In its approach to education, this track has endeavored to combine the best of East Asian and Western traditions. Standards are high. Workloads are demanding. At the same time, classes are very small. This enables our teaching staff to pay careful attention to individual student needs and aspirations.
The overwhelming majority of students and many of the academics live in residential colleges and apartments located on campus. This facilitates close interaction among the students themselves and also between the students and the university teaching and administrative staff. It enables students and staff who feel so inclined to spend long hours, out of class, in coffee shops and restaurants, in hot springs or on pleasant rambles through the surrounding hills and villages, discussing the problems of the world in a free, informal and extremely relaxed manner.
Our graduates often tell us that these occasions have constituted some of the happiest memories in their academic lives.
An Established Tradition
The foundations of the present program were laid under the guidance of the former Japanese Foreign Minister, Dr. Saburo Okita, the first president of IUJ. The program subsequently developed under the intellectual leadership provided by some of Japan’s most distinguished authorities on world politics, international economics, Asian affairs, North America, Europe and the Islamic world. From the beginning there has been a strong commitment to the cultivation of an open, eclectic, non-doctrinal and humane approach to scholarship and teaching.
The Geographical Setting: A Unique Window on Japan, Asia and the World
The teaching staff and student body of IUJ are highly cosmopolitan. The Matsushita Library and Information Center houses a wide range of academic books, specialist journals and newspapers in many languages and provides instant Internet access to information from across the globe.
Despite the contemporary revolution in communications technology, however, geography, history and culture continue to play critical roles both in shaping world affairs and in influencing the way men and women interpret the flow of events.
IUJ is located in the Echigo mountains, in the Hokuriku region of the main Japanese island of Honshu, forty minutes by bullet train from the city of Niigata, on the Japan Sea, beyond which lie the Korean Peninsula, China, Eastern Siberia, Mongolia and the lands of Central Asia, all of which are rather easily accessible, by air or sea, from local ports. Seoul is two and a half hours by air from Niigata, Shanghai three hours, Sian six hours, Vladivostok a mere one and a half hours. In the other direction, to the South East, ninety minutes by bullet train from IUJ, lie Tokyo, the Kanto Plains and the Pacific Ocean. From Tokyo (Narita) International Airport, Washington can be reached in fifteen hours, Paris in twelve and a half hours, London in thirteen hours, Singapore in six hours and Sydney in nine and a half hours.