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Building a Bridge Between Japan and the EU as Japan's Largest EU Research Center
EUIJ Waseda

EUIJ, short for EU Institute in Japan, represents the base of higher academic research of the European Union (EU) in Japan. In 2001, the regular Japan-EU Head of States meeting, held in Brussels, signaled the start of "10 years of Japan-EU cooperation". That became one of the major pillars supporting the establishment of an alliance between the research base of EUIJ and a major Japanese university.

In recent years, the speed in which Europe has unified has brought great importance on a global scale to the influence and position of the political and economic alliance of the EU. With this background and guidance from the EU Delegation of the European Commission to Japan, the EUIJ project was undertaken in order to expand knowledge and deepen understanding of the EU in Japan.

In April 2009, EUIJ Waseda began operations, becoming the third such base in Japan after EUIJ Kansai and EUIJ Tokyo Consortium, and the first to be solely run by a university.
What research on the EU has taken place in the past at Waseda University, and what activities does EUIJ Waseda plan for the future? We asked EUIJ Waseda representative, and long-time head of the Waseda Institute for EU Studies, Faculty of Political Science and Economics professor, Koji Fukuda, about progress so far.

(c)EC/Ayako Goto
At the establishment reception for EUIJ Waseda/(from left) Former Prime Minister, Toshiki Kaifu, Waseda University President, Katsuhiko Shirai, EU Delegation of the European Commission to Japan representative, Hugh Richardson, Chairman of the European Business Council in Japan, Tommy Kullberg

EUIJ Waseda representative/Institute for EU Studies head, Professor Koji Fukuda

Launching the "Institute for EU Studies" as an Interdisciplinary Base.

(c)EC/Ayako Goto
EU-Japan Friendship Week Symposium 2009/Lecture by former French Foreign Minister V辿drine

Waseda University has a long history in EU research, dating back to the 1970s, before the inception of EUIJ. In 2001, we accepted an invitation from the European Commission to host the "EU-Japan Friendship Week Symposium", an event open to the general public. This has become an almost annual event, jointly hosted by the Institute for EU Studies and the Institute for Research in Contemporary Political and Economic Affairs, with backing from the Delegation of the European Commission to Japan and the embassies of each EU nation.
As recent as May 2009, we held a lively discussion event on the theme of "EU as an International Player", with close to 300 students, university staff and members of the general working public in attendance, as well as guest speakers such as former French Foreign Minister, Hubert V辿drine.

Many of the results of our EU research have been published, including an English book by a prominent European publishing house.
(Clockwise from bottom right"EU and Global Governance"Waseda University Press,2009; "EU Cross-Border Health Care"Bunshindo,2009;"The Future of the European Constitution and EU Unification"Waseda University Press,2006;"Latest Developments in EU Political and Economic Unification"Waseda University Press,2004;European Governance After Nice, RoutledgeCurzon,2003)

In 2004, fellow EU researchers within the university started a project institute called the "Institute for EU Studies", leading to interdisciplinary research on the EU, and activities related to EU-European unification education and information dispatch ever since. "Before the formation of the Institute for EU Studies, interdisciplinary and unified research which overcame faculty and graduate school barriers, had always taken place at Waseda, so it was a formality that the Institute for EU Studies began. I believe that is where the strength of this university lies". (Professor Fukuda)

The founding members of the Institute for EU Studies comprised of a close-knit, yet diverse, group of researchers from fields such as politics, economics, law and sociology. By forming the Institute for EU Studies, with a clearer aim and structure, activities were able to be systematically undertaken with official backing from the university. By making connections with European research institutions such as Belgium's College of Europe and the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, along with other universities throughout the world and other overseas EU related societies, we have expanded into an international network for research and education. With the desire to become the nation's leader for EU in both name and substance, by systematically connecting researchers from both the sciences and humanities, we have expanded to a level which can involve all faculties.

Opening the Nation's Largest Academic Program

This all lead to the establishment of EUIJ Waseda in April 2009. From the 3 major pillars of the European Commission's policy, research, education and outreaching, EUIJ has chosen to focus its attention on "outreaching activities". Outreaching is where experts in a field actively talk to, or deliver information to non-experts and the general population directly, in order to inspire their knowledge and promote understanding.

EU/European Unification Program lecture

EUIJ Waseda's operating funds comprise of a 60% subsidy from the European Commission (1million euro over four years), and the remaining 40% directly form Waseda University.
"While EUIJ Waseda places great importance on outreaching, because research and education activities in themselves are a type of outreaching we have launched various activities including requesting cooperation from staff of every faculty, and seeking independent external funding, in order to raise money". (Professor Fukuda)

One of the pillars here is academic activities. Waseda's Open Education Center is available to all students, offering various interdisciplinary lectures covering all fields of study. Among these, the substance of the EU related program stands out on a national level. With the establishment of EUIJ, we have added a further 5 lectures and seminars to the list of courses on offer. In the first semester of 2009, "EU political and economical unification governance and the international community policy" was held in a 200 seat theater, and involved presentations delivered by a multitude of lecturers, each time from an interdisciplinary viewpoint. In the second semester, we will offer Waseda's first full-on-demand lecture, "EU/European unification research". Starting in October and running for 15 straight weeks, our first lecturer will be EU Delegation of the European Commission to Japan Ambassador, Hugh Richardson, giving a lecture in English on "EU/Japan relations". Details of this presentation are expected to be available worldwide on the Delegation of the European Commission to Japan's website.

On top of this, science faculty staff, and experts from all fields, including science and technology secretaries from European countries, will be invited to deliver lectures on "EU science and technology policy", in the second semester.
"Coming up with an innovating program and coordinating many lecturers is a brain racking and painstaking job, but with the accumulation of research and personal contacts we have here, I have confidence in providing a course with content that can be matched by none". (Professor Fukuda)

By offering 20 subjects specializing in the EU to undergraduate students (3 lectures, 17 seminars), 6 subjects (all seminars) to graduate student, as well as an intensive summer course / seminar (English) conducted by an invited lecturer from Oxford University, our EU/European unification research program is not only the largest base in Japan for EU related education, but also on a scale competing with similar programs offered at European universities.

"Japan-Europe Research Organizations"The Beginning of a Strong System

We are also an important outreaching post for regional bodies and citizens. In this photo, Professor Fukuda gives a lecture on the safety of EU food to almost 200 students at Sakura Municipal University of International Culture (Chiba).

EUIJ Waseda's other pillar is outreaching activities. We offer a wide selection of subjects ranging from inspirational activities aimed at every sector, such as the political arena, officialdom, the business community, industrial world, and the general public, to hosting international symposiums and dealing with NGOs and journalists.
"Although it has only been six months since our establishment, it is pleasing to see that we have already produced outstanding results, making it possible to use this as a base to offer more activities at a greater rate". (Professor Fukuda)

Starting in April, we have held on a monthly basis, a "regular Nagatacho assembly" for political circles. It involves study meetings for Diet members and their secretaries, and National Diet Library staff etc, on topics such as EU politics and economy, culture, education and the state of society. We have invited experts from outside the university to give presentations on diverse themes. The first meeting's topic was on EU monetary policy, the second being avian influenza trends, and the third on the state of European education, with a focus on Finland. On the other side of the coin, for bureaucrats, we hosted an "irregular Kasumigaseki meeting" in September, where specialized lectures by university faculty staff were given.

Many EU government and legal officials also give numerous lectures. To the left is the vice-president of the Administrative Supreme Court of Austria. To the right is the president of the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

A series of open lectures by high ranking EU officials have also been devised. In September, with support from the French Embassy, a lecture by the profound thinker and economist who served as presidential aide in the Mitterand administration, Jacques Attali, and in Decemeber, with backing from the Swedish Embassy, and international symposium relating to the death penalty system, are in the works.
"Although EUIJ Waseda's outreaching activities are only a 4 year enterprise, the ultimate aim is to deepen relations between the EU and university in the long term, leading to greater development in research education for the future, regardless of the 4 year framework". (Professor Fukuda)

EUIJ Waseda research associates, administrative staff and representative, professor Koji Fukuda (center).

Following the establishment of EUIJ Waseda, a new organization, the "EU-Japan Research Organization" has been set up at the university. This research organization is the result of Waseda University's unique framework, where strategic systems are put in place to promote systematic research and education. In regards to regional research, Asia, US-Japan, and Islamic region research organizations have already been established. With the addition of the EU-Japan Research Organization, we have created a systematic research network covering the three major continents of Asia, America and Europe.

The EU-Japan Research Organization is only a small organization compared to the Organization of Asian Studies and US-Japan Research Organization, only receiving a budget one fifth of their size. But in terms of researchers at the university, European research boasts a far larger number, increasing even more if you include foreign researchers hailing from EU signatory nations. With the development of EUIJ Waseda and the EU-Japan Research Organization as a motive, the greatest mission now for our series of activities is to grow into a research group matching the scale of the Asian and American organizations. Cooperation with Europe for research and education in science and technology fields such as robot technology, marine biotechnology and optical communications has increased, and with the characteristics of Waseda University, we intend to strategically "merge science and literature into our EU-Japan research" in the future.

EUIJ Waseda Activities and Organizations

Related links

EUIJ Waseda

Waseda University Institute for EU Studies

Institute for Research in Contemporary Political and Economic Affairs

European Union Delegation of the European Commission to Japan