Message from Head of Department


Welcome to the Department of International Studies!







Aya Suzuki, Professor
Head of the Department of International Studies




While the novel coronavirus infection that transformed the lives of people around the world is showing signs of ending, many important global issues still remain, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, climate change, loss of biodiversity, catastrophic disasters, aging populations, and economic disparities.


Solving these issues will require not only the acquisition of existing knowledge, but also imagination, logical thinking, analytical skills, deep insights, communicative skills, judgment, action, and many other abilities. How can we foster these abilities? Our department aims to nurture problem-solving abilities through discussing the issues with people from diverse backgrounds and using a variety of methods.


The interdisciplinary learning that this department and this graduate school offer is not without its difficulties. The faculty members’ expertise and the students’ academic backgrounds are diverse. It is an environment with a wide range of knowledge and experiences, but without individual’s efforts, we may be trapped in silos. What you can learn in such an environment depends upon how much each individual can commit to understanding the other, who has a different background. When you reach a common understanding that transcends the boundaries of expertise, you may see that your learning experience has transformed your view of the world.


To develop abilities to see both the forest and the trees, rather than the trees alone or the forest alone, it is necessary to encounter a variety of viewpoints. In order to convey words that resonate well with others, you must have a good understanding of the reality on the ground. As analytical tools become more sophisticated, it is also essential to acquire a variety of technical skills. On top of that, it is also important to develop abilities to make judgments and nurture a mindset to discern what issues are important to you personally and how you wish to tackle them.


Our department welcomes all students who can enjoy such a difficult journey. I hope that many of you will join us to expand what international cooperation studies can do for our society.

April 2023