KAKEHASHI Project: University of Toronto Students visit with Prof. Nobuyuki Sato, Vice President of the Japanese Association for Canadian Studies
Students socializing in the moot court room of the Chuo Law School
Professor Nobuyuki Sato welcoming University of Toronto
The KAKEHASHI Project is a youth exchange program under the auspices of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. KAKEHASHI exchanges are intended to raise mutual awareness among Japanese and North American young people, and Chuo students have been both guests and hosts in recent years.
Most recently, 14 undergraduate and graduate students from Canada visited Japan from February 18 to 25, 2018. These students, from the University of Toronto, Munk School of Global Affairs, Centre for the Study of Global Japan, were chosen from applicants interested in Japanese diplomacy, product technology, culture, and tourism, and during their trip were given opportunities to visit government agencies, universities, and corporations.
The Canadians spent time on February 19 at the Chuo Law School’s Ichigaya Campus sharing thoughts and observations with Chuo students, primarily 3rd year students from Professor Kimimasa Hata’s Civil Procedure seminar. The students also received a special lecture from Chuo Law School Professor Nobuyuki Sato.
Since Canadian students begin studying a major in their third year of university, they were particularly interested in the curricula of Japanese universities, such as when students start learning law. They also had questions about the everyday life of students in Japan, such as homework and part-time jobs. Students from both countries soon got into a lively conversation about various topics, including sightseeing in Japan, and enjoyed friendly discussions in both English and Japanese.
In a lecture entitled “Introduction to Japanese Law and Society,” Professor Nobuyuki Sato, a specialist in British, U.S. and Canadian law, introduced issues of law in contemporary Japan and shared some of his experiences as vice president of the Japanese Association for Canadian Studies (President from April, 2018).
Prof. Sato explained various aspects of Japanese society and legal culture, including viewpoints on “individuals and groups,” “Shintoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism,” and “mass media groups.” He also explained that Japan’s legal system is a hybrid of civil law and common law, similar to the system of law in Canada, helping the students to better understand Japan and its legal traditions.