Haenicke Institute
for Global Education

1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, Michigan
49008-5245 USA
Phone (269) 387-5890
(269) 387-0630

Email the Haenicke Institute

2425 Ellsworth Hall
WMU Mail Stop 5245

Michitoshi Soga Japan Center

Building Bridges and Creating Opportunities

Mission Statement:

The Soga Japan Center at Western Michigan University commits itself to making fundamental advances in our knowledge of Japanese history, culture, business, science and technology. In so doing, it serves as a generative force in international education.

  1. Promote and disseminate faculty and student research on Japan.
  2. Stimulate creative curricular development, as well as extra-curricular activities that enrich student and area residents’ understanding of Japan.
  3. Support students pursuing Japanese Studies, those interested in study in Japan, and recruitment of students from Japan.
  4. Serve as the nexus between WMU and the Japan-related business, arts and civic communities in western Michigan.
  5. Facilitate ties between WMU, the Kalamazoo community, and our partner institutions and alumni groups in Japan.
  6. Collaborate with faculty and university administration to put in place effective and efficient learning experiences, instructional strategies and scholarly inquiries.


  • Work with academic units to establish and institutionalize Japanese Studies at all levels, with an emphasis on Japanese language and culture at WMU.
  • Work to build accessible resources on Japan including literature and audio-visual, and industry and government documents.
  • Work with the Diether H. Haenicke Institute for Global Education to facilitate sustainable Japan-U.S. cross-cultural education in both countries through study abroad, exchanges involving students, faculty, and staff, and collaborative research projects.
  • Cooperate with the Office of University Advancement and the Office of Alumni Relations on all activities that will promote the Mission Statement and Objectives of the Soga Japan Center.
  • Organize and/or coordinate activities such as lectures, film series, and cultural events to inform and educate the campus and area communities about Japan.
  • Reach out to the Kalamazoo community, its immediate region, including school systems, and the State of Michigan, through a variety of activities enlightening citizens about Japan in particular, but also about how Japan-U.S. interests are relevant to the global interconnectedness that is crucial to the economy and security of Michigan, the United States, and Japan.
  • Cooperate with all organizations, educational, civic, economic and social in activities that will contribute to the achievement of the objectives and Mission of Soga Japan Center.

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