What's New from the Secretariat April

The 37th meeting of the Executive Committee was held on April 20. First, there was a report by Associate Professor IKENO Jun on the state of budget execution for FY2006. We are now in the final fiscal year of the 21st Century COE Program, and he asked the sections to make sure, even more so than in previous years, that they use their budget promptly.

Next, I presented a report on the progress of the scheduled publication of a special issue of Asian and African Area Studies for the 21st Century COE Program, with approximately 20 papers written by graduate students and young researchers. We set March 15 as a deadline for proposals for manuscripts, and received applications from 35 graduate students and graduates. This was a wonderful response. However, if we receive more than 30 manuscripts by the deadline at the end of July, we will have to set a policy for deciding which ones to carry in the special issue. We will continue to discuss this with the Publications Committee.

Associate Professor KIMURA Daiji gave a report on the plan to hold a workshop, with the tentative title of “Outcomes and Prospects of Network-type Area Studies,” to present and discuss reports on research outcomes from the Network Section of the Area Info Division. It is scheduled to be held on Friday, September 29, at a place yet to be determined.

From Research Associate TAKADA Akira, there was a report on the state of preparation for the International Symposium to be held in November. There are plans to invite 25 researchers from overseas, and 19 from inside Japan, and efforts are currently underway to prepare the invitations. In addition, the website for the symposium, which has not yet been open to the public, was shown to the participants of the meeting. When the website is opened this month, a great deal of information on the symposium will become available. We will also soon being accepting registrations for the symposium via the website.

Associate Professor MIZUNO Kazuharu gave a report on the activities of the Public Relations Section over the past month. As always, the website of the 21st Century COE Program is being frequently updated, with the main updates this month being the opening of websites by the Zambia and Tanzania FSs, and a major renewal of that of the Ethiopia FS. Please take a look at them if you have the time.

Turning to agenda items, approval was given to the participation in the 21st Century COE Program by ITO Masako, who was appointed to be an Associate Professor of ASAFAS beginning on April 1. A report was also given on changes in the participants in the 21st Century COE Program due to the retirement of a faculty member and the move of a research associate to another university.

Time really flies, and we have entered the final fiscal year of the Program. I believe that we have achieved many outcomes, and in the remaining year, I hope to move forward along with the graduate students, COE researchers and administrative staff to ensure that we can release as many true educational and research outcomes as possible. (Sugishima)

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