The Institute for the Studies of the Global Environment was established in 1994 as a research center for environmental law within the law faculty of Sophia University. In 1999 it was expanded to be a research organization affiliated with the university.
The goal of the Institute is to conduct comprehensive studies on environmental issues from both natural and social science perspectives. In addition to research, activities have included the provision of environmental education to all undergraduate students of Sophia University through an initiative sponsored by the Mitsubishi Corporation.
In 2016 the institute entered a new phase with the commencement of the first Sophia Research Branding Project, funded by the Ministry of Education, Japan. This research project, entitled Trans-disciplinary and Trans-national Research Program for Achieving Regional Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through River Basin Environment Conservation and Management, is characterized as being trans-disciplinary, trans-national and trans-cultural. The primary areas of focus are the establishment of a next-generation framework of integrated river basin governance utilizing new concepts, and the development of new integrated river basin management guidelines. The ultimate goal is to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs at the watershed scale.
A fundamental concept for the Institute is the progression from undertaking inter-disciplinary research to trans-disciplinary research. This will enable us to deepen our understanding of nature and help us better contribute to the well-being of both humanity and the Earth.
Our institute aims to contribute to the progress of humanity at the global scale, beyond national and local societies, by studying modern environmental problems from interdisciplinary and multifaceted perspectives.
To help achieve this aim, the work of the Institute includes the following:
（１） Academic research and investigation of global environmental problems
（２） Support for educational activities at our university
（３） Holding workshops, symposiums and lectures, etc.
（４） Collecting and organizing books and materials, etc.
（５） Collaboration and cooperation with related organizations, both domestically and internationally
（６） Commissioned research from external institutions
（７） Promotion of collaborative research projects with external institutions
In April 1999, the Research Center for Legal Studies of the Global Environment (which had previously been established within the Faculty of Law) was expanded to become the Institute for Studies of the Global Environment. This new Institute was relocated to the 4th floor of Building No. 11, with Prof. Akio Morishima serving as the first Director until March 2000. Prof. Morishima was succeeded by Prof. Takashi Okamura who served as Director until March 2002.
In April 2001, the General Studies Courses “The Environment and ScienceⅠ, Ⅱ” and “Environmental Studies Ⅰ, Ⅱ” were offered to all undergraduate students of Sophia University through an initiative sponsored by the Mitsubishi Corporation. In May 2001, the international symposium entitled the Global Environment Forum was held in collaboration with the Delegation of the European Union to Japan, and was subsequently held every year until 2007.
2002 saw the publication of Comparative Study on Environment and Development in Asia Region – in Progress of IT Development and Globalization in collaboration with the Science Research Promotion Fund of the Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan.
In April of the same year Prof. Kohichi Segawa became the third director of the Institute, serving in the role until March 2007.
The Institute moved to its current home on the 4th floor of the Central Library, with all collections donated to the library, in June 2005.
From April 2007 until 2009, the Institute implemented the Towards Global Environmental Literacy: Education for Sustainable Development project, supported the University Reform Promotion Subsidy of MEXT [Support Program for Contemporary Educational Needs (Gendai GP), Promotion of Environmental Education Leading to a Sustainable Society].
In April 2007 Prof. Hiroshi Kitou became the fourth director of the Institute. Prof. Kitou was succeeded by Prof. Kuninori Otsubo in April 2012, who served as the fifth director until March 2016. Since that time, Prof. Guangwei Huang has held the post of Director.
January 2017 saw the Institute initiate the project Trans-disciplinary and Trans-national Research Program for Achieving Regional Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through River Basin Environment Conservation and Management, following selection of the Institute to receive funding through the Private University Research Branding Project (Type B: world expansion) of MEXT. This project remains ongoing.
Takahiro Tsuge / Professor – Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies
Xuepeng Qian / Professor – Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies
・urban environmental planning, environmental and social system analysis, industrial ecology, sustainability science
Shinkoh Nanbu / Professor – Department of Materials and Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology
・Basic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry
Tamao Saito / Professor – Department of Materials and Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology
Ikuko Yairi/ Professor – Department of Information and Communication Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology
Yoshikazu Kikawada / Professor – Department of Materials and Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology
・Geochemistry / Cosmochemistry, Environmental Dynamics Analysis, Analytical Chemistry, Natural Disaster Science
Kazuo Takahashi / Professor – Department of Materials and Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology
・Combustion Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry
Toshihiro Nakaoka / Professor – Department of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology
Satoshi Horikoshi / Professor – Department of Materials and Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology
・Environmental Technology, Green Chemistry, Photocatalysis
Masafumi Miyatake / Professor – Department of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology
・Power Engineering, Electric Machinery, Control Engineering, System Engineering
Tsuyoshi Yagai / Professor – Department of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology
・Superconducting Low Carbon, Power System Applications
DZIEMINSKA Edyta / Associate Professor – Department of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology
・Rotating detonation engine
・Morphing Wing Design
CAO Wenjing / Associate Professor – Department of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology
John Joseph Puthenkalam / Professor – Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics
・Development Economics, Economic Growth, Sustainability
Guangwei Huang / Professor – Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies
・Watershed Science and Management
Masachika Suzuki / Professor – Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies
・Environmental Management, Corporate Environmental Strategy, Clean Energy Strategy
Yoshinari Tanaka / Professor – Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies
・Ecology, Environmental Toxicology
Anne McDonald / Professor – Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies
・Environmental History, Global Environmental Policy
Akemi Ori / Professor – Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies
Sumiko Anno / Professor – Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies
・Environmental Health, Public Health
Yoshinori Nakagawa / Professor – Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies
・Qualitative research, Participatory visioning, Future Design
Haemi Park / Assiatant Professor – Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies
・Terrestrial Ecology, Environmental Remote Sensing
Takeshi Ito / Professor – Department of Liberal Arts, Faculty of Liberal Arts
How Thailand’s and Japan’s Water Security Teleconnect: Rethinking and Politicizing Virtual Water Through a Hydrosocial Lens
This research in collaboration with Carl Middleton (Chulalongkorn University) aims to explore how global/regional economic integration increases interdependence not only economically but also environmentally through a lens of water security. It demonstrates the Chao Phraya basin in Thailand and the Tone river basin in Japan as two teleconnected hydrosocial territories, and argues for holistic water security policy that ensures access to water for all without compromising environmental integrity in both countries. It demonstrates our conceptual approach of teleconnected water securities between Japan and Thailand by detailing how over the last 40 years aid, trade and investment from Japan have led to enclosure of Chao Phraya in Thailand for industrialization and agricultural intensification and a significant net virtual water flow has occurred from Thailand to Japan. As a result, the production of water scarcity in Thailand has reduced pressures on water shortage and water quality in Japan.
Takehiro Watanabe/ Associate Professor – Department of Liberal Arts, Faculty of Liberal Arts
Hideki Maruyama / Professor – Department of Global Studies, Faculty of Global Studies
Mikiko Sugiura / Professor – Center for Global Discovery
・Water resource management, Agriculture, Water and Society, International cooperation
– Importance of Watarase Retarding Basin from the viewpoints of social science and water sustainability: PAWEE* and INWEPF** International Conference in Nara (2018) coming soon.
*The International Society of Paddy and Water Environment Engineering
**The International Network for Water and Ecosystem in Paddy Fields
– Watarase-Yusuichi as Integrated River Basin Management: International Symposium on Ecohydraulics 2018, Tokyo (2018).
– The Process of Integrated River Basin Management Examined from Viewpoints of Basin Concepts, Water, Land and Environmental Engineering. Vol.86, No.4, pp.307-310, (2018).
– Study on Novelty and Peculiarity of the Water Right for Biodiversity Conservation in Japan: From the perspective of low flow management, Irrigation, Drainage and Rural Engineering Journal, Vol.85, No.1, p.1_23-1_28, (2017).
Yuka Mizutani/ Professor – Center for Global Education and Discovery
・Culture and environment
Keiichi Chikushi / Professor – Department of Legal Studies of the Global Environment, Faculty of Law
・Administrative Law, Environmental Law
Yushin Kuwahara / Professor – Department of Legal Studies of the Global Environment, Faculty of Law
Kimiyo Ogawa / Professor – Department of English Studies, Faculty of Foreign Studies
Takashi Asaeda/ Emeritus Professor – Saitama University
Masahito Enomoto/ Ph.D.(Environmental Studies) / Senior Advisor for International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
・Development studies (hunger/ malnutrition, capability approach), agriculture and environment, ESG investment and well-being,
・Former MAFF’s DDG of Policy Research Institute, Director of Environmental Policy Division etc., Vice President of JICA