This article will review the historical background of the development of area studies and the adoption of global studies in Japan. Global studies, which focuses on global issues such as migration, mainly developed in the United States and Europe, but more recently found home in universities in Japan. A characteristic of the development of global studies in Japan is that specialists in area studies have played an important role in institutionally establishing this new discipline.
“Japanese area studies” has an affinity with the concepts of global studies contrary to the situation with area studies in the United States.
Conventional academic societies based on area studies in Japan, however, have been forced to change as a result of globalization and the establishment of global studies in Japan. I would like to point out that there is some discrepancy between the scholarship boundaries and the actual research and educational program in area studies. I will also discuss how we should reconsider the concept of “area” by tackling global issues.