In 1898 the Society for Common East Asian Culture was established to promote East Asian unity and cooperation in response to regional conditions at the end of the 19th century. The Society was engaged in educational exchange activities, comprising the operation of several schools including Toa Dobun Shoin. The Kazankai Foundation subsequently followed in the footsteps of the Society, inheriting the proud legacy of its achievements in promoting cultural exchange between China and Japan.
The Foundation aims to facilitate peace and stability in Asia and the world, by encouraging mutual understanding and friendly relations between the people of Japan and other Asian nations. It does so by promoting cultural exchange between Japan and other Asian nations, focusing on China in particular.
The Foundation’s activities are summarized as follows:
- Promotion of and financial support for student and researcher exchanges between Japan and other Asian nations
- Publication of investigative research and books, and organization of lectures and seminars, about Asia, and China in particular
- Operation of Toa Gakuin
- Collaboration with other organizations inside and outside Japan focused on international relations within Asia
- Management and maintenance of the Akasaka Kazan Building and other Foundation facilities
- Other activities necessary to achieve the Foundation’s aims
As part of the activities outlined above, the Foundation conducts the following specific projects:
■Exchange Programs for Researchers and Students
The Foundation invites to Japan researchers in Japanese studies from educational institutions in China, providing grants for them to continue their research in Japan. The Foundation also sends Japanese students to Chinese universities, thereby supporting young Japanese researchers who will deepen mutual understanding between Japan and China, and contribute to academic research.
■Collaboration on Academic Research
The Foundation collaborates on academic research with Chinese universities and research institutes. Specific activities include reciprocal exchanges of researchers, co-hosting of symposiums and seminars, and sharing of research source materials.
■Hosting Short-Stay Observation Groups
The Foundation invites teachers of Japanese from Chinese universities and educational institutions for short stays in Japan, during which they visit Japanese educational and research institutions and observe classrooms in action. These study tours are designed to help the Chinese teachers of Japanese understand Japan’s educational system and society, and to contribute to Japanese language education in China. The Foundation also promotes exchanges at the individual level between Japan and China and encourages Chinese nationals to learn more about Japanese society by offering researchers who have participated in its exchange programs a second chance to visit Japan after a certain number of years.
■Kazan Students’ Association
The Kazan Students’ Association is a voluntary study group in which undergraduate and postgraduate students themselves play a central role. The Association embraces the Foundation’s basic philosophy of nurturing talented individuals who will contribute to mutual understanding between China and Japan. The Association organizes seminars and lectures that make the most of both the Foundation’s long history of Asian and Chinese research and of researchers’ personal networks.
Toa (“East Asia”), a periodical specializing in issues relating to China and Asia
Published monthly since 1978, Toa has covered developments in China and elsewhere in Asia with a wealth of information, rigorous analysis and fair-minded commentary. The periodical is produced in B5 format, with an average of 100 pages per issue.
Chugoku Kenkyu Ronso (“Bulletin of China Studies”), published annually; Koryu Tsushin (“Exchange News”), Chinese-language, published quarterly; “Newsletter,” published twice per year; Kazan Gakuseikai Ronshu (“Kazan Students’ Association Anthology”), published annually.
Each month, leading experts at the forefront of their respective fields are invited as guest lecturers to offer a clear analysis of the issues that face China and the rest of Asia.
The Foundation hosts symposiums in Japan and overseas as appropriate. Within Japan, the symposiums are co-hosted with universities and other institutions across the country. Overseas, they are co-hosted with Chinese universities and research institutes. The Foundation holds discussions with our co-hosts to decide on the most up-to-date themes for these symposiums.
Having started offering Chinese-language seminars in 1964, the Foundation established Toa Gakuin in 1967. Toa Gakuin now comprises Chinese and Japanese language schools.
Chinese Language School
The school’s educational philosophy is “promoting our students’ development of Chinese language skills for use in the real world of business, academics, etc,” and it offers a wide variety of courses at different times of day. One such course is the six-month intensive course in practical Chinese, which targets corporate and governmental employees, and Japanese nationals planning to study in China. The school also offers courses at night, on Saturdays, and early in the morning, as well as lessons at workplaces and other venues, covering a wide range of levels from basic to advanced.
Japanese Language School
The school was opened in April 2004, having obtained authorization from the Japanese Minister of Justice in November 1999. In August 2005, the School was formally licensed. Its educational philosophy is “developing students to be instrumental in international exchange at both the national and the local community levels.” The Chinese students who come to Japan to study at the school seek to continue their studies at Japanese universities, graduate schools and other educational institutions. There are two enrollment periods per year: April enrollment (for one-year or two-year courses), and October enrollment (for the 18-month course).
The school offers students good-quality, reasonably priced accommodation at its hostels in Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward and in Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture.
Rental conference rooms: Kazan Kaikan Building (Kasumigaseki Common Gate West Tower)
In October 2007 the Foundation reopened the revamped Kazan Kaikan conference rooms on the 37th Floor of the Kasumigaseki Common Gate West Tower. The Foundation manages the facility, which comprises nine rooms varying in size from 65 to 291 m2.
Leasing to tenants: Kazan Kaikan Building (Kasumigaseki Common Gate West Tower)
The Kasumigaseki Common Gate West Tower was completed in September 2007. The Foundation owns and leases to tenants the 35th to 37th floors, which comprise office space, and part of the shopping mall space on the 1st and 2nd floors.
Akasaka Kazan Building
The Foundation manages and maintains the Akasaka Kazan Building, which functions as its headquarters, and leases some floors to tenants.
Kazan manages and maintains two student hostels for students attending the Toa Gakuin Japanese Language School.