Sophia University

About Sophia University - efforts for SDGs (Education & Research Activities)

Sophia University - efforts for SDGs (Education & Research Activities)

■⟨⟨ Sophia Research Branding Project ⟩⟩ The Sophia Institute for Human Security (SIHS)

The Sophia Institute for Human Security (SIHS) considers poverty, environment, health care, immigrants and refugees, and peacebuilding as the five important human security issues for an international society. The SIHS will work on the realization of human security through academic research by becoming an international center of excellence using social science research methods to design effective policies for institutions to solve these issues. The SIHS considers the following two basic policies as essential for the realization of human security: 1) To tackle the realization of human security through social science research results and 2) to promote research based on local circumstances and problems while collaborating with local researchers.

https://dept.sophia.ac.jp/is/sihs/eng/


■Reflecting on the experiences of UN University Volunteers from Japan

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program and Kwansei Gakuin University (KGU) in Japan launched a pilot initiative under the UN Youth Volunteer category in June 2013. During 2013-2014, 24 UN Youth Volunteers were deployed to UN entities worldwide. Since 2015, the program has expanded, with 17 university students selected annually from nine partner universities to serve as UN University Volunteers for 5-month assignments. UNV partners with nine universities, who fund UN University Volunteer deployment under the KGU Program. These include: Kwansei Gakuin University, Osaka University, Akita International University, Sophia University, Tsukuba University, Toyo University, Meiji University, Meiji Gakuin University and Rikkyo University.

https://www.unv.org/Success-stories/reflecting-experiences-un-university-volunteers-japan


■Dominic Richardson, Esuna Dugarova, Daryl Higgins, Keiko Hirao, Despina Karamperidou, Zitha Mokomane, Mihaela Robila. 2019. Families, Family Policy and the Sustainable Development Goals. UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti

Hirao Keiko
Professor
Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies,
Master's (Doctoral) Program in Global Environmental Studies

【Abstract】
Governments worldwide are increasingly enacting family policies, which include cash transfers, child allowances, maternity / parental leave, and preschool education and care policies. It is because they recognize the role of families as an elementary unit of society. How do family policies affect different social progress goals defined in the SDGs in different parts of the world? Which family attributes at household impact the effectiveness of the previously identified family interventions?

This report tries to answer these questions by reviewing the literature on policy assessment on poverty reduction (SDG 1), improvements in health (SDG 3), inclusiveness in education (SDG 4), gender equality (SDG 5), youth employment (SDG 8), and reduction in violence (SDG 16). The findings show that family-focused interventions are most often positively evaluated. This may reflect, to some degree, a publication bias towards significant results. This research also found complementarities and trade-offs between individual family policies aligned to specific SDGs.


■Novel soil restoration strategy: Development of plant parasitic nematodes repelling system using repellent derived from the cellular slime mould.

Saito Tamao
Professor
Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Materials and Life Sciences

【Abstract】
The cellular slime moulds live in the soil. Since many micro-organisms live in the soil, there are active interspecies chemical communications. It has long been expected that cellular slime moulds and nematodes would be closely related, as they live in the same soil and, share a common food source.
We found that the cellular slime moulds repel plant-parasitic nematodes. This repellent activity is due to the chemical compound(s) released from cellular slime moulds. We would like to find a way to use this repellent activity to protect crops from plant-parasitic nematodes, which are difficult to control, and thus we hope to establish a method of plant-parasitic nematodes control that has a low environmental impact.

【Future prospects】
We would like to develop a novel soil restoration technology based on a nematode repellent system. At present, nematodes in the soil are killed by toxic pesticides, but the damage of crops caused by the explosive growth of the remaining nematodes in the soil is repeated. Therefore, we would like to develop a novel technology to reduce the density of plant-parasitic nematodes by continuously suppressing nematode infection in crops. This reduces the use of pesticides and improves the condition of the soil.


■Physiological psychology on brain mechanisms of memory

Takashi OKADA
Professor
Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Psycology

【Abstract】
The hippocampus is regarded as one of the essential brain regions for memory function. We examined factors and processes that regulate long-term potentiation (LTP) in hippocampal synaptic transmission, and mechanisms of circadian rhythm in memory performance. Electrophysiological experiments using rodent hippocampal slice preparations and behavioral experiments using animals revealed that (1) Kv7/M potassium ion channels are involved in acetylcholine receptor activation-induced promotion of hippocampal CA1 LTP, (2) inhibition of CA1 LTP in the presence of pineal hormone melatonin is via the postsynaptic NO signaling pathway, and (3) circadian variation of spatial memory performance depends on the melatonin level.

【Future prospects】
We propose that the elucidation of memory function in physiological psychology facilitates the understanding of essential mental processes in human adaptative behaviors and will lead to the development of effective support for memory disorders.


■Diversity Channel Project

Takaoka Eiko
Professor
Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Information and Communication Sciences

Webサイトのイメージ

【Abstract】
Can we be happy in a world that does not accept diversity? With this in mind, we have come together to develop a portal site called "Diversity Channel" to help people with foreign roots work safely and healthily in Japan.
The language barrier is a major problem when people with foreign roots visit medical institutions in Japan. In addition, there is a big communication barrier when working. In order to solve these problems, we are developing tools to support the dissemination of information and the improvement of knowledge and skills of foreign caregivers and nurses so that people with foreign roots can access medical care with peace of mind.
In addition, while their communication skills in Japanese are inadequate, they have to cope with the dialect spoken by the elderly and are having trouble understanding the dialect. In order to solve this problem, we have developed a dialect dictionary application for Okinawa and Wakayama and are releasing it on a trial basis on the Diversity Channel.

研究イメージ

【Future prospects】
Anyone can view the published information on our website, and we would like to spread the information to medical and nursing facilities in Japan. We have extended the dialect dictionary application for Okinawa and Wakayama, and improved it into an application specialized for medical and nursing care. We will conduct a demonstration experiment and aim to put it to practical use. We would also like to try to create dialect dictionary apps for other regions as well. We want to provide a safe and secure working environment for foreign workers so that they do not have to suffer from language barriers that prevent them from receiving the full range of medical and nursing services that they are entitled to.

We hope that we can contribute in some small way to a society that respects multiple languages and is open to different languages and cultures. 
 
https://www.diversity-channel.info/


■Medical Inclusion Project

Takaoka Eiko
Professor
Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Information and Communication Sciences

【Abstract】
Multilingual support in hospitals: In reality, both patients and medical institutions need interpreters, but the current situation is different and causes a lot of stress to both parties. The tool we are developing in our research is a tool to relieve such stress. Depending on the contents, it currently supports English, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Nepali, Thai, Tagalog, and Indonesian.

If a patient is suspected of having Covit-19 or any other infectious disease, it would be helpful if the patient's smartphone or other device could be used to conduct a medical interview and send the results via email instead of paper to prevent transmission to others.
The same is true for medical questionnaires for each department. It can also be easily used when a doctor wants to interview a patient directly in the examination room of a clinic.
It is based on the multilingual explanatory materials for foreigners provided free by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, so you can rest assured.
Think about what happens when you don't understand the language when you have a test at the hospital. They will explain to you in your native language about the machine you will see for the first time and what you will be doing. Also, if you are in a machine such as a CT or MRI, the device cannot be held by the patient, and if the technician is giving instructions from outside the room, it would take a long time to carry the device back and forth each time, so audio output is also available. You can have your exam in a foreign country with ease.

Whenever you undergo a blood transfusion or surgery at a hospital, you need to sign a consent form. It can be difficult to read the intentions of a consent form written in a foreign language. This is especially true when you are not feeling well. With this tool, you can read the consent form in your native language, so you can sign it with peace of mind. You can even say no. You can also read the instructions in your native language.


【Future prospects】
The key factor is how to communicate the existence of such information to the people (facilities) who need it. We will continue to explore this issue. We hope that we can contribute in some small way to prevent people with foreign roots from being unable to receive the medical care they deserve due to the language barrier.

https://www.medical-inclusion.academy/


■Multicultural education for the dominant group in a diverse society: Multiple perspectives

Mitsuyo Sakamoto, Professor, Faculty of Foreign Studies, Department of English Studies
Miki Sugimura, Professor, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Education
Makiko Deguchi, Professor, Faculty of Foreign Studies, Department of English Studies
Megumi Shibuya, Professor, Faculty of Psychology, Department of Education and Child Development, Meiji Gakuin University
Sachie Miyazaki, Professor, Department of English Language, Sophia University Junior College Division
Rika Tamura,Professor, Faculty of Foreign Studies, Department of Luso-Brazilian Studies

【Abstract】
Respect towards diversity and how it is understood by the members of dominant groups is the theme of this study, exploring diversity and fairness advocated in SDGs, within the context of Japanese society. Traditional multicultural education research in North America and Europe has largely imposed changes be made on the part of minorities for acculturation. This study questions and challenges this, believing that true multiculturalism will be realized not by enforcing changes only on the oppressed, but also by changing the consciousness and attitudes of the majority.

Specifically, we developed Japanese Privilege Scale (JPS), which measures the level of presence of privilege on the part of the Japanese (defined as the racially and ethnically dominant group in Japan, and documented details pertaining to its development. In addition, a case study that actually used JPS (providing a micro perspective), as well as macro studies that explored multiculturalism, globalism and diversity from socio-political perspectives, are also included in our forthcoming volume, Rethinking Diversity: Multicultural Education for the Majority which is scheduled to be released from Sophia University Press in December 2021. In celebrating its publication, a symposium, co-hosted with Sophia University Research Institute for Languages and Information (SOLIFIC), will be held on Saturday, December 18, 2021 with Dr. Ryuko Kubota of the University of British Columbia as our plenary speaker.

【Future prospects】
By developing the Japanese Privilege Scale (JPS), we hoped to contribute to the development of similar questionnaires in the future for other domains of privilege. The new Immigration Control Act was enacted in December 2018, and a new residence status called "specified skills" came into effect in April 2019. As a result, many people have begun to come to Japan from abroad for the purpose of permanent residency. In response to this situation, realizing a multicultural society has become an urgent issue in Japan, yet it is difficult to say to what extent the Japanese people really understand what this entails in actualizing a multicultural society and engaging with diversity. Creating a cohesive community with people who do not speak Japanese and are not familiar with Japanese culture can create a number of challenges that we have never encountered before. We wish to address these issues and suggest possible approaches in dealing with them.


■Foreign language departments words drama festival

Word drama festival executive committee, that is extracurricular activities group takes this event, and it is mediator and sends the cause of instruction of department teacher, everyday learning result outside on-campus including advisor and performs for the purpose of having not only we plan improvement of linguistic ability and communicative competence of student, but also high school student and general people interest in importance of communication with language and culture, people and people in foreign countries. Friend, family, teacher, graduate student, graduate, high school student of student, a large number of people including staff of embassy came for theatergoing this year.

https://ocw.cc.sophia.ac.jp.e.dc.hp.transer.com/lecture/20191207highschool/


■⟨⟨ Inter-University Exchange Project ⟩⟩ Collaborative Online International Leaning Programs toward Human Security and Multicultural Coexistence: COIL

COIL stands for Collaborative Online International Learning. COIL is a new pedagogical approach that will allow Sophia University students in Japan to connect and learn with students at institutions abroad using ICT tools like Zoom, Google Classroom, Facebook, etc.
Three universities from Japan, Sophia University, Ochanomizu University, and University of Shizuoka, and ten institutions from U.S. participate to (1) provide globally connected educational opportunities, (2) enhance multi-faceted student mobility programs, which incorporate resources from partner institutions and local societies, and (3) contribute toward elimination of educational inequality through COIL for students in developing countries. It is worth nothing that all three universities began COIL initiatives in areas they have particular strengths, i.e., International Education for Sophia, Advanced Japanese education for Ochanomizu, and International Nursing for Shizuoka.

https://www.sophia.ac.jp/eng/global/coil.html


■Studies of Claude Cahun (photographer, writer)

Nagai Atsuko
Professor
Faculty of Humanities, Department of French Literature

【Abstract】
Claude Cahun (Nantes, France, 1894 - Jersey, England, 1954), photographer and writer, came from a wealthy Jewish family of Nantes, and had a female artist as her lifelong partner. Cahun’s body of work was an attempt to be liberated from the moral and material restrictions imposed by her family, her education, and the social mores of her time. From an analysis of her photographs (self-portraits and collages) and writings (short stories and essays) a variety of perspectives emerge with relevance for today’s gender and feminism studies.
To understand the impact of her efforts to express her self-understanding and be freed from the pressures of gender norms through an ambiguous femininity, I explore the historical and philosophical significance of her art in the context of the views of sociologists and sexologists of her time, as well as the views (some hostile, some sympathetic) of her contemporary surrealist artists.

【Future prospects】
Gender is not only a private but also a public issue. It is in this context, the public aspect of her work, that I analyze English cultural and social representations which appear frequently in the photographs and writings of Cahun. For example, in a series of self-portraits she mocks the appropriation of sport by the English state for nationalistic and militaristic reasons by replacing the masculine image with an image of her exaggerated femininity. Another example of Cahun’s engagement on a public level is when she wrote about the absurdity of the criminalization (1918) of the London performance of Oscar Wild’s Salomé. Thus to fully understand the public aspect of Cahun’s work, as well as the private, we have to understand the social and cultural meanings of these English issues, and how she used them to be liberated from gender’s pressures.

-Atsuko Nagaï, Claude Cahun (published in Japanese), Tokyo, Suiseisha, 2010, 275p.
-Atsuko Nagaï, «Claude Cahun’s self portraits -small photographs-» (published in Japanese), Masanori Tsukamoto, Shashin to bungaku, Tokyo, Heibonsha, 2013, p.177-192.
-Atsuko Nagaï, «Claude Cahun and England» (published in Japanese), Chika Amano, Kindai no soukoku, 3. Paris II, Chikurinsha, 2015, p.327-345.


■⟨⟨ Sophia Research Branding Project ⟩⟩ Trans-disciplinary and Trans-national Research Program for Achieving Regional Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through River Basin Environment Conservation and Management

Different from conventional research activities that are often disciplinary-specific, this project is characterized as being trans-disciplinary and is an integrative research initiative under the strong leadership of the president of Sophia University.

It is designed to develop a top world-class research platform at Sophia University which partners with other prestigious research institutions around the world for conducting advanced research on sustainable development via integrated river basin study. The primary focus is to establish a next generation framework of river basin governance with new concepts and to develop new guidelines of river basin management accordingly. The ultimate goal is to contribute to achieving SDGs at watershed scale.

Project features include probing into environmental problems from both macro and micro perspectives, dealing with both engineering and regulatory aspects, targeting both wet and dry regions, exploring solutions for both disaster reduction and ecosystem conservation, combining economic development with environmental ethics, having research fields in both developed and developing countries.

https://dept.sophia.ac.jp/is/risgenv/en/report/


■Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies

The school was established in 2005 to focus specifically on the environmental problems that constitute one of the greatest challenges we face today. The curriculum combines social and natural sciences, in recognition of the fact that effective environmental study spans a number of scholastic discipline, including law, policy, administration, economics, population, energy, and chemistry.

The school is devoted to create graduates equipped to serve effectively as business persons, specialists, or scholars in the area of environmental protection.

https://www.genv.sophia.ac.jp/english/


■Sustainable water resources management

Sugiura Mikiko
Associate Professor
Center for Global Education and Discovery

【Abstract】
Various possibilities for realizing a sustainable future are examined through an interdisciplinary approach to using (mainly) river water in the Asian monsoon region with its high temperature and high rainfall, focusing on the knowledge of river management and agricultural water use. Particularly, considering the global shift from anthropocentrism to nature-centrism, I am investigating and analyzing how the relationship between humans and water (nature) has changed and will change from the three perspectives; Satoyama, Kasumi-tei (open levee as one of the nature-based solutions), and water rights system.
Besides the trans-disciplinary research in collaboration with the researchers acquainted through MIRAI (Face I: 2017-2019), I was fortunate enough to further develop the study of Satoyama through my relationship with the University of Portland, with whom I collaborated on the COIL project. I am very grateful for the opportunity to expand the collaboration with inside and overseas universities through our research and education platform.

【Future prospects】
We want to disseminate the results of our joint research by holding the Sophia Symposium and other means.


■Environmental Economics

Tsuge Takahiro
Professor
Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies,
Master's (Doctoral) Program in Global Environmental Studies

【Course description】
Lectures on economic approaches to environmental issues will be provided. In this class, an explanation will be given on economic instruments of environmental policy, which is a policy tool to reduce environmental burden by utilizing market mechanisms. After explanation on market efficiency, market failures due to externalities, internalization of externalities, economic approaches to climate change, waste issues, biodiversity conservation, and resources and energy issues are covered.


■Economic Valuation of the Natural Environment

Tsuge Takahiro
Professor
Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies,
Master's (Doctoral) Program in Global Environmental Studies

【Course description】
In this class, the environmental valuation methods, those are methods for evaluating the economic value of the environment, are explained using the economic valuation of the natural environment as examples. In addition, students will learn concrete analysis procedures through practical training using a personal computer. Active learning such as group work will be conducted while focusing on lectures. Feedback will be provided to the reaction paper.


■Development of a carbon-free engine using ammonia as a fuel

Suzuki Takashi, Professor
Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Ichiyanagi Mitsuhisa, Associate Professor
Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Engineering and Applied Sciences

【Abstract】
The purpose of this project is to develop engines that do not emit carbon dioxide (CO2) as a way to help reduce the environmental impact and energy policy set forth in the SDGs. Ammonia (NH3) plays an important role as one of the basic raw materials for making a wide variety of chemical products around us, and is widely used in home appliances, construction materials, medical supplies, etc., as well as nylon and automobile parts. In recent years, ammonia has been attracting attention as a storage and transportation medium (energy carrier) for hydrogen energy, which is used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. On the other hand, since ammonia is a carbon-free fuel that does not emit carbon dioxide when burned, there is an urgent need to develop ammonia engines. However, ammonia is difficult to burn because of its low combustion performance (high ignition temperature, narrow flame holding range, slow combustion speed), nitrogen oxide emissions, and corrosiveness, therefore research is being conducted from the aspects of thermal engineering, environmental chemistry, materials science, and precision engineering. We have developed a prototype engine with a high compression ratio equipped with a sub-combustion chamber, glow plugs, and spark plugs, and are conducting demonstration tests to ensure environmental performance and reliability.

【Future prospects】
Japan currently relies on fossil fuels for 93% of its primary energy supply, and in order to achieve an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050, Japan will need to import large quantities of hydrogen and ammonia from overseas. In order to achieve an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050, we need to import large amounts of hydrogen and ammonia from overseas, and we believe that the technology to burn the imported ammonia has great social significance and ripple effects. For example, by combining a carbon-free engine with a power generation device, we expect to develop a small-scale power generation system. In addition, ammonia, which liquefies easily at 8.5 atmospheres at room temperature, is easy to transport and manage, and is expected to be used in power generation projects in developing countries and for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.


■Research on Perovskite Solar Cells

Takeoka Yuko
Professor
Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Materials and Life Sciences

【Abstract】
The growing urgency of environmental and energy problems has drawn attention to fossil fuel replacing energy sources including high hopes for solar cell technology. Current installations primarily use expensive silicon-based solar cells, generating interest in inexpensive and highly stable alternatives. Over the past ten years perovskite solar cells have rapidly improved achieving a maximum power conversion efficiency (PCE) of over 25% and cheaper production as high quality manufacturing has become more convenient making perovskite solar cells a strong contender for the next generation of solar cells. In terms of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, higher power generation rates and reduced costs contribute to Goal Number 7 (“Affordable and Clean Energy”) and the carbon emission impact of the technology contributes to Goal Number 13 (“Climate Action”). In this research we seek to improve the reliability and safety of perovskite solar cells through studying designs and compositions of various perovskite compounds.

【Future prospects】
As power generation efficiency improves, practical applications will increase for perovskite solar cells. Perovskite solar cells can be fabricated on flexible substrate and have a broad array of use cases. Issues that remain to be solved include low stability and their lead content. Overcoming these obstacles will result in a wider market for perovskite solar cells. In addition to solar cells, the photoluminescent characteristics of perovskite shows promise in optical applications.


■Research on Biodegradable Polymers

Takeoka Yuko
Professor
Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Materials and Life Sciences

【Abstract】
Despite the importance of polymers in our daily lives, micro-plastics formed through their release to natural environments are one undeniable cause of environmental degradation. This has caused rising interest in “biodegradable polymers” that can decompose in soil or in vivo and may be synthesized from plant or vegetable-derived raw materials and thus create a lower environmental impact. However, biodegradable polymers lack sufficient mechanical and functional characteristics preventing replacement of conventional non-biodegradable polymers. We applied functional properties including flexibility, shape memory, and biocompatibility to biodegradable polymers, developing materials that can contribute to Goal Number 14 (“Life Below Water”) and Goal Number 15 (“Life On Land”) of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

【Future prospects】
Imparting functional properties to biodegradable polymers enables replacement in current non-degradable polymer applications. This helps achieve Sustainable Development Goal Number 9 (“Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure”). Biodegradable polymers enhanced with self-repairing properties can extend the service life of the polymers, further reducing their environmental burden.


■A Study on Building Brand Trust Through Visual Communication

Togawa Taku
Associate Professor
Faculty of Economics, Department of Management

【Abstract】
To implement sustainable marketing strategies, firms have increasingly emphasized building brand trust with consumers. Previous studies suggest that brand trust is engendered not only by corporate efforts focusing on fairness and transparency but also by effective communication of the trustworthiness of their brand. This study focuses on the role of visual marketing communication through logos, packaging, and advertising, and examines how they affect consumer perceptions of brand trustworthiness.

【Future prospects】
This study aims to explore effective marketing communications to garner brand trustworthiness. Specifically, the study provides researchers and marketing managers with beneficial implications by examining the effects of visual elements on consumer perceptions of brand trustworthiness and identifying a boundary condition and underlying mechanism of these effects.


■Environment and Sustainable Lifestyles

Hirao Keiko
Professor
Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies,
Master's (Doctoral) Program in Global Environmental Studies

【Course description】
The goal of this course is to raise sensitivities for the interdependence of ecosystems, economic systems, and social systems. Particular focus is given to the concept of social sustainability, which refers to processes that generate social health and wellbeing as well as the institutions that facilitate environmental and economic sustainability now and for the future. Based on the reading materials listed in this syllabus, we will work together to clarify and develop our joint understanding of the concept of social sustainability by surveying possible definitions and measurements of social sustainability; investigating the relationship between social sustainability and other aspects of sustainability. Specific topics to be explored may include: the natural and social scientific principles and theories underlying sustainability; the different and often conflicting perspectives of “sustainable development; the discourse on what is to be sustained; how to quantify the impacts of lifestyle choices on the environment and resource use; and philosophical and practical approaches for achieving sustainable lifestyles and socio-ecological systems.


■Green infrastructure Research

Tsuge Takahiro
Professor
Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies,
Master's (Doctoral) Program in Global Environmental Studies

【Abstract】
As the number of natural disasters such as floods and landslides increases with the progress of climate change, it is becoming more and more important to develop infrastructure for disaster prevention and mitigation. Against this backdrop, green infrastructure, which utilize the functions of nature to cope with such disasters, has been attracting attention. Green infrastructure not only has a smaller impact on ecosystems and landscapes than artificial infrastructure (gray infrastructure) such as dams, but is often less expensive to build and to maintain in the future. I study the cost-effectiveness of the so-called "ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction: Eco-DRR" that utilizes green infrastructure from an economic perspective.

【Future prospects】
My research focuses on flood control using forests and retarding basin against river flooding caused by heavy rainfall due to climate change. I plan to expand my research to include green infrastructure against a wider range of natural disasters.


■CELL BIOTECHNOLOGY

Saito Tamao
Professor
Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Materials and Life Sciences

【Course description】
Despite of a simple structure of the genome and the cell, micro-organisms have a variety of metabolic processes. In this course students will learn about ecology of micro-organisms and their molecular level environmental adaptation system. The course covers the fundamentals and applications of various cellular processes such as metabolism and the ability to produce substances useful for environmental management and human life. This course is a special subject of the department related to "Creation of High-Performance Materials", and students will learn more applied and developed contents.


■Global Forest Conservation Policy

Shingo Shibata
Professor
Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies,
Master's (Doctoral) Program in Global Environmental Studies

【Course description】
Students will be guided to understand an overall picture of complex global forest and natural resource conservation issues at local, national, regional and global level, including comparative historical policy reviews, and analyses of various policy measures taken such as ecosystem-based management approach, participatory/collaborative management/planning and trade-off analysis, PES/REDD+.
Student is required to select a specific case study of their interest, and conduct an oral presentation at the last class, and submit a written report, in addition to regular (group) readings, presentations and reaction papers. Guest lectures/field visits/attendance of out of campus semiars may be arranged.


■Environmental Resource Management Policy

Shingo Shibata
Professor
Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies,
Master's (Doctoral) Program in Global Environmental Studies

【Course description】
Under the covid-19 pandemic, the world is moving faster toward SDGs and decarbonized society, and challenges toward protecting biodiversity and natural capital values continues.
In this course, students can learn broad environmental policies and environmental resource management policies, theories and practices toward building sustainable society. At this semester, each students will select their favorite topic such as “SDGs/Sustainability”, “Participation and collaboration”, “Payment for Environmental Services (PES)” , “Recycling/Plastics problems”, “Renewable Energy”, etc., and conduct a group work and individual case study.
Guest lectures may be arranged on a specific subject. For students who attend through zoom, zoom ID can be obtained at Loyola.


■Peace studies

【Course description】
Peace studies is an “interdisciplinary research and education on the causes of war and conditions of amity,” and what I personally refer to as peace studies is conducted particularly from the standpoint of Christianity on the basis of God’s creation and redemption.

The peace aimed at here is not just “negative peace,” which refers to a state without warfare or discord, but also “positive peace,” which refers to a state wherein structural violence such as poverty, oppression, and discrimination have been eradicated. Structural violence is built into the social, cultural and economic institutions. In the Bible, peace is signified by the Hebrew word “shalom,” which is derived from the word meaning “complete,” and it represents peace in a comprehensive sense. Shalom is a state of life that requires nothing, and it the fulfillment of life in the existence of the living God, the love of human beings for each other, and the fullness of life in the community of all creatures. It is something completely intact. Consequently, the goal of peace studies broadly covers the goals of the SDGs.

Here we will develop an ability to analyze the world situation, and we will develop also a sensitivity towards concord, via the use of textbooks and audiovisual material.


■God, Man and the World: Philosophical and Theological Dialogues on Sustainable Development

Maria Manzon
Associate Professor
Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Education

【Course description】
“Sustainability” and “Sustainable Development” have become fashionable terms. In 2015, the United Nations had set 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with ambitious targets to transform the world. Yet, what does “development” mean, why is its sustainability important, and since when has it been important? What lights can philosophy and theology shed on a deeper understanding of sustainable development?

This English-medium course combines theoretical and practical approaches. The first part of the course will examine worldviews comparatively from philosophy and theology to broaden and deepen our conceptual understanding of “sustainable development”. We will explore the nature of God, man and the world and how their interrelationships illuminate the pursuit of sustainable futures for integral human and cosmic development.

The second part will focus on specific global issues related to the environment, economy, social equity, lifestyle and well-being, and world peace. We will examine case studies and reports of individuals, international organizations, NGOs, and/or corporations engaged in achieving sustainable development. Students are expected to apply the interdisciplinary perspectives learned in the course to critically analyse and engage with these issues.


■Comparative Education in Asia: Cultures, Histories, and Futures

Maria Manzon
Associate Professor
Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Education

【Course description】
Education systems in Asia have become sources of inspiration for education improvements in other parts of the world. Comparative education, however, cautions against the indiscriminate international transfer of educational best practices. This course therefore examines the “soul” and native ethos of Asian educational systems and traditions taking a historical, philosophical and cultural approach.

Asia is home to six major civilizations: Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Japanese and Sinic. We will explore educational systems in these different cultural traditions – both past and present forms – and seek to establish a dialogue among them. What are their key features and how are they similar or different from each other? How do they view the relationship between society, knowledge, and the human person? What lessons can we learn from these diverse educational systems? How can education contribute to sustainable futures in these societies?