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Director’s Note


The Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa celebrated the 50th anniversary of its establishment last year. During the last 50 years, the Research Institute has been involved in collaborative domestic and international research in Asian and African studies, particularly in linguistics, anthropology, and history. During the 50 years since its establishment as the first national collaborative research institute for humanities and social sciences, 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, despite differences in language, culture, or religion and sects, the actual history and field experiences reveal that people are not necessarily involved in conflicts. The Research Institute focuses on the tolerant approach of the Asian and African regions and is committed toward pursuing the development possibilities of a more pluralistic world in the future, taking the diverse languages and cultures of the region as a model.

The Institute was newly established in April 2010 as a Joint Usage/Research Center. 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” structure. Since the Center is not limited by a traditional university framework, 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 Center, 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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