The Japan-Canada Academic Consortium Student Forum


Do you want to visit Japan over the reading week? Do you want to exchange your ideas with students from Canada and Japan? Are you interested in becoming an international leader? Then the annual JACAC Student Forum is for you! This year, the forum is held in Japan.

Successful applicants will be offered a return ticket to Japan and accommodation. Scholarships are also available through the JACAC program!

For more information, please visit

February 21 – March 1, 2023
Josai International University, Japan
More info
JACAC 2023 Poster


To Apply:

YorkU students should submit an application to by 4:59 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20.

Application documents include:

  • Completed online application form 
  • Original copy of academic transcript(s):
  • Statement of Intent; details include:
    • Comment on any experience working in a team
    • How will this program benefit you in your current academic program
    • 500 words maximum

Canada and Japan: Towards 100 years of diplomatic relations

The JACAC will be held for the last time in its current format in February 2023. For this final forum, we will be looking back at the history of relations between Canada and Japan, as well as looking forward to how the two countries can strengthen relations in the future. We have four academic sessions that will look at specific key themes such as societal changes, gender issues, aspects of volunteering and community involvement, and the environment. Each session will be composed of a lecture and a workshop where students will actively discuss and share ideas on these four broad themes. We are also pleased to offer a selection of cultural events, exchange activities and a tour of Tokyo.

February 23

Session 1: Looking ahead after 100 years of diplomatic relations: Societal Challenges in Canada and Japan

Professor Angel Figueroa

In this session, students will learn some key points in the history of Canada- Japan relations while investigating societal challenges relevant to both countries. Students participate by note-taking during two brief lectures, by discussions before and after the lectures, and by workshopping through collaborative tasks to consolidate the learning objectives of the session. Some required reading and advance preparation will be necessary. Topics to be covered and compared between both countries include approaches to immigration, issues affecting economy, and challenges related to climate change.

Session 2: Gender In/Equality and Political Participation

Professor Tricia Fermin

Political engagement is a crucial element in healthy democratic systems, particularly as a means of attaining and preserving equality. This session looks into how the social construction and performance of gender either promote or limit political engagement and, consequently, the rights and opportunities given to certain groups of people in a society. Comparing cases from Canada and Japan, students will examine ways women and minorities are marginalized in the political arena, as well as reflect on what can be done to better advocate equality among genders.


February 24

Session 1: Literature and Environment 1

Professor Koichi Haga

This session will help students understand the geological conditions of the Japanese archipelago in relation to the history of its cultural production and find out how Japanese literary writings sublimate the sudden encounter with natural disaster and people’s irresolvable emotion into their works. First, we are going to have an overview of the relationship between natural disasters, particularly earthquakes, and disaster literature. Then, some of the important literary works that depicted or imagined the Great East Japan Disaster will be examined, including a contemporary Canadian novel.

Session 2: Cultural Aspects of Volunteering

Professor Yuka Kawano and Professor Brett Collins

This session will help students understand culturally specific volunteer activities related to Canada and Japan. Students from both countries will share their knowledge and experience of volunteering and community involvement, and how service to others can help shape academic careers. Students will share types of activities (e.g., social actions, such as food bank work) specific to their country. Students will discuss how to identify social issues and possible solutions through volunteering. We hope that this exchange will further motivate students to continue their community involvement throughout their lives.



Before the start of the program and during the forum, participants will be working in groups and will be engaged in the following.

  1. Pre-course assignments to prepare for the academic sessions.
  2. Lectures and discussions
  3. Workshop activities
  4. Final group presentations at the Embassy of Canada in Tokyo
  5. Cultural events and exchange activities
  6. Tokyo Tour
  7. Final individual report

For more information

To apply for this forum, please contact your home university.

Click here to find out how to apply for the forum.

Prince Takamado Japan Centre for Teaching and Research
University of Alberta