Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto.

Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto.

A new gateway for research on Asia

10 March 2015

New partnership brings ANU and Japan scholars together.

A proposed agreement between The Australian National University and a private Japanese university could see researchers from the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific spending more time in Kyoto and Osaka.

Representatives from Ritsumeikan University met with staff from the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at the College last week, to discuss collaborative research and educational possibilities at Ritsumeikan’s new campus, which is opening in Ibaraki, between Kyoto and Osaka, in April.

Core to the new campus are three academic concepts: Asia's Gateway, Urban Co-creation and Regional Cooperation.

As an Asian gateway, the campus will be home to an Asian research institute, which will draw on the expertise of scholars from Ritsumeikan University who work on Asian studies.

"We are exploring ways in which scholars at the Coral Bell School can contribute to that institute and collaborate with it,” Professor Andrew Walker said.    

Professor Tsutomu Kanayama, Director of the Division of Global Planning and Partnerships at Ritsumeikan University, said the focus was on deepening Asian research, and in turn transmitting that research domestically and internationally.

“Mutual understanding of Asia is very important,” he said.

“And ANU has wonderful research resources. We would like to get your help and input on this new project.”

A visiting fellowship scheme is envisaged, allowing early career ANU scholars to spend from three to six months at Ritsumeikan University.

Ritsumeikan University is the third largest private university in Japan. Its Osaka campus is equipped to cater for 6,000 students in 2015.

“Located mid-way between the tradition of Kyoto and the commerce of Osaka, the new Ritsumeikan campus will be a great base for academic collaboration on Asia’s past, present and future,” Professor Walker added.

The university's other campuses are located at Kyoto and Shiga.

The discussions follow a visit by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Canberra last year. During the visit, ANU signed a MOU with Ritsumeikan University. It allows for greater research links and the exploration of educational collaboration.

Representatives from the Bell School are planning further visits to Ritsumeikan University in the coming months to continue discussions on research collaboration.


An artist's impression of the new campus in Ibaraki.


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