“Global Jinzai,” Japanese Higher Education, and the Path to Multiculturalism: Imperative, Imposter, or Immature?

  • Julian Chapple
Open Access


Japanese society has, at various times throughout its history, been led in different directions by state policy makers’ catch phrases. The final societal destination of these slogans has changed to suit the needs of the times, but their reoccurrence and importance can neither be denied nor overlooked. Phrases and slogans such as sonnō-jōi (Revere the Emperor, Expel the Barbarians), fukoku kyōhei (Enrich the Country, Strengthen the Military), tōyō no dōtoku, seiyō no gakugei (Eastern Ethics, Western Science), wakon yōsai (Western Learning, Japanese Spirit), bunmei kaika (Civilization, Enlightenment) and dastua nyū ō (Leave Asia, Join the West) are all examples of “battle cries” behind which society was rallied in order to rid itself of some seemingly corrupting influence or to adopt systems in order to make a radical change in direction. More recently, while arguably less provocative in nature, catch phrases have continued to be employed to focus national attention on goals deemed important by the nation’s state-makers today. Here, words like kindaika (modernization), ōbeika (Westernization), kokusaika (internationalization), and gurōbaruka (globalization) have adorned official documents and the media reflecting the needs or goals of each respective period (Chapple, 2002).


International Student Global Citizenship Japanese Student Japan Time English Language Ability 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Ashizawa, S. (2012). Why now? Global jinzai and gap year. Paper presented at Meiji University Research Institute of International Education Inaugural International Symposium Series 3, Tokyo. Retrieved from Scholar
  2. Chapple, J. (2002). Japan’s policy of internationalisation: Prospects for a multicultural society (Ph.D. dissertation). Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.Google Scholar
  3. Knight, J. & Altbach, P. (2007). The internationalization of higher education: Motivations and realities. Journal of Studies in International Education, 11, 290–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Lie, J. (2004). Multiethnic Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Maher, J. C. & Yashiro, K. (Eds) (1995). Multilingual Japan. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  6. Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry [METI] (2011). Mid-term report from the council on the promotion of global human resources. Retrieved from economy/jinzai/san_gaku_kyodo/sanko1–1.pdf.Google Scholar
  7. Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology [MEXT] (2012). Daigaku kaikaku jikkō puran. [The plan to change universities]. Retrieved from Scholar
  8. Ministry of Education, Science and Culture (1999). Japanese government policies in education, science, sports and culture 1999: Educational reform in progress. Tokyo: Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture Japan.Google Scholar
  9. NIER [National Institute for Educational Policy Research] (2011). International student policy in Japan. In Education in Japan. Retrieved from English/EducationInJapan/Education_in_Japan/Education_in_Japan_files/201203IntlSt.pdfGoogle Scholar
  10. Nihon Keizai Shimbun (2012, December 21). Jinzai kyōsō kokkyō naku uchimuki kaeru kōki ni [A good opportunity to change from unward-looking].Google Scholar
  11. Nihon Keizai Shimbun (2013a, January 18). Kyōin kōsō “uchimuki” yabure [It’s faculty who need to break the “inward-looking” mentality].Google Scholar
  12. Nihon Keizai Shimbun (2013b, February 9). Kaigai ryūgaku 6nen renzoku gen [The number of students studying abroad falls for the 6th straight year].Google Scholar
  13. Nihon Keizai Shimbun (2013c, April 21). Gaikokujin kyōin 1man nin ni [Increase the number of foreign faculty to 10,000].Google Scholar
  14. Nikkeiren K. T. I. (1997). Gurōbaru shakai ni kōken suru jinzai no ikusei o [Towards to development of human resources capable of contributing to a global society]. Tokyo: Nihon Keiei sha dantai remei Kyoiku bu.Google Scholar
  15. OECD (2012). How many students study abroad and where do they go? In Education at a glance 2012: Highlights, OECD publishing (pp. 24–27). Retrieved from 10.1787/eag_ highlights-2012–9-en.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Oka, Y. (2013, August 16). Kokusaijin yōsei ni “global kō” monkashō 100 ko shitei e [To develop international people MEXT plans to select 100 “global schools”]. Asahi Shimbun. Retrieved from 2.html
  17. Ouyang, G. & McAlpine, S. (2013). Global competency is not enough: Attaining global citizenship. In EAIE summer forum: Discussing international education: Social responsibility (pp. 8–10). Amsterdam: European Association for International Education.Google Scholar
  18. Ş. İlgu Özler (2013). Global citizenship versus diplomacy: Internationalisation of higher education with a collective consciousness. In A. Labi (Eds), Weaving the future of global partnerships (pp. 13–18). Amsterdam: European Association for International Education.Google Scholar
  19. Pollock, S. (2012). Cultivating “global jinzai” critical to Japan’s international success. Turnstone Ventures. Retrieved from _global_jinazi.html.
  20. Sankei S. (2012, August 12). Sankangaku kyōdō de gurōbaru jidai ni tekiō [Government, industry and universities working together to adapt to the global age].Google Scholar
  21. Sawa, T. (2013, June 24). Commentary: Top students shunning Japan. The Japan Times.Google Scholar
  22. The Japan Times (2013, June 16). Editorials: Too many inward-looking students. Retrieved from -looking-students/#.Ucf7F81bBD.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Julian Chapple 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julian Chapple

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations