While technology has indeed made the world smaller, in many ways the world is more divided than ever at present. Perhaps it could do with a little help from SIETAR (The Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research), an international organization with branches all over the globe, including Japan.

SIETAR Japan seeks to promote and facilitate intercultural communication through monthly lectures and workshops, special-interest group meetings, an annual conference, retreats and social gatherings. There are branches in the Tokyo, Kansai and Chubu areas, and activities are conducted in both English and Japanese.

The current president is Makiko Deguchi, an associate professor in the Faculty of Foreign Studies at Sophia University. She talked to Lifelines about SIETAR's activities in Japan, as well as plans for the upcoming World Congress, to be held at Chuo University's Tama campus in Tokyo from Aug. 7 to 11.