For many years, the University of Alberta has had strong links with Japan and it is currently linked to 39 Japanese universities. Through international student exchange agreements with these Japanese partner institutions, the University of Alberta is able to offer its students the opportunity to study in Japan.

Inaugurated in 1996 under the name of the Centre for the Teaching of Japanese Language and Culture (Japan Centre), the Centre has been engaged in a variety of events, including conferences in 1997 and 2000. The Centre has also organized a number of workshops for teachers of Japanese, and has co-hosted the Alberta speech contests regularly. Since 2007, the Centre has hosted or co-hosted the National Japanese Speech Contests with funding support form the Japan Foundation and other various organizations and corporations including the Prince Takamado Japan Canada Memorial Fund, Mitsui (Canada), Ltd., Astellas Pharma, and Alberta Education.

In the summer of 1999 when Prince and Princess Takamado visited the University of Alberta, their program included an introduction to the Japan Centre. After the untimely death of His Imperial Highness, Prince Takamado, former U of A President Fraser discussed with Princess Takamado the desire of the University of Alberta to honor Prince Takamado through the renaming of the Centre, and received her permission to proceed.

In March 2003, plans were undertaken to rename the Centre The Prince Takamado Japan Centre for Teaching and Research in memory of the late Prince Takamado. In June 2004, the Japan Centre was rededicated to Prince Takamado with a celebration hosted by Dr. Roderick Fraser, President of the University of Alberta, in Edmonton. On June 10, 2004, the Prince Takamado Japan Centre for Teaching and Research was formally established at the University of Alberta.

The Centre is the managing body of the Prince Takamado Japan Canada Memorial Fund and also serves as the Canadian secretariat for the Japan Canada Academic Consortium, a network of universities across Canada and Japan whose aim is to promote the exchange of undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, and teachers, and to encourage a movement of ideas and knowledge between the two countries.

For more history and information on our programming, please download the PTJC Brochure!

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