Chuo Onlineロゴ

  • twitter-icon
  • facebook-icon
  • rss-icon


Prospects for Chuo University and the Development of the Faculty of Law in Central Tokyo


In 2023, Chuo University (Hachioji City, Tokyo, President Hisashi Kawai) will establish the new Myogadani Campus in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, and move the Faculty of Law and the Graduate School of Law from the Tama Campus (Hachioji City) to this new campus. At the same time, the new Surugadai Campus will be established in Chiyoda Ward and will host the two professional graduate schools, the Law School and the Business School, which will move from the Ichigaya Campus (Shinjuku Ward) and from the Korakuen Campus (Bunkyo Ward) respectively. These are the university's first major changes since its relocation from central Tokyo to Tama in 1978. On the topic of "New Development of Chuo University's Urban Campus: Establishing a System of Two Major Campuses in Tama and Central Tokyo," Board Chairman Masahiko Omura, of the Educational Corporation of Chuo University, Chuo President Hisashi Kawai, Law Faculty Dean Takashi Inomata, and Law School Dean Akihiko Kobayashi held a round-table discussion on the aims, significance, and effects of these developments in the center of the city. The discussion was streamed online. The following is a report on the discussion. (Recorded on November 8, 2021, at the multipurpose hall on the seventh floor of the Global Building, Tama Campus, Chuo University.)


Shimomura (moderator): Could you please start by explaining what kind of school Chuo University is?

chuo_0217_img_kawai.jpgKawai: The predecessor of the University was the English Law School, which was founded in 1885 in Kanda-Nishikicho by 18 young lawyers. From its establishment to today, the school has upheld the founding spirit of "Fostering the Ability to Apply Knowledge to Practice." In this context, "Ability" refers to the foundation of skills that can be applied to society, and "Fostering the Ability" means cultivating not only knowledge, but also the ability to communicate, discuss, and make organizational decisions through various experiences and interactions with others, as well as the ability to continue learning. We hope that through our broad, practical education, our students will nurture the concept of "Knowledge into Action," which is our university's motto.

Ikari (moderator): With the exception of the Faculty of Science and Engineering and the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Chuo University moved to the Tama Campus in 1978. That is about to change in a major way. Please explain the purpose and significance of these changes.

Note: Chuo University has four institutions that provide legal education: The Faculty of Law for undergraduate education; the Graduate School of Law for postgraduate education; Chuo Law School providing trainings for future legal professionals, and the Distance Learning Division of the Faculty of Law.

Kawai: The relocation of the Faculty of Law to the Myogadani Campus will, through collaboration between the Faculty of Law and the Graduate School of Law, enable us to integrate operations that include the Law School at the Surugadai Campus, which is a professional graduate school, and further strengthen our promotion of legal education at the University. It will also enable collaboration with neighboring faculties, such as the Faculty of Science and Engineering and the Faculty of Global Informatics. In this way we hope to achieve a new type of legal education at Chuo University.

Shimomura (moderator): What is the significance of the Faculty of Law conducting research and education at the Myogadani Campus in central Tokyo?

chuo_0217_img_inomata.jpgInomata: The intentions and aims of the expansion of the Faculty of Law to the center of Tokyo are based on two key concepts. One is L&L, and the other is the integration of the humanities and sciences.

First, L&L is also known as 3+2, a new system of legal training. It's a newly created system in which students can graduate from the Faculty of Law in three years, study for two years at the Law School, and take the bar exam while they are still in school. Currently, the Faculty of Law is located in Tama. On the other hand, the Law School is located in Ichigaya, which is far away from Tama. With the relocation of the Faculty of Law to Myogadani and the Law School to Surugadai, the two will be connected by a short ride on the Marunouchi Line, just four stops apart. Being close physically will also enable closeness in terms of time and, we expect, spirit.

The second concept is the integration of the humanities and sciences. Events and issues of modern society have become extremely complex, and in order to solve problems, it is now necessary for us to have multifaceted ways of thinking that cover both the humanities and the sciences. With this objective in mind, we reformed the curriculum to achieve the integration of the humanities and sciences, and decided to establish courses offered jointly by three faculties. Specifically, professors from the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Science and Engineering, and the Faculty of Global Informatics will share three or four classes each. Interdisciplinary and introductory courses will be offered to freshmen, and in the third year, more specialized, in-depth courses will be offered. With the relocation of the Faculty of Law to central Tokyo in April 2023, the Faculty will be able to enter a new phase and develop in new ways.

Ikari (moderator): The Law School, one of the pillars of L&L, will be relocated to the Surugadai Campus. What will education in law schools look like in the L&L era?

chuo_0217_img_kobayashi.jpgKobayashi: I personally believe that there are three steps to studying law. The first is to acquire accurate knowledge of each area, the second is to cultivate the ability to use that knowledge in a comprehensive and holistic manner, and the third is to cultivate the ability to make the best choices in a world with no right answers, as we face the various problems that arise in society. To teach these three steps effectively, we need to have a consistent educational process that lasts about five years, rather than a short-term one. At Chuo University, we have a strong educational system in the faculties, with courses in law and academic research organizations supported by long traditions. As an extension of this educational system, L&L will enable us to develop capable, well-established legal professionals within five years, including their time at the Law School. I believe that we can fully meet the expectations of society by developing these approaches at the new Surugadai Campus.

Ikari (moderator): The Business School is also being relocated to the Surugadai Campus. What can you tell us about this?

Kobayashi: The boundary between business management and law has been disappearing, and there is a demand for lawyers who understand business management and businesspeople who understand law. It is necessary to have the ability to look at the big picture, without a partition between business management and law, and I would like to develop an educational system at the Surugadai Campus that will equip students with this kind of broad view. Regarding the recurrent education for legal professionals, I believe the system will also provide opportunities for learning regardless of the boundary between law and business management. As for specific methods of collaboration, we will proceed with our efforts with the awareness that we need to make Surugadai Campus a center for the development of highly skilled professionals.

Ikari (moderator): Chuo University is a large educational corporation that operates four high schools and two junior high schools, in addition to the University. Board Chairman Omura, you oversee these operations. From your standpoint, what is the significance of the development of the University's urban campus?

chuo_0217_img_omura.jpgOmura: As the head of an educational corporation, I believe that we have the authority and responsibility to prepare universities to open new possibilities in education and research. Our expansion to the city center is in line with this. If the Faculty of Law is relocated to the city center, the "shape" of Chuo University will change considerably. In terms of the number of students and faculties, about half will move to the city center, and the face and shape of Chuo University will change drastically. As an educational corporation, we hope that society's recognition of these changes will inspire and generate various new developments.

Shimomura (moderator): What are your plans for the existing Tama Campus?

Omura: Tama, a suburban campus, has advantages and attractions that campuses in the city center don't. The International Residence and the Global Gateway were built with the goal of strengthening the University's unique character as a global campus that makes the most of its lush, natural environment. In addition, the Forest Gateway is a multi-purpose facility with a human-friendly environment that has been built using lumber from the Tama region and is a naturally ventilated structure. I hope that it will be of great use as a base for promoting diversity and globalization.

Shimomura (moderator): Considering what has been discussed, we would like to conclude with a message from President Kawai on the future prospects of Chuo University.

Kawai: Concerning the future prospects of Chuo University, I believe that the educational concept of "Fostering the Ability to Apply Knowledge to Practice," which is the founding spirit of the University, is deeply related to the concept of an "open" university, which is absolutely necessary for the future development of Chuo University.

When we see entities and events that shape society from the perspective of a university, the interactions between those and the world are always notable, and I believe things can be said to be "open" when those interactions are dynamic. From the perspective of education and research, which are the functions of a university, the same can be said for knowledge, which is key for developing the ability to apply knowledge to practice. In other words, when one area, one field of research, interacts with another, a domain opens. This opening of domains leads to the opening up and invigoration of educational organizations, such as undergraduate and graduate schools, that represent specialized areas. In this way, interaction and collaboration among faculties are invaluable, and the proximity of faculties and graduate schools is a further advantage. Open domains and closer proximity lead to greater interaction, and this in turn ensures reciprocal opening up.

For example, Chuo University will open more and more interactions between faculties, between the campus and the local community, between the Tama campus and the central Tokyo campus, and between Chuo University and foreign institutions. I believe such openness will be further demanded of Chuo University in the future, and to meet these expectations we will strive to become an even more "open" university by strengthening the interaction of all of our educational organizations and sites. Through various initiatives, we will strengthen cooperation and openness among the major campuses in Tama and central Tokyo, and we will nurture graduates who can contribute to the world. In this way, I would like to make Chuo University a university of opportunities while responding to the needs of society. These are changes everyone can look forward to.

Ikari (moderator): I understand that Chuo University will continue to share information in a variety of ways. We hope listeners will keep an eye on these developments as we approach April 2023. Thank you for your participation in today's discussion.

Yurie Ikari/Attorney at Law, Lecturer at Chuo Law School (photo left)
Erika Shimomura/Senior, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Law, Chuo University

Masahiko Omura
Board Chairman, Educational Corporation of Chuo University

Masahiko Omura was born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1954. He graduated from the Chuo University Faculty of Law in 1977. He completed a master course at the graduate school and became an Assistant Professor at Chuo University's Faculty of Law in 1979. In 1990, he became a professor of the same faculty, and in 2004, he took the position of Dean and professor (JD course) at Chuo Law School. He is a Doctor of Law (Chuo Law Faculty) and a specialist in the law of civil procedure.

He became Director of the Chuo University International Center in 2012, Executive Director of the Board of Directors in 2014, and Chair of the Board in 2017. He was reappointed in 2020. In 2021, he became a professor emeritus at Chuo University. In addition, he conducted overseas research at the University of Texas, Cambridge University, and other institutions. In 1998 he became a member of the Committee for Assistance in Establishing a Legal System for Cambodia (JICA), and in 2002 he became a member of the Committee of the Inspection of Private Education Institutions of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). In 2003, he was appointed as an expert on the MEXT Subcommittee for the Establishment of Universities, Council for the Establishment of Universities and School Corporations. He became Chair of the Accreditation Committee for Law Schools, Japan University Accreditation Association in 2013, and in 2015 he became Vice President (now Honorary Vice-President) of the International Association of Procedural Law. In 2016, he became a member of the MEXT Investigative Commission for the Promotion of Private Universities.

Hisashi Kawai
President, Chuo University; Professor, Faculty of Global Management
Area of Specialization: Accounting, Business Administration, and Information System studies

Hisashi Kawai was born in Tokyo in 1958. He graduated from Chuo University High School in 1977, and Chuo University Faculty of Commerce, Department of Accounting in 1981. He completed a master’s degree at Chuo University Graduate School of Commerce in 1983. In 1996, he was appointed to the Faculty of Commerce at Chuo University, where he has served as Assistant Professor, Professor, and Dean of the Faculty. After serving as Vice President and Director of the Preparation Office for the Faculty of Global Management, he has served as a professor (to date) and Dean of the Faculty of Global Management in 2019. He was named President of Chuo University in 2021.

He has served as an officer of related academic societies, a standing director of the Japan Association of Private Universities and Colleges, and vice president of the Consortium of Universities in Hachioji and has been involved in other public social activities. By opening the University's abundant resources to local areas and communities, and by promoting exchange, Kawai aims for an even more "open Chuo University," where students can cultivate the ability to apply themselves in society, while constantly learning from it, offering the kind of education that leads to a positive future.

Takashi Inomata
Dean, Faculty of Law; Professor, Faculty of Law, Chuo University
Area of Specialization: Civil law

Takashi Inomata was born in Aomori Prefecture in 1959. In 1983, he graduated from Chuo University's Faculty of Law, Department of Law. In 1985, he completed the master program in Private Law at the Graduate School of Law, Chuo University. In 1989, he withdrew from the doctoral course after completion of coursework in the Private Law Course at the Graduate School of Law, Chuo University. After working as an assistant professor at the Open University of Japan and as a professor at Toin University of Yokohama, School of Law, he became a professor in the Faculty of Law, Chuo University in 2010. He was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Law in 2019.

His research focuses on the procedural rules for effective civil dispute resolution in litigation, arbitration, and alternative dispute resolution.

He co-authored Chusaiho (Arbitration Law) (Nippon Hyoron sha, 2014) with Takeshi Kojima, and authored Shiho Access no Fuhenka no Doko (Universalization of Access to Justice) (Chuo University Press, 2018), which was edited by Masahiko Omura (co-authored).

Akihiko Kobayashi
Dean, Chuo Law School; Professor, Chuo Law School
Area of Specialization: Civil law

Akihiko Kobayashi was born in Nagano Prefecture in 1959. In 1983, he graduated from Chuo University's Faculty of Law, Department of Law. He passed the bar exam in the same year and registered as a lawyer in 1986 (legal apprenticeship, 38th term). He has been a partner at Kataoka & Kobayashi LPC since 1990 (to date). In addition to his many years of work as a lawyer, he participated in the planning of the Law School, and after serving as a visiting lecturer and specially appointed professor at Chuo Law School, he has served as a professor since 2016 (to date) and assumed his current position in 2019.

Based on his experience as a manager of the Working Group on Law of Finance Using Movable Property and Claims as Collateral, time on the Legislative Council of the Ministry of Justice, work as a member of the Ministry of Justice's Study Group on Auction System, and experience as an official of the Supreme Court Legal Training and Research Institute (in charge of the Civil Advocacy Instructor's Office), he has been engaged in research and practice in the field of civil law, focusing on collateral law and execution law, in particular the concept of bridging theory and practice.