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Director’s Note


The Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa was established in 1964 as the first national collaborative research institute for humanities and social sciences. Since then, the Institute has organized and promoted collaborative domestic and international research in Asian and African studies, particularly in linguistics, anthropology, and history. However, during the 50 years since its establishment, the research environment has completely changed. Currently, compared with 50 years ago, there are increasing opportunities to study the language, culture, and history of Asia and Africa. While the Japanese now possess a deeper understanding regarding these aspects of Asia and Africa, with the advancement of globalization, trends of Asia and Africa directly impact not only Japan but the global society as a whole. Particularly during the end of the twentieth century, since the end of the Cold War, conflicts are frequently occurring in Asia and Africa; thus, casting a dark shadow on the future of mankind. Nevertheless, the actual history and field experiences reveal that people are not necessarily involved in conflicts despite differences in language, culture, or religion and sects. The Institute focuses on the tolerance of the Asian and African people and is committed toward pursuing the possibilities of a more pluralistic world in the future, taking the diverse languages and cultures of the region as a model.

In April 2010, the Institute started afresh as the “International Research Center for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa,” under the newly established “Joint Usage/Research Center” system of Japanese government. It continues to commit to the development of joint research through the extensive participation of national and international researchers. For the next 50 years, the Institute, as an increasingly open research center, remains committed to strengthening and expanding cooperation within the research community at both the national and international level, based on the latest research developments. It will promote the world’s top level research accomplishments. Center personnel are determined toward realizing this mission in response to the changing times, and we hope to acquire your continuous cooperation and support.

April 2016
Director of Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA)

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