The "EU Institute in Japan - Tokyo Consortium" was established on 1 April 2004 as a centre of academic excellence in studies and research on the European Union in Japan, and began operations on 1 October 2004. It is the first EU Institute in Japan, joining the family of EU Centres already initiated by the European Commission in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
On their Summit in Brussels in 2001 the European Union and Japan decided to launch a "Decade of Japan-Europe Cooperation". One outcome of this ambitious programme is the establishment of an EU Institute in Japan, the overall objective of which is to increase the knowledge of, and to enhance the general awareness of the European Union in Japan. This is particularly important in view of the extraordinary speed of European integration emphasising the global role of the EU as a political and economic centre yet to be properly recognised in Japan - especially compared to the concentration of political, economic and cultural attention on the US.
As a university based institute our starting point is EU-related education and research. We want to provide undergraduate and graduate students with an extensive programme of courses and research opportunities on EU issues. For this we can build on an already existing rich offer of EU-related courses of the single consortium universities, which now are coordinated and enlarged by new courses. Within the framework of our "Certificate of EU Studies programme" these courses as well as facilities such as the university libraries are open to all students of each consortium university. Additionally, the EU Documentation Centre is open to anybody. Each year we are offering two scholarships for PhD or post graduate students to support their research work in Europe. To support EU-related research our focus will be on academic exchange with European universities and institutes. We invite guest professors, promote joint research projects, and facilitate EU-related seminars, lectures and international conferences.
Furthermore, we want to become a major source of information about the EU for Japanese students and researchers as well as for the public. In addition to this homepage we are issuing a quarterly newsletter.
Another focus of EUIJ's activities is the promotion of outreach activities to raise the level of understanding of the EU. Each year, our schedule will comprise at least four EU lectures by European visiting scholars, one international symposium, several workshops, a business seminar for companies and several public courses. Through an agreement with the University of the Air (Japanese) a special EU course will be broadcast starting from 2006 for the duration of four years.