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A warm welcome to the National Institute of Japanese Studies (NIJS). The Institute is an international Centre of Excellence funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England following a successful £4 million bid under the 2006 Language Based Area Studies initiative. It is a collaborative endeavour between the departments of East Asian Studies at the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield under the umbrella of the White Rose East Asia Centre and the White Rose university consortium.

For over forty years the two universities have been the main national providers of training and supervision in modern East Asian languages and area studies at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The Institute pools our joint resources and expertise in language provision, and in the social sciences and humanities, in order to create a unified and focused Centre of Excellence for research and postgraduate training on Japan. It brings together researchers organised in four research clusters to address the major social, cultural, political and economic issues facing modern East Asia:

  • Business, Political Economy and Development
  • East Asian Identities and Cultures
  • Social Change and Transition in East Asia
  • Regionalisation and Globalisation

The Institute provides a lively and stimulating home for taught Masters students pursuing one- or two-year programmes, research students, and post-doctoral and advanced researchers. Complementing our long-standing research degree programmes, a range of Masters degrees offers the necessary training in Japanese language and area studies to enable graduates to go on to advanced study or enter the public or private sector. Close ties with users in the world of business, commerce and diplomacy ensure our programmes are relevant both inside and outside of academia. Unrivalled access to the region is available to both staff and students through the Institute's links with sister universities in Japan.

NIJS has organized a number of international conferences and workshops including Negotiating the Boundaries of Postwar Japan; Shifting Boundaries: negotiating identities and challenges for scholarship; Mediating Risk in Japan: the state, market, and societal matrix;  Opportunities and Challenges for the G8: lessons for Japan and the UK. It holds an annual distinguished lecture. The inaugural lecture was given in March 2007 by Professor Fujiwara Kiichi of the University of Tokyo; in March 2008 the second lecture was given by Professor Kitaoka Shinichi, also of the University of Tokyo.

Professor Glenn D. Hook
Director, National Institute of Japanese Studies



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© White Rose East Asia Centre 2008.