ICC Collaborative Research Projects for 2005-2006

The Sophia University Research Institute (SURI) is placing one of its top priorities in promoting collaborative research activities among scholars, organized and led by Sophia faculty members. The Institute of Comparative Culture (ICC), operating as a sub-organization under the SURI, would like to play a contributing role in promoting such activities and, hence, to solicit ICC members to submit collaborative-research proposals. This year's awardees are listed below.

ICC Mini-conferences for 2005-2006

Based on the decision made at the May 8th general meeting held in 2002, the Institute of Comparative Culture (ICC) established a small grant to support mini-conferences. This year's grant awardees are listed below.


Emmanuel Cheron

A research unit on Foreign Tourism in Japan

Goal and Basic Research Questions In April 2003, Japan launched the "Visit Japan campaign", also known under the catchphrase "Yokoso! JAPAN" and "Welcome to Japan !" The main goal of this campaign is to try to increase inbound tourism to Japan to up to 10 million tourists per year by the year 2010. The campaign focuses on the following 12 target nations: Korea, Taiwan, United States, China, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Thailand, Singapore, Australia and Canada. Within these countries, specific groups of potential tourists are targeted.
The reason for the launch of this campaign lies in the huge imbalance that exists between Japan's inbound and outbound tourism. In 2004, for instance, about 16.83 million Japanese visited overseas locations whereas only about 6.14 million foreign visitors arrived in Japan. Thus, the number of foreign visitors to Japan accounted for only 36% of all the Japanese that visited overseas locations. In 2002, for instance, this negative tourism balance was worth USD 23 billion or 2.9 trillion Yen. The impact on the Japanese economy is large since the direct and indirect economic impact of tourism has been estimated at 54 trillion yen (1). Government sources state that: "Tourism is a growth industry that will lead the Japanese economy in the 21st century."(2) Similarly, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council, "Travel & Tourism is one of the world's highest priority industries and employers."(3). This is because "consumption in tourism reverberates throughout the economy by creating new demand and employment."(3).
As stated above, Japan is trying to increase inbound tourism from 12 countries including Germany. As a first research project, we will focus on the German-Japanese travel relationships with the participation of a German graduate student presently studying at the Faculty of Comparative Culture. An additional reason is that the year 2005 being the year of Germany in Japan (Deutschland in Japan) it is a period when the German-Japanese relationships are more closely observed and nurtured than at any other time.
The Japanese-German travel relations show the same negative tourism balance that exists between Japan and the world in general. In 2003, for instance, about 650,000 Japanese travelled to Germany whereas only about 94,000 Germans travelled to Japan. But only one third of the Germans coming to Japan came for tourism, which account for only about 5% of the Japanese tourists visiting Germany (5).


David Slater

Race in Japan: Transformations and Challenges

Ichigaya Campus, Sophia University
Room 402, Main Building
March 4th, 2006


Keynote Speaker:

MICHAEL WEINER, Professor of East Asian History & Director of International Studies,
Soka University of America
"Culture Wars and the Politics of Identity in Modern Japan"

GRACIA LIU FARRER, Ph.D. dissertator, Dept. of Sociology, University of Chicago
"Between Privilege and Prejudice: Chinese Immigrant Employees in Japan's Transnational Economy"

Lecturer, Department of Ethnic Studies,
University of California, Berkeley
'Racialized' Transnational Social Spaces of Undocumented Workers in Japan

ANGELO ISHI, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Musashi University
"Brazilians in Japan - A Silent or a Noisy Minority?"

JOHN G. RUSSELL, Professor of Anthropology, Faculty of Regional Studies, Gifu University
"Playing (with) Race: Authenticity, Mimesis, and Racial Performance in the Transcultural Diaspora: or How Black Has Become the New Black

Professor of Sociology,
Faculty of Comparative Culture, Sophia University

Associate Professor of Anthropology,
Faculty of Comparative Culture, Sophia University