Message from the Dean

photo of Shigeki Takeo,Dean
Shigeki Takeo, Dean<br />
The Faculty of International Studies was founded in 1986. Over the last quarter century, Japan and the world have experienced dramatic social changes. One is globalization in which people, capital, information and material goods rapidly flow over national boundaries in ever greater volumes. From our food and clothing to the people around us, we experience a previously unknown wealth of diversity. Moreover, the Internet and other media provide easily accessible information, often in nearly “real time.” These interconnections increasingly bind the regions of the world and their peoples.

On the other hand, it is still difficult to bridge the gulf between rich and poor, and resolutions to many regional conflicts remain elusive. Furthermore, the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake dramatically exposed structural weaknesses inherent to our society. How should we reconfigure the asymmetrical relationship between regional society (areas of production) and urban centers (areas of consumption)? What is the role of institutions of higher education in such work? We believe university level research and educational programs should seek responses to such issues.

The Faculty of International Studies’ scholars draw upon perspectives grounded in the social sciences (economics and political science, etc.) and humanities (history, for example) to study the processes that have created present society, and to gauge its future direction. Since its inception, the Faculty has emphasized the ideal of tolerance for diversity, and the spirit of peace. Always mindful of the problems we face, we want to work with our students to envision a better future for our society.