.)

Japanese studies seminar tour:"On Finding the Determination to Face the Third National Crisis," in Uzbekistan

Japanese studies seminar tour: The journalist Nobuhiko Shima delivered a lecture, "On Finding the Determination to Face the Third National Crisis," in Uzbekistan.