Inauguration of Three Research Centers for Human Security

In April 2010, a new research institute, the Institute for Advanced Global Studies (IAGS), was established at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Of its five constituent bodies, three were newly created, namely, the Research Center for Sustainable Peace, the Research Center for Sustainable Development and the Center for African Studies. Exploring the issues which are closely related with human security, these three centers are expected to provide solid research backgrounds for the HSP as an educational program. While still incipient as organizations, they are now preparing for full-fledged research activities. The following are their brief introduction.

  • Research Center for Sustainable Peace (Director : Yasunobu Sato) : Sustainable Peace is an endeavor at realizing stable and peaceful societies where freedom of each individual is respected to its maximum over the current and future generations without reliance on fear and repression. In pursuing this endeavor, the Center gains a boost from the new paradigm of human security. The Research Center for Sustainable Peace supports and promotes relevant research activities, such as: historical and theoretical examination of concepts of peace; various discourse analyses; field studies and action research at actual as well as potential conflict sites around the world. The center also conducts critical analysis of ideas and policies for attaining sustainable peace.
  • Research Center for Sustainable Development (Director : Yuichi Sekiya) : Sustainable Development is an endeavor at improving, without degradation in the natural environment, the quality of life for all human beings over the current and future generations. As such, it constitutes one of the main conceptual pillars of the new paradigm of human security. This Center supports and promotes relevant research activities for sustainable development, such as: historical, theoretical and critical analysis of different ideas and policies of development; field studies; action research at sites of various development activities around the world.
  • Center for African Studies (Director : Mitsugi Endo) : 50 years after “the Year of Africa”, Africa is now undergoing a massive transition in the contemporary world. This Center, relying on research methods afforded by the humanities as well as social sciences, explores this rapidly changing continent from multiple perspectives. Benefiting from the new paradigm of human security, the Center supports and promotes various research activities focusing on Africa, such as: theoretical and empirical researches on social, political and economic changes on the continent; the analyses of state formation/collapse processes and the accompanying violent conflicts which many African societies have gone through in these decades.

Start of “Human Mobility Studies” Course Sponsored by Hougakukan Co.,Ltd.

The University of Tokyo`s Graduate School and College of Arts and Sciences, has begun a lecture series titled “Human Mobility Studies,” from April 2010; the series was established thanks to donations by the Hogakkan (Inc.). The themes of refugees and migration will be the main focus of discussion in this series. The series is to continue to be offered through March of 2015. Certificates will be awarded by the University of Tokyo to students who have successfully completed the course. The program will also start allowing people other than the University of Tokyo students to take the course for a reasonable fee soon after the coming winter term.

Establishment of a university lecture series on the topic of refugees and migration is perhaps the first attempt of its kind in Japan. The lecture series will involve actors from civil society, both domestic and international. In addition, we are planning to cooperate with the Research Center for Sustainable Peace of the Institute for Advanced Global Studies (IAGS), and are also looking forward to making a global hub for research on refugees, migration, and peace.

The lectures will be given by the faculty of the University of Tokyo as well as by practitioners such as lawyers, prosecutors, and staff of the United Nations, other international organizations, and NGOs. In addition to the training of young people in the fields of migration and refugee studies, the series aims to allow professionals to become international contributors and let them participate in the so-called “domestic internationalization”, so that they may better respond towards issues concerning protection of refugees, settlement, foreign workers, and upcoming multicultural society issues. To achieve “Human Security”, and to succeed in the global scene based on what is occurring in the actual field, we would want to provide opportunities to study regardless to social positions, frameworks, and borders.

Also within the Human Security Program the “Center for Documentation on Refugee and Migrants (CDR),” represented by Professor Yasunobu Sato, is currently working to document national and international law and policy, collect statistical data and research papers, and conduct research on refugees and migration. The CDR is also working to interview researchers and practitioners in these fields and make records and recordings (video and audio) of lectures. The release of the website in the end of July of 2010 will allow us to deliver information on refugee and migration issues in a prompt and orderly manner.

Please visit our website to access the information offered there as well as to get more information on the Human Mobility Studies Lecture Series:

Other Research Projects

The Program is also actively engaged in various research projects financed by outside organizations through the participation of its faculty members. The following are past projects.

  • Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) 2009-2012, funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
    “Interdisciplinary Studies on the Un/Non-Recognized States and their International Relations” (Leader : Kazuo Nakai)
  • Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas 2009-2011, funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
    “United Nations PKO and Business: Conflict, Human Movement and Governance” (Leader :Yasunobu Sato)
  • Research Collaboration between Hougakugan Co.,Ltd. and the HSP 2009-2010
    “Database Project on Refugees and Migrants” (Leader : Yasunobu Sato)