History 沿革


Toyo University Center for Sustainable Development Studies was established in FY2001 as part of the open research center project of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) for promoting the improvement of academic research in private universities. The center, which was placed under the university’s Graduate School of Regional Development Studies, was originally intended to be a five-year project. During those five years, the center continuously led various multifaceted research activities including research and studies in various fields of developing countries (Thailand, Bangladesh, East Timor, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Uzbekistan, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of People's Republic of China, etc.) and in various parts of Japan, and distributed information through the publication of newsletters, public lectures and international symposiums with renowned international speakers, and the publication of books jointly written by researchers.

In FY2006, MEXT gave approval for the center to continue its research activities.

The center’s action plan was selected as a project under MEXT’s strategic research infrastructure development program for private universities in FY2010, and the project continued until FY2014.

In FY2015, the center’s action plan to expand research bases by leveraging the insights and experience of the center was selected again and it was launched as another five-year project.

For descriptive purposes, the center’s activities can be described as consisting of the following four phases: FY2001 to FY2005 as the “first phase”, FY2006 to FY2008, the year the project ended, as the “second phase”, FY2010 to FY2014 as the “third phase”, and FY2015 to FY2019, the year the project is scheduled to end, as the “fourth phase”.

The center had carried out consistent activities since its establishment through the first and second phases with an aim to “develop researchers and highly specialized professionals, and to disclose research outcomes.” In addition, a new goal of “creating research bases” was added in the third phase. Research projects and research groups were significantly redesigned in the third phase in view of themes with original objectives achieved in the first and second phases as well as new research themes to address new needs. The following is the overview of those phases. In the first phase when the center opened, the center launched three research projects that were carried out concurrently, i.e., “Project 1: Creation and maintenance of a permanent living environment in metropolitan areas of Asia”, “Project 2: Systematization of environmentally symbiotic society theory”, “Project 3: Creation of regional development database and plan/Development and maintenance of an assessment support simulator.”

On the other hand, in the second phase, the center decided to focus on one project to conduct activities in a more integrated manner. Consequently, the center implemented a research structure with agenda/research groups established under a new project “Approaches for creating an environmentally symbiotic society and new developments.” In other words, three projects from the first phase were integrated into “Agenda 1: Research on approaches for creating an environmentally symbiotic society” to follow the path of previous research and to conduct in-depth research. For Agenda 1, the center employed a structure to efficiently conduct research by creating two separate groups, one for conducting basic research on approaches for creating an environmentally symbiotic society, and another for conducting application research to address individual issues. In addition, the center established a new agenda “Agenda 2: Research on a new paradigm for creating an internationally symbiotic society” for the second phase and pursued research on countries and regions requiring priority assistance from the increasingly complex international community. That is to say that the center conducted research on assistance in Africa and rural development in developing countries through “Research to realize a symbiotic society in regions requiring priority assistance”, in addition to the “Research for realizing a symbiotic society in the transitional period of post-conflict countries”, the need for which is increasing in the current state of the world.

In FY2009, the center’s research activities were temporarily suspended due to the completion of the project, however, the center’s action plan was selected as a project under MEXT’s strategic research infrastructure development program for private universities in FY2010 and a new five-year project was launched. Under the new research theme of “Development of approaches for assisting endogenous development in developing regions of Asia”, the center carried out activities with a focus on creation and cooperation of research bases within and outside of Japan, particularly in Asian nations, from the research perspective of “research on creation of research bases.” Specifically, based on the belief that in order for developing countries to develop in a self-sustaining way, it is important to break away from a structure that relies on developed countries, and take approaches based on the idea of endogenous development that leverages manpower and physical resources within developing countries, the center laid out a primary goal for the third phase to develop and implement such an approach to assistance. In the third phase, the center had three research sub groups comprised of research members who were full time faculty members, visiting researchers from Japan and overseas, research assistants and secretariat staff. Under this organizational structure, the center hosted international symposiums and workshops annually by inviting speakers from overseas who specialized in the development of developing countries. In addition, the center offered open lectures to the public and practitioners, issued newsletters in Japanese and English with an aim to deliver information related to the research projects, and published annual reports. Ultimately, the center published a book on the current status of endogenous development in Asia, assisted endogenous development in overseas research bases, and shared the research results with society.

In the fourth phase, under the new research theme of “Development of approaches for making community-oriented international contributions in Asia and Africa in the age of globalization” and from the standpoint of “research on creating research bases”, the center is conducting activities with a focus on creation and cooperation between research bases in Japan and overseas, particularly in countries in Asia and Africa. Further, the center aims to conduct studies on and pursue ideal international contributions toward the implementation of sustainable development goals (SDGs), which are the new benchmarks for cooperation in developing countries, replacing the MDGs. The center also added Africa to its focus research areas in addition to Asia where the center has been conducting activities, with the aim of developing universal approaches to realize endogenous development suitable for the age of globalization through improvement of social infrastructure. 

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平成13 年度に当初5 年間の予定で国際地域学研究科に設置された。その5 年間に開発途上国(タイ、バングラデシュ、東ティモール、ベトナム、カンボジア、フィリピン、ウズベキスタン、中華人民共和国内モンゴル自治区等)や日本国内各地のフィールドにおける調査研究、ニュースレターの発行による情報発信、公開講座や海外の著名人を招いての国際シンポジウムの開催、研究員の分担執筆による書籍の発行など多角的な研究活動を続けて来た。 

平成18 年度から活動継続が同省より認可された。 

平成22 年度からセンターの活動計画が文部科学省の私立大学戦略的基盤形成支援事業として採択され26 年度まで実施してきた。 

平成27 年度からは、センターのこれまでの知見や経験を活かし拠点形成を拡大させていく活動計画が再採択され、さらに5 年間の予定で新たに始動した。

以下、便宜的に平成13 年度~17 年度を「第一期」、平成18 年度以降から終了に至る20 年度までを「第二期」、平成22 年度~26 年度までを「第三期」、平成27 年度から終了に至る平成31 年度までを「第四期」と称してその活動を紹介する。 

センターの活動内容については発足当初から「研究者の養成、高度専門職業人の養成、研究成果の公開」を目標に第一期・第二期を通じて一貫した活動を行って来ている。第三期からは、これに加えて、「研究拠点形成」を新たな目標とし活動している。研究プロジェクト・研究グループに関しては第一期、第二期において当初の目的を達したテーマや、新しくニーズが生じた研究テーマ等を考慮して第三期に大きく改変を行った。その概要を以下に示す。センター発足時の第一期には研究プロジェクト3 本を設定した。すなわち「プロジェクト1:アジア大都市圏地域を対象とした定住環境の形成・整備」、「プロジェクト2:環境共生社会論の体系化」、「プロジェクト3:地域開発データベースと計画作成・評価支援シミュレータの開発・整備」を平行して研究を進めてきた。


 平成21 年度は同事業の実施期間終了に伴い一時活動を休止したが、平成22年度になり、センターの活動計画が文部科学省の私立大学戦略的基盤形成支援事業として採択され、5年間の予定で新たに始動した。新たな研究テーマは「アジア開発途上地域における内発的発展支援手法の開発」であり、このテーマのもと「研究拠点を形成する研究」の研究観点からアジア諸国を中心とする国内外の研究拠点の形成と連携とに重点を置いた活動を行った。より具体的には、開発途上国を自立的に発展させるためには先進国からの外部援助に頼る構造から脱却し、途上国内部の人的・物的資源を活用した内発的発展の考えに基づくことが重要であり、第三期センターはその支援手法を開発・実践することを主目的とした。第三期センターには常勤教員からなる研究員、国内外からの客員研究員、研究助手、事務局員等から構成され、3つの研究サブグループがあった。これらの組織を中心に、センターでは途上国開発等の専門家を海外から招聘して行う国際シンポジウム/ワークショップを毎年開催し、また国内に向けた市民や実務者むけの公開講座の開催、研究プロジェクトの情報発信を目的とした和英ニュースレターの発行、年次報告書の発行を行った。最終的には、アジアにおける内発的発展の現状に関する書籍の刊行や海外拠点における内発的発展支援の実施、研究成果の社会への還元などを実施した。

第四期センターは新たな研究テーマ「アジア・アフリカにおける地域に根ざしたグローバル化時代の国際貢献手法の開発」のもと「研究拠点形成する研究」の観点からアジア・アフリカ諸国を中心とする国内外の研究拠点の形成と連携とに重点を置いた活動を行う。さらに途上国協力においてポストMDG の新たな指標となる、持続可能な開発目標(SDG)の実施に向けた国際貢献のあり方に関する研究と実践とを行うことを目標としている。研究対象地域も従来から活動してきたアジア地域にアフリカ地域も加え、グローバル化時代に即した内発的発展を社会インフラの充実を通して実現する普遍的手法の開発を目指している。

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