An increase in cross-border movement of people has led to diverse contacts and exchanges among people. The number of foreign visitors to Japan is also increasing every year. The increase in the number of foreign visitors from East Asia is particularly remarkable. Although there has been diplomatic friction, such as recent issues of historical awareness, mutual exchange among East Asian countries has a long history. Even today, student exchange programs account for a certain percentage of international movements. However, little information on the current situation and practices of intercultural education has been shared. Therefore, in this special issue on the subject of international exchange in East Asia, focusing on the practices and research on intercultural education, we have attempted to investigate how research on intercultural education can contribute to the development of inter-regional cooperation in East Asia. From the contributed papers, it is apparent that international exchange in East Asia differs from that in Western countries historically and culturally, and through the similarities and differences, it has affected individuals’ way of thinking and growth and character formation. Each of the studies offers suggestions toward overcoming historical conflicts. It is hoped that the accumulation of these studies will substantially contribute to the mutual understanding among nations and the future development of international relations.
In 2016, the College of Letters of Ritsumeikan University reestablished the Campus Asia Program (CAP hereafter) as a permanent program in which students from Japan, China, and Korea study together. This program is run in cooperation with a Chinese and a Korean university, and students spend one semester in each partner university, and thus “move” campuses to both countries during the second and the third years. They learn these partner countries’ languages as well as their histories and cultures, and in this way it is hoped that they may become valuable human resources willing to solve problems which occur between these countries. This study aims to investigate how CAP students developed the three languages and to what degree they became able to use them in various situations at the point where they had finished the first round of the “moving campus”. At this point, the Chinese, Korean, and half of the Japanese students (those who had gone to China first) developed an intermediate level of their foreign languages. The Chinese, Korean, and half of the Japanese students (those who had gone to Korea first) used the local language of the country they had visited more than 50% of the time.
In August of 1978, the Japan–China Peace and Friendship Treaty was signed, which opened the door to student exchange between Japan and China. Since then, student exchange programs between the two countries have been successfully developed and practiced for 40 years.
In the meantime, China’s high economic growth affected the number of Chinese students who study abroad which increased rapidly and now they are apt to choose the US, Australia and Canada as their destinations to study abroad. Nevertheless, Japan still keeps a continually increasing number of Chinese students. As of 2017, more than 130,000 Chinese students study at institutions of higher education and Japanese language schools in Japan.
In this thesis, we first discuss educational issues, such as financial and staff shortages for on-site recruitment of potential Chinese students who study in Japan, insufficiency of staff training programs at Japanese language schools, difficulties in instructing Chinese students at a postgraduate education level and the like. Secondly, we look at problems about intercultural education in families of overseas students, pointing out the necessity of more study on intercultural education at kindergarten and elementary school. Thirdly, we discuss increasing number of employed Chinese students in Japan and Japanese governmental services for building a multicultural society.
On the other hand, the number of Japanese students who study abroad in China remains steady at around 15,000. 80% of them go to China for short-term study abroad programs to learn Chinese. However, China’s advancement in science and technology is so remarkable that it is about time for Japanese students to consider long-term study abroad programs in undergraduate and postgraduate courses at universities in China.
The purpose of this study is to discuss how to promote deep learning in international exchange for students who specialize in education at a Japanese university. The aim of this learning is for them to gain diverse perspectives and senses of value by visiting kindergartens and schools in Taiwan through participation in a Taiwan study tour.
The goal of the study tour is twofold: the first is to encourage students to understand the impact that macro systems, such as the politics and economy in East Asia surrounding Taiwan, had on the educational content in Taiwan by using the bioecological model proposed by Bronfenbrenner (1979, 1986). The second is to promote understanding in the existence of conflicts among the many different “voices” concerning relationships with China and Japan heard in Taiwan by introducing the concept of polyphony proposed by Bakhtin(1995).
There are three outcomes from this study tour that 61 university students participated in over 12 years. Firstly, visiting historical museums as well as educational institutions in Taiwan allowed students to understand how the complex history and political circumstances in Taiwan formed the current relationship between Japan and Taiwan and lead to differences in educational content between the two countries. Second, hearing many different senses of value and voices among students from Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea enabled students to think deeply about how national identity should be conceived as well as the characteristics of education in Taiwan. Third, an encounter with the views on marriage and professions of Taiwanese people promoted reconsideration of the students regarding their own life course.
Results may suggest that the experience of international exchange through hearing different “voices” in East Asia during one’s adolescence is important not only in these experiments outcomes, but also in providing an essential basis for lifelong learning.
This study explored the effectiveness of international student exchange programsby surveying Korean schools that established sister-school relationships with Japanese schools. The methods of research are interviews and analysis of students’ documents. The interviews were accomplished with teachers in charge of the exchange programs at 4 schools in Korea.
As Japanese has been adopted as a second foreign language at many high schools in Korea, there are demands to establish sister-school relationships with Japanese schools as part of the learning. In contrast, there is a limited number of schools in Japan which teach Korean and there is no system to connect with schools in two countries.
The main types of exchange programs are homestay, class experience and collaborative activity program. Students who participated in the homestay program started to be interested in their homestay host family members and the interest led to change in the perception of Japan and Japanese people. In addition, exchange programs motivated the interest in learning Japanese.
However, there are obstacles to overcome in the international sister school exchange programs. First, the success of exchanges is influenced by an accidental factor. Second, there were no systematic exchange programs between Japan and Korea. Third, as there is a lack of systematization in establishing a sister school partnership, some limited school members participate in the program. Finally, in addition to these issues, Japanese schools need to switch their focus to the broader foreign language education rather than English-only education.
The purpose of this study was to examine conflicts at work, working values, and the working awareness of former international student employees in a multicultural business environment and to reveal ways in which these factors affect conflict resolution. One hundred(73 female and 27 male)former international student employees who worked with Japanese employees completed a webbased questionnaire as part of a survey conducted from March to July 2017. Of the respondents, 43 were Chinese, 21 were Taiwanese, 13 were Vietnamese, 9 were Korean, and 14 were from other countries. Factor analysis was conducted. Five factors emerged for conflict at work: lack of understanding of others’ religion, unclear company norms, Japanese employees’ perfectionism in work, emphasis on company norms, and disrespect for foreign employees. Eight factors emerged for working values: self-growth, social evaluation, religious values, social contribution, economic rewards, contribution to colleagues, orientation toward career enhancement, and sense of achievement. Four factors emerged for working awareness: adaptation and taking root in the workplace, harmony in the workplace, impact on the workplace, and confidence in one’s own ability. The results of multiple regression analysis with conflict resolution strategies as dependent variables and with conflict at work, working values, and working awareness as independent variables revealed that disrespect for foreign employees in relation to conflict at work affected confrontation, cooperation, and avoidance. A confrontation strategy was selected when self-growth was not emphasized and a cooperation strategy was selected when it was emphasized. Furthermore, a confrontation strategy or avoidance strategy was chosen when adaptation and taking root in the workplace was not recognized. The results suggest that it is imperative to develop a working environment in which former international student employees can demonstrate their skills and abilities, build good relationships within their surrounding environment, and enjoy long-term working prospects.
Under globalization, investigating the ability to function effectively across multiple cultures becomes a pressing concern(e.g., Kawachi & Wamala, 2007).Such ability is widely referred to as intercultural competence(Deardorff, 2009; Leung, Ang, & Tan, 2014), and several different approaches have been used to examine the nature of intercultural competence(e.g., traits, attitudes and worldviews, behavioral capabilities; Leung et al., 2014).
The purpose of this study is to present a systematic review of the available literature regarding(1)the premises,(2)the possible classification or typology and(3)the future tasks of the study of intercultural competence.
In the first section, the author delineates some underlying premises of intercultural competence, such as the concept of ability, the definition of culture, and the perspective of acculturation. In the second section, the author provides the classification or typology of intercultural competence, such as traits, attitudes and worldviews, capabilities, developmental perspectives, and integrative frameworks. In the final section, the author discusses some implications for future empirical studies. For instance, the author explores the studies of “need for cognitive closure” and holistic reasoning style with regards to intercultural competence. Also, the author argues that the theoretical link between suspension of judgment and intercultural competence would provide an avenue for studies of behavioral inhibition tendencies measured by neuropsychological research. Implications for intercultural training are also discussed.
The purpose of this research was to explore the interpersonal behavioral difficulties of Japanese people in Turkey when interacting with Turkish people. Eighteen Japanese nationals residing in Turkey participated in a series of semi-structured interviews. Their experiences and difficulties were then analyzed using the KJ Method. Results indicate they experienced difficulties related to their relationships with Indonesian Muslims based on dissimilar cultural norms in the host country. Upon further analysis, these difficulties were divided into four major categories. The first involved difficulties with “frank self-expression” and comprised the following five subcategories: different interpretations of individual private space, the distance of close relationships, open self-expression, positive affirmations, and the dearth of topics of similar interest. The second category involved “behaviors such as manners or common sense” that were divided into the following four subcategories: the leniency of order observance, disparate social conventions, interpersonal hierarchical order, and greeting styles. The third category of difficulties included “religious norms” that were divided into three subcategories: to communication using religious values, uncertainty about local religious practices, and religious discourse. The fourth category involved “relationships with people” and comprised two subcategories: the strength of family connections and relationships with those of the opposite gender. Results from this research indicate there are several conspicuous areas concerning Japanese and Turkish interaction where coping strategies are in dire need. Future studies should explore methods to improve specific social skills in order to overcome these difficulties, as well as foster the development of intercultural learning materials for Japanese people living abroad to facilitate their cultural assimilation.