President's Address: A New Stage of the Japanese Research Association for Chinese Economy
President: Katsuji Nakagane
(Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo)
The Japanese Research Association for the Chinese Economy (JRACE) was established in 2002 under the strong leadership by the former president Ryoshin Minami, now professor emeritus at Hitotsubashi University. He founded this association and contributed to expanding it with the membership as many as 384 as late of 2012. I was appointed as the second president of this association in 2010 and reelected to be the president for another two years by the association meeting held at Rissho University this year.
I launched three goals for the new stage of this association that had to be realized while I act as president. One is to consolidate our association with the Japanese Association for the Chinese Management Studies. We have come to an agreement that the two associations are scheduled to be consolidated in 2014 and we believe that this consolidation will be carried out successfully unless something irregular happens. By consolidating the two associations we expect that both associations will be able to benefit the economies of scale and scope. The associations have already formalized a schedule for the consolidation.
Another goal is to hold an international conference in China organized jointly by both our association and a Chinese academic institution. We have made a contact with Heilongjiang University in Harbin and planned to hold such a conference. We called for papers to be presented at the conference with the result that more than twenty members applied and sent their papersf summary to the program committee. Graduate students who were selected as paper presenters in the conference are provided with a certain level of subsidies from our association. The conference was actually carried out successfully at Heilongjing University on September 8 to 9, 2012, with totally about twenty participants from Japan and more than forty participants from the University, presenting and discussing on various subjects of the Chinese economy.
There are some problems related to the holding academic conferences abroad. Except for relatively expensive transportation fees, a question of language to be used will have to be considered. Conferences held in China will proceed basically with either Chinese or English as a common language, but certain members in our association are not necessarily good at using foreign languages, thus such linguistic barriers could make those people loose their opportunities to present their studies. However, we believe that they could get the more benefits, by seizing valuable opportunities to get acquainted with the wider circle of academic field, though they must struggle with poor foreign languages. In the future, say in five or six years, we may be able to convene our national convention at a certain university in China and to hold all sessions in English, whether participants are Japanese or Chinese, or ones from the other countries, to discuss economic issues concerning China.
The third goal is to expand our association further to have members as many as 500 persons. When the two associations are consolidated, it is expected naturally that the membership will be enlarged to include more than 400, but the increased efforts to make the association more popular, particularly among young scholars, would contribute to activization of our association.
Those goals are expected to be achieved in the near future. I hope that all of the members, either new or old, cooperate with us to realize our such ambitious dreams.