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Reserch Center

Aiming to create a university that serves the region

One of the goals of Okinawa International University is to create a university that serves the region. To accomplish this, a variety of phenomena are being researched through the university’s Integrated Research Organization comprised of 4 institutes that develop the geographic and social landscape of Okinawa, and return those research outcomes to the region. In addition, lectures are held on campus for prefectural residents in an effort to build a university that is truly rooted in the region.

Institute of Ryukyuan Culture

The Institute of Ryukyuan Culture was established in April 1978 as a place to conduct joint interdisciplinary research. With the objective of contributing to the development of academic research on islands in the Ryukyu arc, each year a region from among the Amami Islands, Okinawa Islands, Miyako Islands, and Yaeyama Islands is specified for general study. Excursions have also been made to Taiwan, Korea, and Fujian Province in China, to conduct comparative studies on each culture. Exchange among researchers continues. The Institute also collects valuable literature and documents, organizes and preserves them, and shares them with students and the general public.In addition to the journal, Nanto Bunka (Southern Island Culture), the Institute publishes a yearly report that compiles the results of the general studies noted above. The Institute also works with local newspapers to hold public lectures on southern island culture in cities such as Naha, Ginowan, Ishigaki, Okinawa, and Nishihara. With students, instructors tour various areas in the prefecture to study history, culture, nature, and geography. Other research and report activities continue, such as the Shima Research Society, Southern Island Research Seminars, and lecture meetings on survey reports.

Institute of General Industrial Research

The Institute of General Industrial Research was established in April 1991 with the aim of conducting theoretical and empirical research from international and comprehensive perspectives in order to contribute to the advancement of scholarship and development of industrial society. In addition to the staff (university instructors), the Institute employs individuals as special researchers from the industrial and economic spheres, government, and experts from universities and institutes within Japan and abroad. While viewing the self-sustaining development of industry and economy in Okinawa Prefecture, which possesses geographic, historic, and cultural attributes, the Institute is striving to build broad information networks and various research personnel from industry, government, and academia that reach beyond regional borders to promote joint academic research on an international level. As the only facility in Okinawa that carries out comprehensive industrial research, the Institute is proud to take on unique goals and roles, and is working to become a facility that can contribute to the promotion of the regional industrial society through joint global research in which various researchers openly participate.

Okinawa Institute of Law and Politics

The Okinawa Institute of Law and Politics was established as a place to research issues in the fields of law and politics. Though it has been 40 years since Okinawa was returned to Japan, unresolved problems that can be called post-war after affects not seen in other prefectures have built up in various areas. For example, there are many issues originating from the historic, geographic, and cultural singularities of Okinawa, including the characteristic paternal kinship system of the society based on blood relationships, issues of nationality stemming from America’s post-war governance, international adoptions, and the return of the Senkaku Islands. The Institute studies and researches the legal and political issues that arise from these external and internal factors. Specifically, the Institute holds events that include symposiums, lecture meetings, and workshops. A portion of this content is published in the journal, The Okinawa Institute of Law and Politics and the Institute bulletin. Legal consultations are also held free of charge.

Okinawa Institute of Economics and Environmental Studies

The Okinawa Institute of Economics and Environmental Studies was established in April 2009. In the field of islands called Okinawa, the Institute conducts joint research on the economy and environment from international and interdisciplinary perspectives, and aims to both develop research studies and share the outcomes with regional residents. Okinawa has cultivated a variety of knowhow in the generation that has passed in the 40 years since Okinawa’s return. Following the return, strategic industries such as tourism and the tourist industry have particularly taken on a significant role. However, economic disparity with the mainland and a high rate of unemployment have yet to be eliminated, and numerous problems exist including global environmental issues and environmental destruction that accompanies large-scale regional development, the disadvantages of islands, and drawbacks due to the existence of American military bases. In other words, the building of a sustainable society that balances both preservation of the natural environment and economic development is sought after. The Institute forms networks among industry, government, and academia, and implements symposiums, lecture meetings, and workshops with the aim of broadly contributing to the regional society.

Okinawa International University