What makes the MJSP academically distinctive is the integration of Japanese studies as an area study with training in academic disciplines relevant to modern Japanese society, such as literature, education, law, political science and economics. The MJSP’s Curriculum Policy is underpinned by the following four principles:
- An intensive program to master the Japanese language
- Intersecting curricula in Japan studies and academic disciplines
- Co-learning with Japanese students
- Discovering Japan from multicultural Hokkaido
Under the Curriculum Policy, MJSP offers subjects with greater width and breadth than those of conventional courses designed for international students. This helps students meet degree conferral standards by developing expert knowledge, particularly in the humanities and social sciences, based on their mastery of the Japanese language and Japanese studies.
The MJSP’s curriculum is drawn up and implemented as outlined below in line with the above Curriculum Policy.
1) MJSP offers an Intensive Japanese Course that precedes the bachelor’s degree program. This is a preparatory Japanese language program that is also open to international students at other national universities in Hokkaido. The course is designed to provide intensive Japanese-language training to lay the foundations for the linguistic proficiency required for success on the bachelor’s degree program.
2) From the first year to the fourth year, General Education Courses (including Japanese Language Subjects), International Subjects, Introductory Specialist Area Subjects, Specialist Area Module Subjects and Joint Specialist Area Subjects are offered in an integrated way and with academic progression throughout the degree program.
Japanese Language Subjects comprise a range of courses, including beginners’ and intermediate Japanese, applied Japanese (at intermediate and advanced levels), and courses such as Advanced Academic Japanese and Advanced Business Japanese. General Education Courses other than Japanese Language Subjects are offered from the range of courses open to all HU students. International Subjects are selected from Arts & Science Courses in English and Co-learning in Multicultural Classrooms relating to modern Japanese studies.
MJSP’s Introductory Specialist Area Subjects are specialized courses in English to teach students the basics of Japan’s history, culture, society, institutions and other aspects, which form the foundation of modern Japanese studies. Specialist Area Module Subjects are drawn from specialized courses on modern Japan taught in Japanese in HU’s undergraduate schools (mainly the Faculty of Letters, the School of Education, the School of Law and the School of Economics and Business Administration). These subjects are offered either in the History-Culture Module or in the Society-Political Economy Module. Joint Specialist Area Subjects provide more advanced learning, and include Project Study Subjects (self-study subjects based on students’ interests), various programs associated with modern Japanese studies, and Internships.
With this curriculum, students learn about various aspects of modern Japan, work towards a graduation thesis based on their areas of interest, and work to meet the degree conferral standards of MJSP.
Graduates of this program are expected to enter careers as professionals who not only speak Japanese but are also capable of working in the fields of economics, law, education and other areas of the humanities and social sciences. Some may play significant roles in Japanese businesses, while others may work in these roles in their own countries to help strengthen relations with Japan as specialists in economic, political and other exchange with Japan. Career options also include becoming a researcher in Japanese studies to further develop this internationally important discipline, and becoming a specialized practitioner in Japan and Asia who will work for the UN or other international institutions.