The Institute was established in April 1982, based on the principles of Christian Humanism and Sophia University’s pioneering role in promoting East-West cultural exchange. Its mission is to promote research on Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East. Since 2014, the region of Sub-Saharan Africa has also been included as a research area, as well as East Asia since 2019. The administration and decision-making body of the Institute is composed of a committee, and decisions are taken at the Institute meeting.
The Institute undertakes multidisciplinary study of Asia, the Middle East and Africa, using an area studies approach. Scholars associated with the institute undertake research on the regions’ traditional culture, history, religions and everyday life style. On the basis of such knowledge, they also study modern socio-cultural phenomena as well as political and economic problems. Through this research the Institute seeks to build research with a global consciousness across multiple fields and eras, and thereby to contribute to mutual understanding in international society.
The Institute makes contributions to society by stressing the following four fields of studies in Asia, the Middle East and Africa using the results for education at Sophia University, and sponsoring symposia, lectures, and workshops.
- Comparative Study on Globalization in Asia, the Middle East and Africa
- Study on Cultural Heritage
- Comparative Study on the Historical Development and Nationalism in Asia, the Middle East and Africa
- Research on Inter-religious Dialogue and Peace Building