Annual Newsletter of the Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University
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English News  No.12 , December 2004
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From the Director
Japan Consorthium fro Area Studies and the 21st Century Program
SRC Winter Symposium 2004 (Jan.)
SRC Summer Symposium 2004
International Symposium: Where Are Slavic Eurasian Studies Headed in the 21st Century?
International Conference, "The Status Law Syndrome"
Agreement with the Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre of the University of Oxford Program
Foreign Visitors Fellowship Program
The 21st Century COE Foreign Visitors Fellowship Program
Commemorative Lecture and Farewell Party for Professor INOUE Koichi's Retirement
Welcoming Mr. MAEDA Hirotake
Our Current Staff
Ongoing Cooperative Research Projects
Guest Lectures from Abroad
Visitors from Abroad
Publications (2003-04)
The Library
Web Site Access Statistics
At a Memorial Party
INOUE Koichi
Victor Shnirelman
Paul Werth

From the Director

Tabata Shinichiro photo

This April all national universities in Japan, including our Hokkaido University, were corporatized. This was the most significant change that the Japanese university system had ever experienced since the 1950s. Then, what is corporatization? We have not yet found the exact answer. Corporatization is not privatization. The difference between national university corporatizations and private universities is still distinct. Some say that corporatization is only the first step toward privatization. Others say that corporatization is something like the khozraschet (economic accounting) that we observed in the history of Soviet economic reforms. It means some increase in autonomy and some hardening of budget constraints on state-owned enterprises. Later, the Soviets invented a terminology, polnyi khozraschet (full-scale economic accounting), de-facto admitting the failure or the meaninglessness of the application of "ordinary" khozraschet to enterprises under state ownership.

Sometimes, I, as a student of the Soviet economic system, feel that the Japanese bureaucrats might have learned too much from the socialist system. Now national university corporatization is obliged to compile a mid-term plan (not a five-year, but a six-year plan). Then, these plans are submitted to the Miof Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Based on these mid-term plans, annual plans are compiled and submitted to the Ministry. Needless to say, fulfillment of these annual and mid-term plans will be evaluated "objectively" by some inspective agencies and the amount of budget resources that each university corporatization receives in the future will depend in some way on this evaluation. Unfortunately, Japanese planners of educational reforms have learned little from the failure of the socialist economic reforms.

The Slavic Research Center belongs to Hokkaido University, a national university corporatization, and we receive a major part of our budget resources from the University's budget. At the same time, our Center enjoys the status of a national collaborating institution, i.e., a nation-wide, joint-use institutiesent there are only 35 such institutions in Japan and in the field of human and social sciences there are only two: our Center and the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Although we only receive a small amount of money from the Ministry of Education for functioning as such a national collaborating institution, we regard it as one of the major aims of our activities to serve as a national coordinating center in the field of Slavic Eurasian studies in the future as well.

Some good news for our Center was, as announced in the previous year's newsletter, that our Center was selected as one of the 21-century centers of excellence (COE). We are receiving a considerable amount of financial resources directly from the Ministry of Education for this COE program and will continue to receive it for the coming three years. By the initiative of the leader of the COE program, IEDA Osamu, former Director of the SRC, we have launched various research and educational programs, information about which you can obtain in this newsletter or at our website.

In 2005 we are celebrating the 50-year anniversary of our Center. The SRC was formally established in 1955 as the Slavic Research Institution attached to the Faculty of Law of Hokkaido University. We hope to muddle through this difficult time of transition, maintaining and even developing the achievements of the SRC in the past half-century.

TABATA Shinichiro
Director of the SRC

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