Temple University, Japan Campus, in association with The United Nations University’s Institute for Advanced Studies, is organizing a joint-project about issues facing young people in Japan. “WAKAI: Youth Culture in Japan” will feature a series of events in the fall of 2002, to address the effects of globalization on youth in Japan. Youth are often the innovators of cultural trends, and the creative energy of society, but they are also especially vulnerable to the forces of social change. As such, they reflect the progress and problems of Japanese culture as it is transformed by the influence of globalization and emerging technologies.

WAKAI is a project designed to establish a dialogue between academics, media representatives, public policy makers and young people to connect the culture of youth with adults and mainstream institutions. These concerns are an extension of research initiated by the Ishikawa International Cooperation Research Centre (IICRC), a Kanazawa based institute that produces public policy initiatives related to youth. The IICRC is affiliated with UNU’s Institute for Advanced Studies, and will be supporting this project, along with Temple University, Japan Campus.

The project will be in 3 sections:

October 8 (Tuesday) Roundtable Discussion
To be held at the United Nations University in Aoyama, this event will be a daylong seminar with experts and authorities on youth culture in Japan. Sessions will be organized on consumerism and media, and public policy, culminating in a plenary session where the panelists will discuss issues of common concern.

October 18 (Friday) Pacific Rim Lecture
This lecture will be held at Temple University, Japan Campus in Minato-ku, to continue discussions on youth issues, with panelists selected from the UNU roundtable. In addition, students will participate in and lead the discussion. This event is part of the Pacific Rim Lecture Series, a forum for Asian-studies scholars to present their research to a public audience.

November 30 (Saturday) WAKAI: Conference
A meeting of young people at Temple University, Japan Campus, with workshops, seminars and guest lectures on themes related to youth in Japan. Some of the issues to be discussed include: media and emerging trends in fashion and youth culture, employment and “freeta” culture in Japan’s changing economy, sexuality and gender stratification, problems of delinquency and crime among young people, and racial and ethnic diversity in an increasingly multi-cultural society.

This conference will be primarily organized by students, and will reflect their concerns, so in the weeks leading up to this event, students will meet to discuss the topics to be presented at the conference.

Students and youth-oriented groups are invited to participate in this conference, which is free and open to the general public. Information is available on-line at or by contacting Temple University, Japan Campus, Office of Student Services. Please direct inquiries to:

Kyle Cleveland, Director of Student Services
Temple University, Japan Campus
Tel: 03-5441-9800 (ext. 709) or 090-4606-9779
Fax: 03-5441-9822
E-mail: kyle@tuj.ac.jp


Anne Yamamoto
C/O United Nations University Institute for Advanced Studies
Tel: 03-5385-9890 or 070-5212-3492
E-mail: yamamoto_ann@yahoo.co.jp