The Waseda Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies (WIAPS) was established in July 1997 with the aim of coexisting with, and helping to develop, the Asia-Pacific region as it headed toward the 21st century.
For more than a century, since the time of Shigenobu Okuma, the founder of Waseda University and one of the founders of modern Japan, and who called for "Harmony between Eastern and Western Civilizations," Waseda University, which will celebrate its 125th anniversary in the year 2007, has pursued a three-fold policy of what we have come to refer to as the "Glocal University" (a term formed by the combination of ‘global’ and ‘local’), to further the concept of positive change and development in the university system through "co-existence with the Asia-Pacific region," "communication through media networks" and "lifelong education". As a critical link in this great enterprise, Waseda established the WIAPS.
WIAPS strives to achieve prominence in education and research in the Asia-Pacific region, a region undergoing remarkable growth and transition, and at the same time, to establish a base for the dissemination of information to keep the world informed of events in this part of the globe.
WIAPS was established on the foundation laid by the former Institute of Social Sciences and the former Systems Science Institute. The Institute of Social Sciences, founded in September 1940 as the central research organ of Waseda University in the social sciences of modern Japan and area studies of Asia, had a long and active history. On the other hand, originally founded in 1956 as the Institute for Research in Productivity, the Systems Science Institute was established with the goal of contributing to society through the research and development of systems. The Institute carried out large-scale contract research projects received from industrial circles. Also, to provide adults with continuing education, the Institute started evening and intensive courses in management science in 1961, and has offered one-year full-time courses in social, management, and production systems and their applications.
The Institute of Social Sciences made considerable achievements in developing problem-solving skills as related to international relations and area studies, and the Systems Science Institute in studies on management problems and continuing education. Combining and further developing the achievements and traditions of both Institutes, WIAPS, as an open research center, is playing an active role in the actual problems facing society both in and outside Japan.