JCAS:image photo

Activity Policies and Plans

JCAS Has Now Entered a New Stage
-- 2010 Activity Policy and Plan

Hiroyuki Yamamoto
Steering Committee Chairman

Since its founding in 2004, the Japan Consortium for Area Studies (JCAS) has been a venue of collective challenges for many operating members, via ceaseless new experiences, to transcend organizational borders for collaboration. In particular, the differences between the then national universities (before corporatization) and private universities in terms of customary rules and practices (e.g. budget spending) were perplexing, often resulting in circumstances where one party's common ideas were misunderstood by the other.

Through our efforts for three two-year terms, however, such differences have been overcome and the basic operational framework was almost completed last year.
The operational structure consists of 12 managing organizations selected from approx. 90 consortium members, based on which the Board of Representatives, Steering Committee and Administration Office are incorporated. Supervised by the Steering Committee, individual Sections and Study Groups are in charge of daily activities such as annual meetings where all member organizations congregate, symposiums, young researcher support in their research planning, editing/publication of the "Chiiki Kenkyu” (Area Studies) journal in Japanese, sharing/distribution of related information via newsletters; and activities related to four Study Groups (Social Collaboration, Information Resource Sharing, Area Studies Information Studies, and Area Studies Methodology) oriented for the development of advanced area studies. All these activities are supported by the Administration Office.

Having established mutual trust and cooperation among management members, JCAS has entered a new phase, this year, where it should actively promote joint projects and collaboration via its network, encouraging the participation of many other non-management member organizations. As part of this effort, our plans this year include enhancing the quality and scale of the project recruitment scheme to support young scholars, as well as the number of recruitment menu items to facilitate the engagement of many members. The active publication of joint project results to society and a Consortium Award program are also being implemented or prepared.

In accordance with the aforementioned plans, JCAS activities this year focus on the following five areas:

  1. Area Studies Design
  2. Promotion of Joint Research Projects
  3. Collaboration with Academic Circles
  4. Contribution to Society
  5. Publication of Activities