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September 13 - 14, 2018

We will hold a joint seminar at University of Pretoria

African Studies Center - TUFS will hold a joint seminar with University of Pretoria on September 13 - 14, 2018 at University of Pretoria. The topic of the first day is "UP and TUFS in the context of South Africa - Japan relations", and that of the second day is "Resource Management and POlitical Power in Rural Africa." We will invite researchers from Japan and African countries. We look forward to your participation.
Mon., July 9, 2018 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

The 6th KU-TUFS Seminar with Dr. Horman Chitonge

Center for African Area Studies (CAAS), Kyoto University and African Studies Centre, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (ASC - TUFS) will jointly hold the 6th KU-TUFS Seminar on July 9th, 2018. ASC - TUFS will invite Dr. Horman Chitonge, a professor of University of Cape Town, to Japan as a visiting professor from June 26th to July 14th, 2018. Then, he will give a lecture about land restitution in South Africa at Kyoto University. ◆Speaker: Dr. Horman Chitonge (Professor, Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town; Visiting Professor of African Studies Center, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies) ◆Time & Date: 5:00 - 6:30 pm, July 9th, 2018 (Monday) ◆Venue: Conference Room I (#330), 3rd Floor, Inamori Foundation Building, Kyoto University ◆Title: Land Restitution in South Africa: The Post-settlement Dynamics and the Re-opening of Land Claims ◆Abstract: The South African Government, re-opened the lodgement of land restitution claims in 2014, marking the beginning of phase II of the land restitution programme. The lodgement of land claims for Phase I began in 1994 and closed at the end of 1998. But there has been widespread scepticism about the re-opening of the claims, with critics citing the fact that many rural claims (20 952 claims, representing 25% of the total) which were lodged during the first Phase have actually not yet been settled, and that, even those which have been settled, in over 50% of the settled claims, land has not been formally transferred. While the media and other commentators have focused on questioning the reasoning behind the re-opening of the land claims, little attention has been given to what happens after the land claim is successfully settled. This paper examines the post-settlement dynamics, especially settlement claims involving the restoration of land. The paper argues that there are many challenges facing claimants post-settlement, and most of these challenges relate to the process of settling the claims. The paper draws from a study conducted in the Eastern Cape Province in 2014. ◆Jointly sponsored by Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University and African Studies Centre - Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
Fri., June 29th, 2018 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

The 19th ASC Seminar by A Visiting Professor, Dr. Horman Chitonge

African Studies Center - TUFS will hold the 19th ASC Seminar on June 29, 2018. The speaker is Dr. Horman Chitonge, a professor of University of Cape Town, who will visit Japan from June to July as a visiting professor of ASC - TUFS. Dr. Chitonge will examine whether the positive stories on Africa in recent years are really warranted by any reality in Africa. ◆Speaker: Horman Chitonge (Professor, Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town / Visiting Professor, African Studies Center - TUFS) ◆Date & Time: Friday, June 29th, 2018 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm ◆Venue: Room 327, Research and Lecture Building, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies ◆Title: Is Africa Rising: Changing Fortunes or A Bleep on the Screen? ◆Abstract:The second half of the first decade of the 21st century is witnessing a change in the tone of media and public discourse on Africa. Although there are sceptics who do not believe in the possibility of sustainable progress in Africa, many commentators (scholars, investors, media experts, politicians and artists) are depicting an Africa that is beaming with hope and confidence. There are several factors cited for this optimism, including the sustained economic growth reported in most African countries between 2002 and 2015, the reported improved macroeconomic policy environment and management, the growing middle class, the 'reverse of the brain drain', the spread of mobile phones, discovery of new minerals and other natural resources in a number of countries, the increasing flow of foreign direct investment, the quick rebound of African economies after the 2008/09 financial and economic crisis, and the improving perception of the continent mostly by international investors. Other factors mentioned include what has been called the third wave of democratisation and the seemingly improving governance performance and state capacity in most countries. Several metaphors such as "the rise of the phoenix", "the second China" the African take off" the "African lift", the "African Lion", have been used to portray an Africa that is on a positive trajectory, not just in economic terms but broadly. While there are all these positive stories on Africa, it is important to assess what is behind these stories. This paper seeks to critically engage with this narrative, focusing on whether the sudden shift in the tone and direction of stories on Africa is really warranted by any reality on the ground. ◆Language: English ◆Admission: Free ◆No pre-registration is needed.

ASC - TIAS Joint Seminar on June 13th, 2018

The Games of the XXXII Olympiad, a.k.a. Tokyo 2020, is going to take place in 2020. Tokyo University of Foreign Studies has concluded an agreement with the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Game on June, 2014, and has held several lectures on Olympic-Paralympic Games. On June 13, 2018, African Studies Center - Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (ASC - TUFS) will hold a joint seminar with Tsukuba International Academy for Sport Studies (TIAS). We will invite three Master Course students from TIAS, who will talk about the situation around Olympic and Paralympic in African countries. ◆Date: Wednesday, June 13th, 2018 ◆Time: 4:00 - 5:30 pm ◆Venue: Room 307, Research and Lecture Building, TUFS ◆Language: English ◆Admission: Free ◆No pre-registration is needed ◆Program:4:00 - 4:05 pmOpening Addressby Shinichi Takeuchi (Director, ASC - TUFS) 4:05 - 4:15 pm"TUFS toward 2020" by Kota Kumaki (Special Administrative Staff, TUFS) 4:15 - 4:30 pm"Policy Implementation in the Cameroon National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSC): Issues and Challenges" by Abdoun Nassir (TIAS) 4:30 - 4:45 pm"Towards the Development of the Paralympic Movement in Rwanda: Current Situation and Challenges" by Celestin Nzeyimana (TIAS) 4:45 - 5:00 pm"Sport, Peace and Reconciliation: Before and After the Genocide in Rwanda"by Didier Shema-Mbaboko (TIAS) 5:00 - 5:25 pmGeneral Discussion 5:25 - 5:30 pmConcluding Remarks by Xiaojie Tian (Assistant Professor, TIAS)

ActivitiesActivity records of ASC


Final report on my study at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies

Charles sent a final report to us. He stayed in our university from April to July, 2018. In this report, we can read what he learned in Japan. Amazingly, he absorbed many things in this short visit time. Last day before he went back to Ghana, he said he wanted to come back again. We will be looking forward to seeing him again in Japan. REPORT ON MY STUDY AT TOKYO UNIVERSITY OF FOREIGN STUDIES I wish to begin this report by expressing my esteemed gratitude to all the hands and minds that were involved in the making of this opportunity of a lifetime. The hard work and efforts that were put into this has not been in vain, as it has been the happening that has impacted my life considerably. Again, I wish to assure that if the intention of instituting such a program was to impact change, educate and enlighten its beneficiaries or create an avenue for participants to develop their capacities, then be very assured that the program did nothing short of that. The 1st of April was the day I arrived in Japan, eager to have a feel of the most fascinating culture I have ever come across. Now I write this with a sense of pride and joy, in that, to some extent, I have been able to gather most of the what Japan has to offer in the limited time as three months. It has to be said that, this chance to study abroad for me is an experience unlike any other. This is because I have come to understand much more both academically and socially than I ever have. I have made new friends from various parts of the world, all thanks to this program. The courses I enrolled in here at TUFS have broadened my understanding of the academic circle more than I can express. In sum, I took six courses Topics in Global Issues, Topics in Introduction to Statistic for Social Sciences, Topics in City and Narrative: Film, Survey of International Development, Topics in International Relations and Elementary Japanese Language Studies. The abovementioned courses amount to 17 hours (10 classes per week) including Japanese Language Studies. I say with pride that, before I arrived in Japan, all I understood in Japanese was "konnichiwa", "hai" and "iie", however, through the Integrated Japanese 101a, now I am able to make daily life conversations, read and understand some basic compositions as well as being able to read and write about 150 kanjis. More so, courses like Topics in city and Narrative: Film and Global Issues has taught me numerous academic analytical skills that will prove worthy both in my final project writing as an undergraduate and also in my future studies. Most especially, Topics in International Relations bought a new dimension to my understanding of the international system. Through the opinions and experiences of the authorities and field workers we interviewed via skype, I am spurred to continue with the studying of international relations. These encounters add to the motivations that gingers me to become a diplomat and an individual who wants to dedicate his life to the service of my nation and mankind as whole. Being in Japan did not only mean that I learn about the Japanese culture alone, I also expanded my understanding of the African continent from the seminars organized by the African Studies Centre On 11 April, 2018, I attended a lecture presented by Dr Alex de Waal on the history and the current situations of multilateralism in Africa. The lecture informed me of the Pan African Movement and their role in the decolonization of the African continent. Also, it presented the challenges facing the continent after independence as well suggesting viable solutions for the forging of a better future. In addition to these, on 20th of the same month, I took part in the 13th seminar of the African Studies Centre which was titled, South Korea-Africa Encounter via Culture and Arts: The Case of Seoul African Festival. This was a talk presented by Dr Ohsoon Yun, currently the Executive Director of the Seoul African Festival. This talk expressed the efforts of the organizers in propagating the truth narrative of African to Koreans, Asians and every individual who has interest in knowing about the African culture. More so, on June 13, 2018, I was present at the "ASC-TIAS Seminar" which presented on the achievements and challenges of Olympics and Paralympic in African countries. This was joint seminar with Tsukuba International Academy for Sport Studies. I took part in extracurricular activities with the mind of improving both my study of Japanese language and culture. I joined the TUFS Aikido Club from which I have learnt a lot. With the Aikido club, I had the opportunity to attend the 56th All Japan Aikido Demonstration which was held on the 30th of April. Through the activities of the Aikido club, I have been able to develop some valuable though basic life principles like punctuality, confidence and respect for both authority and peers. I have also been exposed to other cultures than the Japanese culture as the club students from Russia, Mexico and Spain. I made new friends and enjoyed exercising while reducing stress. I felt privileged to have been a part of such an amazing community of people who are dedicated to improving themselves. I also used the avenue provided by the Musashino International Association (MIA) where international students can have host families. The family MIA assigned me to have been of great help to me and my daily living in Japan. I spent every weekend with the Hasebe Family from 29th of April to the 17th of July. Every weekend they took me sightseeing in and around Tokyo. They made my life here most enjoyable and I really appreciate their efforts. More so, on the 16th of June, I volunteered for MIA's Musashino Family Exchange Party. Through this volunteering, I learnt more about Japanese calligraphy and also origami making. Finally, from 6th to 8th July 2018, I attended the 26th "Day of the African child" in Kumamoto. This three-day celebration saw the gathering of African students studying in Japan, the Ambassador of Mali, Mrs. Aya Thiam Diallo, some Africans living in Japan, Japanese high school students in Kumamoto and some Japanese citizens interested in African affairs. The agenda that was under discussion for this year's celebration centered on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Convention on the Right of the Child. I took part in the discussion on the state agriculture in the world and the similarities that can be found in agricultural production in both Japan and Africa, challenges and solutions. What I enjoyed most and found fascinating from this engagement is the energy and dedication that the Japanese use in their efforts to build better relations with Africans. In sum, this experience is one of the most eventful, amazing and educational parts of my life. Without a doubt, I can say that I now have a comprehensive understanding of my field of study, I have acquired a new language and made life-long friends from different countries and backgrounds who have shaped my knowledge of life. I am most grateful for taking part in this exchange program and I wish to express my appreciation and gratitude to TOYOTA GHANA Company Limited, the African Studies Centre (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies), the International Programmes Office of University of Ghana, JICA and Student Exchange Division (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies) for the daily support and assistance they provided during my exchange period. I really appreciate their assistance and kindness. Charles Acheampong Agyebeng.
Visiting Researchers

My experience in Tokyo and Kyoto

Dr. Chitonge wrote an essay about his stay in Japan from June to July. It was his first time to visit Japan, so everything was new for him. Reading his essay, we, as Japanese, also can see our contries in the fresh point of view. We hope he can visit again. From June 26 to July 13, 2018, I was a visiting scholar at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS), hosted by the African Studies Center. During my fellowship, I visited several places in Tokyo and Kyoto. Of all the places I visited, I found the Shrines and the Temples fascinating, particularly because they are a living testimony of Japanese society's deep past. I learnt that some of the shrines and temples are more than 1200 years old! I was particularly fascinated by the stories about the Temples and Shrines which people have kept narrating throughout the centuries. It is this sense of deep roots in the past which one does not get in most African countries, mainly because the dominant frame of history is connected to European contact with Africa. Coming from Africa, seeing places which have been maintained for more than 1000 year was fascinating. I am not sure what role the Japanese Government plays in ensuring that these places are maintained properly and passed on to the next generation. The other thing I found fascinating was the train services in Japan. First of all, the passenger rail network is so extensive that it is easy to go to most parts of the city by train. The efficiency of the system was also amazing; the trains run on schedule throughout the next work. The coordination between the different companies that run different segments of the network was also fascinating. The only concern I had with the train services is that the trains during peak hours were extremely full and I was wondering if there is a possibility of regulating how many people can board the train at a goal. During my stay I felt welcome at the university and in the community; I did not at any point feel that I was not welcome. At the university I was given a large and comfortable office which made my work much easier, given that it was very hot during the time I was there. I also discovered that food in Japan was cheaper than in many countries at the same level of development. Communication for me was a problem because I could not speak a single Japanese word, except for the names of the important train stations. If I had stayed longer, it would have been good for me to learn a few more Japanese words. I was fascinated by the fact that many people did not bother much about security in the sense that people would leave their bicycles unlocked. I got the sense that crime in Japan is very low, that is why people do not bother much about pick-pocketers and bicycle snatchers. I used to take long walks and jogging during the evening and I was surprised that I did not see a single police vehicle during my three week stay in Tokyo. Come from South Africa where the crime rate is high, that was such a relief, though it felt awkward. During my last week of stay, I took a train from Tokyo to Kyoto, and I was surprised that there were no, what we in Africa would call, rural areas. Although there were small villages here and there, the space between Tokyo and Kyoto can be aptly described as urban. This left me wondering if there are any rural areas in Japan. My general observation was that people in Japan are friendly and they obey the rules more stringently. For instance, in the escalators, all people who are not walking would stand on the left side of the escalator. I noticed the same when it came to traffic lights; people would wait at the pedestrian crossing until the light is green, even if there are no cars! This gave me the sense that Japan is an orderly society, where people stick to the rules and the demands of public courtesy. It was indeed an exciting experience from which I learnt a lot, and I would be glad to go back.
Visiting Researchers

Takanori Oishi 【Presentation at the Academic Conference】Assessing the influence of education on plant-based traditional hunting knowledge among Baka hunter gatherers in East Cameroon

◆Speaker: Evariste Fedoung (University of Douala), Takanori Oishi (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies), Marlene Ngansop (University of Yaoundé 1) ◆Date: July 27th, 2018 ◆Presentation at the Twelfth International Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies (CHAGS 12) held at Universiti Sains Malaysia ◆Presentation Title: Assessing the influence of education on plant-based traditional hunting knowledge among Baka hunter gatherers in East Cameroon ◆Abstract: Plant-based traditional hunting knowledge in Baka societies vary with gender, age and education. However, Gender is the most influential factor.

Takanori Oishi【Presentation at the Academic Conference】Caring dogs for hunting among the Baka hunter-gatherers of south-eastern Cameroon

◆Speaker: Takanori Oishi (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies), Moise Mvetumbo (University of Yaoundé I), Evariste Fongnzossie (University of Douala) ◆Date: July 25th, 2018 ◆Presentation at the Twelfth International Conference on Hunting and Gathering Societies (CHAGS 12) held at Universiti Sains Malaysia ◆Presentation Title: Caring dogs for hunting among the Baka hunter-gatherers of south-eastern Cameroon ◆Abstract: This paper describes and analyses how the Baka hunter-gatherer of southeastern Cameroon perceive and take care of their dogs in their daily life both in forest and in settlement.