The Japanese branch campus of Temple University, which is a highly rated state university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been growing as a unique international university in Japan. Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) moved to a new six-story building located on the campus of Showa Women’s University in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo this August. It deserves a high valuation that TUJ has now established the basic facilities as a new step to further promote its international education in Japan.
From the 1980s to the 1990s, many US universities tried to open their campuses in Japan, but due to various reasons, almost all of them left Japan. Probably, one of the main reasons for their withdrawal was the strict regulations by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) on accrediting the foundation of foreign universities’ campuses in Japan. TUJ, which was founded in 1982, has remained in Japan as one of the most qualified and capable foreign universities’ Japan campuses. I imagine that the managerial staff of TUJ have endured many hardships and made the best efforts to resolve various problems.
In 2005, TUJ was designated as the First Foreign University, Japan Campus by the MEXT. Under this designation, TUJ was entitled to many of the same rights that are afforded to universities accredited as academic juridical persons. Those rights are as follows: (1) TUJ graduates are qualified to enter graduate schools of Japanese universities; (2) in case TUJ students transfer to another university, their credits at TUJ are transferable; (3) TUJ students of 20 years of age or more are allowed the grace periods for payments of their contributions to the national pension; (4) TUJ students can buy a commuter pass at a student discount; and other rights favorable to TUJ. Indeed, all these rights pleased the managerial staff of TUJ, but as to whether the same preferential treatments in the tax system as those of Japanese universities can be applied to a Foreign University, Japan Campus, all the requirements by TUJ were not accepted by the Japanese government. TUJ requested the government to accredit the said preferential treatments concerning the corporate income tax, consumption tax, tax on donation, tax on working students, etc. With regard to these preferential treatments in the tax system, TUJ’s managerial staff has had difficult negotiations with the concerned ministries since 2005. Whenever necessary, they asked for help from Mr. Hiroyuki Hosoda, Chairperson of the LDP’s Headquarters for the Promotion of Revision of the Constitution, and myself. We assisted them in solving those issues by coordinating with the concerned ministries. We also gave assistance to TUJ with the move this time.
Dr. Bruce Stronach, President of TUJ, is an old friend of mine. When he and I were studying at Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Medford, Massachusetts, about five miles from Boston, both of us were in our early thirties. We were once assigned by our professor to do a research on Japanese Kikkoman Corporation’s soy sauce factory in Wisconsin for about two weeks. We have been good friends ever since. After he obtained Ph.D. in international relations in 1980, Dr. Stronach taught at several universities in Japan and in the US, and then served as President of Yokohama City University in Japan from 2005 to 2008. He has been serving as Dean of TUJ since 2008. Whenever I meet with him, he reminds me of my graduate student days when I studied hard in Medford, Massachusetts.