Message from the Director
SENGOKU Manabu (Slavic-Eurasian Research Center)
The third mid-term plan (FY2016-2021) started in 2016. During this third mid-term plan we will continue recent directions of our joint projects at SRC focused on comparative research and border studies. The comparative research will be conducted in the following ongoing joint research projects: JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research A "Comparative colonial history: colonial administration and center-periphery interactions in modern empires,” and “Comparison of development models for major regional powers in Eurasia: Russia, China and India," JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research B "Economic policies of emerging democracies in the post-neoliberal period," and "Memoryscape of war in socialist countries: the Soviet Union, China and Vietnam."
With respect to border studies, the Global COE program "Reshaping Japan's border studies: Slavic-Eurasia and world" (FY2009-2013) has been succeeded by JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research A "Reconstruction of international relations through border studies," JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research B "Russo-Chinese relations: researching rapprochement." Additionally, for the next 6 years, the National Institutes for the Humanities have undertaken an initiative on Northeast Asia, in which five Japanese research institutions are taking part, including the SRC. The SRC role, focused on politics broadly speaking, also includes border studies, economics and history. Our border studies program has been socially active supporting the NPO, "Japan International Border Studies Network (JIBSN)." JIBSN connects workers in local governments and public-service corporations across borders. JIBSN got the Japan Consortium for Area Studies (JCAS) award for social collaboration in 2015.Especially worthy of note is the border tourism initiative, an attempt to revitalize local areas by leveraging border region attributes as a resource to attract tourists. If nothing else, it has drawn wide attention as a practical form of social activism when applied at Japan's Northern, Southern and Western edges.
Related to both comparative research and border studies, we also are conducting international joint research on comparative linguistics and welfare states in Slavic-Eurasia. In addition, we are integrating various and different fields and disciplines including natural sciences to explore largely unexplored areas, such as the Arctic. Hokkaido University has been chosen to host the polar initiative and the SRC is playing its part as Russia and its neighbors are a large part of the Northern equation.
In the area of education, i.e., the graduate program of Slavic Eurasian area studies at the Graduate School of Letters, SRC has achieved improvements, taking advantage of such activities at our University as summer institutes and the program with five universities in the Russian Far East (RJE3).
Our Center will continue to advance Slavic-Eurasian area studies together with colleagues and friends around Japan and the world. Thank you for your continuous support.
Director of the Slavic-Eurasian Research Center
February 2017, Sapporo