In our increasingly interconnected and rapidly changing world, young legal professionals are confronted with many new challenges. The graduate level programs offered by the Faculty of Law at Kyushu University are specifically designed to offer students the necessary skills to operate effectively in today’s global environment.
Inaugurated in the fall of 1994, the LL.M. program in International Economic and Business Law was the first such course to be taught entirely in English at a Japanese university. By offering such a program, we were able to remove one of the major obstacles confronting students who wished to pursue their studies in Japan.
More recently, the Young Leaders’ Program (YLP) was established in 2001 as a one-year Master’s program by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in the fields of Public Administration, Business Administration and Law. In recognition of the success of the graduate school programs, MEXT entrusted Kyushu University with the responsibility of offering the YLP in Law. The program has been designed to contribute to the fostering of future national leaders in various Asian countries, and is open to young legal professions and government officials. In addition to deepening the participants’ understanding of Japan, we feel sure that the YLP will contribute to the formation of an international network of national leaders who will play a key role in establishing friendly relations and improved policy planning in the Asia region.
In addition, Kyushu University also offers the LL.D. Program which provides highly-motivated students the unique opportunity of preparing a doctoral thesis in English whilst studying at a Japanese university. A newly launched program, the Bilingual Master’s (LL.M.) degree program in Law (BiP) offers students the unique opportunity to engage in graduate level study of law in a “bilingual” environment at a law faculty in Japan. The program seeks to overcome one of the principal obstacles to graduate legal education in Japan, namely language, by providing students with the possibility of taking classes and writing a thesis in English, as well as Japanese.
To compliment our law programs, we are also proud to offer students of political science the opportunity of participating on our Comparative Studies of Politics and Administration in Asia (CSPA) program. This program was initiated on a trial basis in 1997, and has developed with tremendous success. It became fully operational in 1999, and has continued to expand. Although there has been a great deal of research into Asian economies, comparative research into politics and administration has been somewhat neglected. The CSPA program is a pioneering step in the latter direction, and provides a gateway for resolving pressing contemporary issues in Asia.
The Faculty of Kyushu University is uniquely qualified to offer graduate students a Japanese perspective on the issues that legal practitioners, government administrators and policymakers are confronted with at this time. Professors teaching on the graduate school programs not only have a wide range of experience in academia, but also in the commercial sector, the legal profession, as well as working with international organizations. Moreover, by ensuring that the students selected to participate in the graduate programs are of the highest caliber, Kyushu University is firmly committed to instructing an outstanding group of future leaders. Insofar as the Faculty provides a strong and meaningful educational experience, it expects the graduate students to contribute both to the overall quality of the various programs and to the development of strong ties between his or her home country and Japan. In this respect, we hope to lay the foundation today for bridges of cooperation tomorrow.
As Dean of the Faculty of Law, I have been fortunate enough to oversee the remarkable progress made in the development of graduate studies in the fields of international and comparative law, and comparative administration and political science. We are confident that our past efforts will ensure the continuing success of these programs and look forward to welcoming many new generations of international students to our university.
Professor Hiroaki MURAKAMI
Dean of the Faculty of Law,