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About the Center for Japan Studies


The Center for Japan Studies was established in April 2000 within the context of the festivities celebrating the historic ties that have existed for 400 years between Japan and the Netherlands. The Center is involved in teaching, research and consulting activities concerning 21st century Japan and its Asian context. Specific attention is given to the relations between Japan and the European Union.

In October 2005 the Center celebrated its 5th anniversary with an international symposium: “The Energy Impact of Japan and China: Threat or Chance?”. The Symposium was hosted by Gasunie Groningen in its headquarters. On February 9, 2009 a new symposium was held, focusing on whether the 21st century will become "The Asian Era?". On 23 and 24 June 2015 an international symposium took place on "Racism and intolerance in Europe and Asia – Challenges and Policies", it was co-organised by staff of the University of Groningen (the Netherlands) and Osaka University (Japan) under the cooperation agreement between the NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) and JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science). (See menu left hand side for more information and the programme).

Goals and purposes of the Center for Japan Studies

The Center's primary mission is to advance the acquisition and transfer of knowledge about contemporary Japan and its position in the regional (East Asia) and the global context. Also the various ties and connections between Japan and the Netherlands and the European Union are of special importance. The ties with the Netherlands have a history of more than 400 years.

Research and Education

The Center for Japan Studies is involved in teaching the international master International Relations-East Asian Studies , Faculty of Arts University of Groningen, that started in September 2014. It is a one-year programme ( 60 ECTS), that focuses on contemporary developments in East Asia, in particular Japan, China and Korea. The curriculum offers the opportunity give special attention to one of these three countries, in elective courses or a work placement, and in the thesis.

In 2013 a double degree programme started: the EU-JAPAN Multidisciplinary Master (EU-JAMM) project. 43 Exchange students ( 23 Japanese, 20 European) will have the opportunity to study at a partner institution at get a double Master. The Research Master History and International Relations (Faculty of Arts, University of Groningen) participates in this project, its partner is the Osaka School for International Public Policy, Osaka University.

The Graduate School of Letters, Osaka University, is a full partner in the Erasmus Mundus Master of Excellence Euroculture: Society.politics and Culture in a Global Context . Each year  5-6 (European) Euroculture students take special research courses in Osaka during one semester.

The Center for Japan Studies offers its facilities not only to students of the University of Groningen, but also to the public and business community in the city and province. It regularly is involved in courses in the HOVO (Higher Education for Senior People), for example in 2011 and 2012 on ‘The Asian century’.

Japan and the EU

The Center for Japan Studies gives special attention to the relation between Japan and he EU. Within this context a strong link exists with the Erasmus Mundus Master of Excellence Euroculture: Europe in the Wider World. This is a two year, 120 ECTS Programme, taught in English. The Master Euroculture is offered by a Consortium of 8 European and 4 non-European universities and is coordinated by the university of Groningen. Osaka University is one of the 4 non-European partner universities.

On 15 October 2014 the Director of the Center for Japan Studies, Dr Janny de Jong, became Professor by special appointment of Europe-East Asia Relations with a focus on Japan via the Groningen University Fund.The chair aims to contribute to teaching and research in the field of the relationships between Europe and East Asia, with a particular focus on Japan.

Relation between the University of Groningen and Japanese Higher Education Institutes

The University of Groningen has international partner agreements with a number of Japanese Higher Education Institutes : Chukyo University, Osaka University, Tohoku University and University of Tokyo.

Osaka University is a Strategic Partner of the University of Groningen. The Osaka Overseas Office that Osaka University has established in Groningen (2005) merits special mention. Since 2012 staff of the University of Groningen teach an intensive course called Gateway to Europe at Osaka University. Furthermore a Dutch Center is established at Tekijuku center , Osaka University.

Each year a Japan-Netherlands student conference (JNSC) is organized, that takes place alternately in Osaka or Groningen. In 2017 the venue of the 8th JNSC is Groningen.

Last modified:12 June 2017 5.25 p.m.
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