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Last updated 2016/04/19

The Re-Inventing Japan Project: “Campus ASEAN”

   The Graduate School of International Development (GSID) of Nagoya University, together with the university’s other graduate schools and centers – the Graduate School of Economics, the Graduate School of Law, the Center for Asian Legal Exchange, and the International Cooperation Center for Agricultural Education – jointly won “the Re-Inventing Japan Project” in 2012 sponsored by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. We believe that the Re-Inventing Japan Project marks a shift in Japan’s policy on higher education. Until recently, Japan’s policy on internationalization of universities was centered around recruiting international students for studying in Japan. More recently, however, projects such as the Re-Inventing Japan Project have begun to encourage Japanese students to study overseas, thereby enhancing cross-cultural communication between Japanese students and their local counterparts outside Japan.

   Due to language barriers and Japan’s anti-immigration policy, not many international students used to come to Japan. In 1983, the then Prime Minister Nakasone advocated “100, 000 International Students Plan” and promoted internationalization of higher education in Japan. In 2008, “300, 000 International Students Plan” was launched by the then Prime Minister Fukuda. Currently, this plan is being implemented in the name of “G30 Program”. Despite these efforts, however, many young Japanese have been shying away from actively engaging with the international community. Hence the need for national projects such as the Re-Inventing Japan Project is greater than ever before.

   As globalization rewrites the economic map of the world, emerging economies such as China, South Korea, India, Thailand, and Singapore have grown increasingly confident of their role as aid donors and have started to talk about “Asian-style” development assistance. What characterizes the “Asian-style” development assistance is the explicit link between development assistance and economic and diplomatic interest of the donor country. Thus, the traditional view of international cooperation in which Japan ‘saves’ poor Asian neighbors is being radically challenged. The new generation of global leaders having to engage with this emerging model of international cooperation will need a broader social and diplomatic outlook and the knowledge of economies, legal and political systems, and socio-cultural environments characterizing both aid donors and recipients in the ASEAN region and Japan. Furthermore, these leaders will need to recognize the changing role of private enterprises as an important new actor in international cooperation.

   Nagoya University’s “Re-Inventing Japan Project”, which is entitled “Training a New Generation of Leaders in International Cooperation for the Development of the ASEAN Region”, is intended to foster such global leaders. To this end, we have formed a consortium among eight universities consisting of Nagoya University (Japan), National University of Singapore (Singapore), Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), University of the Philippines Los Baños (the Philippines), Gadjah Mada University (Indonesia), Royal University of Law and Economics (Cambodia), Hanoi University of Law (Vietnam), and Ho Chi Minh City University of Law (Vietnam). I sincerely hope that students of these eight universities will make the best use of this opportunity to study abroad within the confines of the consortium.

   Last but not least, I would like to express my highest appreciation for all the support we received from the administrative staff of the International Affairs Department and the Schools of Humanities and Social Sciences of Nagoya University.