The Japan Program

Department of sociology and political science

The Japan Program

NTNU's Japan programme was formally established in 1998, however, its prehistory dates back to the beginning of the 1990s, with a cooperative measure between NTNU and some industrial partners being established in 1995. The background was the recognition that industry needed staff with not only an education in technology or the natural sciences but also a sound grasp of the issues involved with international trade, interaction with other cultures and foreign institutions.

This need was particularly acute when it came to research and commercial activities in Asia. As Japan is the locomotive behind much of the economic development in the region, this country was selected as the focal point for this initiative.
Since the first steps were taken in this direction, Japan's significance for Norwegian business has become increasingly important. Japan has become a market for sectors such as energy, medical technology, furniture, houses and fish products.

The Japanese de-regulation of trade as well as demographic changes indicate that there may be considerable changes in the market in the near future. The rise in the number of elderly is likely to result in a greater demand and new market opportunities for exports of products related to sectors such as medical technology. At the same time, these demographic changes will bring new challenges as a result of changing patterns of consumption.

Both academia and industry in Japan have few links to NTNU and consequently represent a potential resource that will strengthen cooperation in international research. In addition, better cooperation with Japan may help to extend what we can offer our students and academic staff in terms of education and research opportunities. It is clear that our interests coincide with those of the Norwegian business community and industry. This has helped to nurture measures that match one of NTNU's stated objectives of finding better means of integrating education in the social sciences with technology and vice versa. Also, as a result of this, contributing to a more unified action and cooperation between our university and society.

Doctoral Candidate Research Grants in Japanese Studies

The Nippon Foundation and the Scandinavia-Japan Sasakawa Foundation (SJSF) launched a new grant program designed to support the development of contemporary Japanese Studies in the Nordic countries. NTNU doctoral candidates who include Japan in their doctoral research are eligible to apply for funding. For more information and details on how to apply visit the SJSF website

About Japan and Asia


Director of the Japan program

Former Japan seminars

Former Japan seminars

  • 2020: East Asian Maritime Cooperation: Technology, Sustainability and UNCLOS
  • 2018: Policies for Promoting Renewable Energy and the Hydrogen Economy: New Challenges and Opportunities, 8–9 October in Trondheim
  • 2017: Policies for Promoting Renewable Energy: New Challenges and Opportunities, 6-7 March in Tokyo
  • 2015: Japanese and Norwegian Approaches to Sustainability in Energy, 24th September in Trondheim
  • 2012: Japan’s Recovery from the 3–11 Triple Disaster, 28th November in Trondheim
  • 2011: Renewables and Energy Security in Japan, East Asia and Norway, 9–10 November