The Japan Center was created in its current structure by the fusion of two preexisting institutions (the Department of Japanese Studies within the Institute for East Asian Studies and the previous Japanese Center in 2002. It is part of the Faculty of Cultural Studies (Faculty 12).
The Japan Center coordinates research and instruction on Japanese literature, history, culture, religion, philosophy, society, politics, and economy within the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, working closely together with the related institutions, including the Interfaculty Program for the Study of Religion, the Zentrum für Buddhismus-Forschung (ZBF/ Center for Research on Buddhism), the doctoral program in Buddhist Studies, and an interdisciplinary working group on the history and politics of East and Southeast Asia. The Japan Center is integrated into a national and international network for research in the field, facilitating contacts and cooperation between scholars at the LMU and their colleagues at universities in Japan.
The center advises and teaches those studying for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees with majors in Japanese studies as well as students in business and economics who have chosen the elective “Japanese Economy and Society.” In addition, Japanese language courses are available every semester for both beginners and advanced students from all departments including non-related fields. The center also hosts regular public seminars, lectures, and informative events in cooperation with German, Japanese, and other international institutions to promote the spread of knowledge of Japanese business, politics, and culture.