The Japan Foundation, New Delhi:The International Conference on Japanese Studies at Nehru University

The Japan Foundation, New Delhi

topics_0903_01_01.jpg From March 6 to March 8, 2009, the International Conference on Changing Global Profile of Japanese Studies was held at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. Panelists were prominent Japan specialists from India, the host country, and Japan, in addition to three Asian countries (Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam) and three European countries (Netherland, Greece, and France).

This three-day international conference was inaugurated in quite Indian style in which guests lit candles, sang a song for Saraswati, goddess of academic achievements, and gave speeches one after another. In the following sessions, panelists had vigorous and sometimes heated discussions on the current situations and issues of Japanese Studies in their countries. The conference was concluded on a high note.

The goddess Saraswati is familiar to Japanese people, known as "Benten-sama." This is an instance of long history of cultural exchange between Japan and India. The interest in Japan taken by people in India today, however, is not as great as that in countries of other participants of this conference. As a result, Japanese studies in India are falling behind other countries in many things including its history and the number of specialists.

Therefore, this international conference was an epoch-making event for Japanese studies in India, and it must have inspired Indian scholars.

The Japan Foundation supported this international conference by covering the expenses, including air fares of participants. We will spare no effort in providing necessary cooperation for the progress of Japanese studies in India.

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