Message from the Director

Japan has a longtime relationship with Alberta and Canada. Japan and Canada have celebrated the 90th Anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2018 and 2019, while Hokkaido and Alberta will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of their sister province agreement. Japan has left a great impact on this province, first as a home to agricultural immigrants in the early twentieth century. Japanese corporations have also become an integral part of the Albertan community.

As key players in the Asia-Pacific region, the two nations expect to foster stronger ties in many different academic fields. Both countries share a number of issues, including natural disasters, aging societies, and social inequality. Our hope is to play a significant role in the promotion of Japan Studies at the University of Alberta and Canada.

Our centre is committed to collaboration with Japan-related researchers, Japanese universities, and communities. PTJC organizes the largest academic gathering, the Japan-Canada Academic Consortium, and promotes Japanese as a minority language in North America through its annual Japanese Language Proficiency Test and national and regional Japanese Speech Contests. In addition, we have organized conferences that dealt with contemporary and historic issues in the past. If you have any interest in Japan Studies, please feel free to contact us.

About Aya Fujiwara

Dr. Aya Fujiwara received her Ph.D from the Department of History and Classics, University of Alberta in 2007. Her specialty is ethnic and immigration history of Canada with particular focus on Japanese Canadians and Japan-Canada relations. Born in Japan, she began studying Japanese history but developed an interest in Canadian Studies when she studied at the University of British Columbia as an exchange student. Since then, her passion has been to promote strong ties between Japan and Canada. She has served as a political advisor and researcher at the Embassy of Japan in Ottawa in 2008-2009. After holding the L. R. Wilson Postdoctoral Fellowship at McMaster University in 2009-2011, she has taught both Canadian and East Asian histories. In 2015, she took the position of Director of the Prince Takamado Japan Centre for Teaching and Research, University of Alberta. She is also teaching Modern Japan and Ethnic History in Canada.