Meet Our Professors
A Word of Welcome
By Ken Masujima (Professor of International Relations)
Thank you for looking at the web page of the Graduate School of Law, Kobe University! Despite its name, it is one of the top departments of Politics and International Relations in Japan. I am proud to be one of the 10 faculty members majoring in Politics and International Relations. After spending 9 years in France studying at Sorbonne and working for the OECD and the Japanese Embassy, I have been engaged in academic teaching and research for 15 years in Japan. My academic interest lies in the analysis of the relationship between Global North and Global South. I am now doing research on the poilicization of the aid agenda (human rights, democracy, governance, conflict) and the role of development in regionalism (comparison of the EU, ASEAN, and MERCOSUR). I also direct a research group of the EUIJ (the EU Institute in Japan, Kansai, whose headquarters are based at Kobe University) working on foreign policies of the EU and its member states. Our graduate School receives an important number of students from outside Japan each year. I myself have received each year students coming from abroad (China, France, the Netherlands, Brazil, etc). Having experienced the life of a foreign student in France, I think I can understand the expectations and difficulties that our students from abroad encounter in everyday life. So do many of our faculty members who studied abroad. This is why we try to do our best to integrate as smoothly as possible our incoming students from abroad. We have various systems to help our foreign students. We have a system of individual tutor system whereby a tutor (her/himself a student) is assigned to each incoming student to help her/him adapt to life in Japan and to academic life at Kobe University. We also have a staff member who is devoted to helping our students from abroad. There are also opportunities to be adopted as research and teaching assistants. Besides, the headquarters of Kobe University maintain an efficient system to look after our foreign students in various ways (housing, language training, foreign student service center, clinical and mental support system, student travel, etc). I believe that the presence of students from other countries is a great asset for us. Our Japanese students benefit enormously from contact with students coming from different cultures. We take pride in welcoming you to our campus!