||AGO Shinichi, Director,
Asian Law Centre
Graduate School of Law, Kyushu University
Asian Law Centre was established in April 2001 as an affiliate of the Graduate School of Law of Kyushu University. Since then, the Centre has engaged in various activities as set forth in it's by-laws: i.e. by conducting joint research and education programmes, which are the Centre's primary objectives; by offering lectures and seminars; and the Center has also been coordinating with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS Program), as a part of the activities of Graduate School of Law of Kyushu University. Within that JDS Program framework, the Centre undertook to interview various applicants fromdifferent Asian countries in their home countries, as well as provided proper education to successful applicants upon their arrival in Japan.
The joint LL.M programme which is being offered in collaboration with Chulalongkorn University of Thailand has more than 5 years of history. In June 2003, the Centre hosted 16 students from Chulalongkorn University and offered them a week-long academic training under the framework of the programme's overseas classes. The biggest achievement of the Center to date, is the launch of an academic seminar titled "Law and the Open Society in Asia", co-hosted by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science in November 2001. Participated by about 20 young and middle standing legal scholars of various Asian countries, the 10-day seminar provided an important venue for a comparative study of Asian laws by Asian legal scholars.
Faculty of Law of Kyushu University is also one of the founding institutions of the Asian Law Institute (ASLI) which was established in 2003 and situated at the Faculty of Law of the National University of Singapore. Together with 12 other member institutions, the Faculty of Law of Kyushu University as well as the Centre has been promoting the study of Asian laws.
We must admit however, that the Centre has not yet been able to fully accomplish its social mandate as initially intended due to current budgetary restrictions. This is particularly so with respect to the creation of the Asian Law Information Division, as reflected by the delayed set-up of the database. However, we are determined to continue and strengthen our efforts to improve the activities of the Centre, and to make the Centre literally the center of Asian legal and political studies. We would appreciate your support in all the Centre's activities.