HIROSHIMA — A group of students and scholars at Hiroshima University have formed Global Society, which they hope will be one of Japan’s leading international research bodies for overseas development activities.

Led by Dr. Shuichi Nakayama, dean of the university’s International Development and Cooperation graduate program, and Hilarius Costa, a graduate student, the organization was launched earlier this year as about 30 Japanese and foreign exchange students began working on a variety of international development issues. “Global Society was created because students and faculty recognized the need to create an international network of people interested in a variety of development issues,” Nakayama said.

“The society is open to anyone of undergraduate level or above, inside or outside of Japan, who wants to exchange information on cultural, economic, environmental and political issues that affect world peace,” Costa said.

One particular mission of Global Society will be to assist students throughout Japan to find jobs, internships, and volunteer work in developing countries and with international development organizations — an area in which Japanese universities traditionally have been very weak, Costa said.

“It’s often hard for Japanese students interested in working in the field of overseas development to get help from their universities (finding internships and jobs), so we hope that Global Society will be able to assist in this regard,” said Maiko Sugimoto, a student at Hiroshima and a member of Global Society.

Members come from a variety of backgrounds, including science, engineering, medicine, law and the liberal arts. Many of the non-Japanese members are from East and Southeast Asia.

Last month, Global Society launched the first edition of its magazine, Ishiki (Consciousness), which essentially will be a bimonthly publication, and is being written by students and faculty members from Hiroshima University. Although it is mainly an English-language publication, each article includes a synopsis in Japanese, Costa said. The first issue was mailed to about 3,000 people, nearly half of whom live in Japan, East Asia and Southeast Asia.

Although the editorial policy of Ishiki will be to focus primarily on overseas issues, and chiefly on activities of developing countries, Costa and Sugimoto both said they also hope to see articles from those involved in nongovernmental organizations in Japan.

For more information on Global Society, telephone Costa or Sugimoto at 082-422-7111, ext. 5982, or fax 082-424-6904. Or, you can reach them by e-mail at: global@ipc.hiroshima-u.ac.jp

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