Message from the Director of SPCEA
Associate Professor, University of Tsukuba
The Central Asian focus at the University of Tsukuba aims to combine the research and educational components and integrate those into its curriculum. The feature, which distinguishes CA studies at the University of Tsukuba, is its focus on studying contemporary problems and states and societies in the area. The educational component of the Central Asian studies is built around the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Since 2006 the Graduate School has established three programs, which targeted the areas of Japanese Studies (JS), Education and Cultural Policy (ECP) and International Relations and Public Policy (IRPP), which are taught in English language. Two of these programs are one-year master’s programs (ECP and IRPP) while the third one focuses on Japanese Studies. The program in Japanese Studies is a two-year program which offers fully-provided Japanese-language education program in addition to English-language curriculum. They mainly target foreign students from CA countries, offering up to 10 full scholarships per year. In addition, the Graduate School offers Japanese students and students with Japanese language skills an opportunity to enroll into Japanese language MA course in Middle East and Central Asian studies at the MA Program in International Area Studies. Graduates of these programs are successfully employed in various ministries in their respective countries, in the Japanese corporate institutions or pursuing their Ph.D. studies in the best internationally credited academic institutions.
The second element worthwhile of stressing is our research activities within the broader framework of the newly established International Center for Central Asian Research and Education established within the premises of the State Institute of Oriental Studies in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. In addition, the office of the KazNU-Tsukuba Project for the Promotion of Research and Education has been established within the Faculty of Oriental Studies at the Kazakh National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. These facilities are meant to serve as a meeting space where researchers and graduate students interested in Japanese and Central Asian studies can develop common research projects and initiatives. In terms of research projects, faculty of the program is composed of scholars involved into active research on such issues as integration/cooperation in CA, Japanese and Chinese foreign policies towards this region, the issues of identity formation and memory construction as well as the processes of nation-building in CA region both from historical and contemporary perspectives.
We believe that such focus will enable the program to play a role in upbringing new generations of experts on CA region and contribute to the knowledge construction about this historically important region of the world.