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JSAS President

Hanai, Kazuyo 
Project Assistant Professor, Institute for Future Initiatives (IFI), The University of Tokyo

I graduated from the University of Tsukuba. After serving as a high school teacher, I studied international public policy and obtained a Ph.D. from the Graduate School for Frontier Sciences, the University of Tokyo. I joined the Policy Alternatives Research Institute (PARI), the predecessor of IFI, at the University of Tokyo in April 2018. My research interest lies in so-called conflict minerals in the DR Congo and responsibility on the part of Japanese consumers. I also work on peace education.

JSAS Board Members

(Alphabetical Order)

Adem, Seifudein (International Liaison)
Professor, Graduate School of Global Studies, Doshisha University

I was born and raised in Ethiopia. I received my early education and graduate training in Ethiopia and Japan; lived in Ethiopia, Japan, and the United States, for more than a decade in each country; and taught and researched in the institutions of higher learning in the three countries as well as in China and Germany. I am the author of Africa's Quest for Modernity: Lessons from Japan and China (Springer, 2023). 

Diallo, Asmao (Promotion of Gender Equity)
Assistant, Graduate School of Global Studies,
Doshisha University. 

Growing up in Mali where the agricultural sector is the cornerstone of the country’s economy, I developed a deep appreciation for rural areas and farmers, particularly small-scale women farmers who engage in the entire agricultural value chain, from production to processing and marketing. Nevertheless, women's access to and control over farming resources remains limited, which motivated me to engage in research to improve their livelihoods. My passion for women’s empowerment led me to participate in the SUSI program on “Women Changing the Face of Leadership in Africa” at Simmons College in Boston and later the JICA African Business and Education Initiative Scholarship. I hold a Ph.D. in Global Society Studies. My research revolves around agricultural cooperatives, gender and development policies, land tenure reforms, and deals. In 2022, I served as a gender equality and women's empowerment specialist at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization UNIDO ITPO Tokyo.

Kambayashi, Tomohiro (Deputy Head of Kansai Branch)
Lecturer, Department of English Literature and Language, Konan University

I am a lecturer at the Department of English Literature and Language at Konan University, Kobe, Japan. I am interested in uncovering the African experience of racial segregation and apartheid in South Africa by using vernacular (isiZulu) and English text written by African people as the main source. Below are my current research interests: the connection between writing history in African languages, especially in isiZulu, and segregationist/apartheid governance in South Africa; the Afro-Asian connection through literature, special focus on the life and works of Zulu poet Mazisi Kunene and his visits to Japan.

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Karusigarira, Ian (Head of Tokyo Branch)
Lecturer, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)

Before coming to Japan, I served as a Detective Assistant Superintendent of Police at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Disturbed by the growing and systemic police corruption, I embarked on graduate studies in Japan to contribute to explanatory remedies to the situation. During and after my master's study, I realized that the problem was beyond police departments and encompassed the way politics manifests in Uganda and elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa. So, I embarked on a doctoral study to characterize revolutionary Regime Consolidation/Change. This is the research agenda that still fascinates me. However, I have engaged in other multi-disciplinary subfields such as menstruation studies, youth and gerontological studies, diaspora studies, collective memory studies etc. Since the completion of my Ph.D. (2020), I have been a Lecturer at National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS, Japan).

Kinyua Laban Kithinji (Vice President, Deputy Head of Tokyo Branch)
Research Fellow, Institute of African, Asian, and Middle Eastern Studies, Sophia University

I am a native of Kenya and have studied at Japanese universities where I got opportunities to reflect deeply about my own culture and society, as a result of my attempts to assimilate (mostly unsuccessfully) in Japanese culture. I ask myself why the majority of my community remains impoverished. I have been trying to answer this question in my research activities. I enjoy teaching issues about African society, politics, culture, and global studies. I also enjoy visiting rural communities in Africa to learn their coping and survival mechanisms.

Makino, Kumiko (Journal Editor)
Director, African Studies Group, Area Studies Center, Institute of Developing Economies (IDE-JETRO)

Since joining the IDE in 1996, I have visited South Africa almost every year for research, including two extended stays in Cape Town (2001-2003) and in Johannesburg (2018-2019). My research interests include democracy and distributional politics in post-apartheid South Africa, history of global anti-apartheid movements, and Africa-Japan relations with a particular focus on non-state actors.

Maswana, Jean-Claude (Member at Large)
Professor, Graduate School of Economics, Ritsumeikan University 

I am a Professor of Economics at Ritsumeikan University, which I joined in April 2019 after lecturing economics at Tsukuba University, the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University. I also served as a Macroeconomist Research Fellow with JICA. I earned a Ph.D. from Nagoya University in 2003. Much of my research relates to economic growth and international trade, with a focus on China-Africa’s links. I am currently serving as President of the continental African economic association (AFEA-African Finance and Economic Association), member of American Economic Association, Japan Association for African Studies and serving as the Chair of the Congo Economic Circle (CEC).

Mine, Yoichi (Executive Secretary)
Professor, Graduate School of Global Studies, Doshisha University

When I was a university student, I admired Che Guevara and studied the lives of dissidents in the Global South. I visited South Africa and Namibia just before Madiba was released in 1990, and have frequented the African continent every year since then. I am currently writing an oral history of Japan’s development cooperation and a monograph on Afrasian history. I enjoy working with African and Chinese graduate students in my lab every day.

Muchetu, Rangarirai Gavin (Deputy Executive Secretary)
Assistant, Graduate School of Global Studies, Doshisha University

I became fascinated by agrarian studies during my time at the Sam Moyo African Institute for Agrarian Studies. The implications of the state-agrarian society interplay during agricultural marketing processes have constantly stirred my research – my Ph.D. research focused on agricultural cooperative development in   Japan and   Zimbabwe.   My study of Japanese agrarian structures changed my previously held belief that Africa and Asia are too different for any comparative analysis. I am open to discussions leading to a better understanding of the growth, opportunities, and constraints in the agrarian society. 

Munemura, Atsuko (Treasurer)
Senior Assistant Professor, Chiba Keizai University

I am a historian teaching the economic history of Europe and other regions. I visited South Africa for the first time when I was 23. I love the dynamic landscape and hybrid culture of the Cape, which had long been connected to various parts of Asia. I am writing about fruits and their processing industry in the Western Cape. Now I focus on the “Submarine Cable and African Fruits” project, in which I pay attention to technical aspects of the local agricultural industry and environmental history. 

Ohira, Wakiko (IT Manager)

JSPS Research Fellow, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies

I lived in Uganda in 2009 as a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer. This was a major turning point in my life: I got interested in African history and politics and began pursuing my academic career in 2014. I recently obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo, and my dissertation looks at the interaction between a state and traditional authorities. Why and how do traditional authorities continue to be influential in modern Africa? This would be my life-long research question.

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Otchia, Christian (Vice President, Journal Editor-in-Chief)

Associate Professor, Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University

Growing up in one of the world's wealthiest nations, where the majority of the population lives in poverty, has instilled in me a natural inclination to study Development Economics. Although I consider myself fortunate to have discovered a subject that I am deeply passionate about, I also believe that I have a responsibility to assist others in achieving their full potential. As such, I collaborate with farmers and corporations to devise industrial policies that promote pro-poor growth. Recently, I have published two books on Designing Integrated Industrial Policies in Africa and Asia.

Pedro Miguel Amakasu Raposo de Medeiros Carvalho (International Liaison)
Professor, the Faculty of Economics, Kansai University

In Portugal we say that in every corner of the world there is one Portuguese. Maybe, this happens because Portugal is a small rectangle “where the land ends itself, and the sea begins” (Camões). Portugal relations with Japan goes back to the XVI century. And, this is why I first came to Japan in 1998 to research the “trade and investment relationship between Portugal, Japan and Africa”. My relationship with Africa, in particular Angola, acquired a new dimension through the coordination of the International Relations course at Lusiada University in Luanda. Ultimately, I found my happiness both personally and professionally in Japan, which explains my move from the Lisbon School of Economics and Management (ISEG) where I teamed the PhD coordination in Development Studies (DS) to Kansai University. My current research focuses on China, Japan and India development (connectivity) agendas in Africa and the Indo-Pacific. My recent publications include Japan’s Foreign Aid Policy in Africa: Evaluating the TICAD Process (Palgrave, 2014), the (co-edited) Routledge Handbook on Africa-Asia Relations (Routledge, 2018), and (co-edited) The Belt and Road Initiative in Asia, Africa, and Europe (Routledge, 2023). 

Sarr, Papa Saliou (Collaboration with Natural Science Scholars)
Senior Researcher, Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS)

I was born and educated in Senegal. I obtained a Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences from Kyushu University and am now a senior researcher at JIRCAS. Before joining JIRCAS, I spent five years at Kyoto University as a specially appointed Assistant Professor and Associate Professor. I have been interested in agriculture and the science surrounding it since childhood. The rapid demographic increase in Africa in recent years calls for integrated actions to enhance agricultural productivity and human nutrition. My research focuses on soil health management to boost crop production, collaborating with research institutions in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, and Cameroon.

Shirato, Keiichi (Business Advisor)
Professor, the Graduate School of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University

Before moving to Ritsumeikan, I was a General Manager of EMEA & Russia Department of the Mitsui Global Strategic Studies Institute in Tokyo. I worked for Mainichi Newspapers for nearly two decades, serving as a correspondent based in Washington DC from 2011 to 2014 and in Johannesburg from 2004 to 2008. My publication includes The Great Resource Continent Africa that earned the Japan Congress of Journalists award in 2010. 

Ssali, Vick Lukwago (Newsletter & Public Relations, Head of Chubu Branch)
Lecturer, Department of English Language and Cultures, Aichi Gakuin University

In my job I teach English, and in it, content (the cultures of English-speaking countries). My major motivation is to cultivate cross-cultural communication and cultural competence among my Japanese students. Exposing them to a dose of Anglophone African history and cultures will hopefully help bridge some gap in Afrasian connections. For my research work, I am currently revisiting the relevance of ethnic federalism in the restoration of responsible governance in Uganda.

Yamamoto, Meyu (Head of Kansai Branch)
Associate Professor, the College of Letters, Ritsumeikan University

My research into the history of Asian communities in South Africa has fostered a strong interest in Africa-Asia relations and Afrasian studies. During my Master's programme at the University of Cape Town, I had the unique opportunity to experience firsthand the connections between these two regions. One of my research projects focuses on "honorary whites", a title reportedly bestowed upon Japanese residents during the apartheid era. My recent publication, Ethnoracial Politics of Honorary Whiteness in Twentieth-Century South Africa (Shinyosha, 2023) explores this topic in depth.



Kitagawa, Katsuhiko
Professor Emeritus, Kansai University

I have been working on Southern African economic and social history and Japan’s trade relations with Africa in the inter-war period since the mid-1970s. I have written and edited several books on the social and economic history of sub-Saharan Africa, the history of the British Empire and contemporary African political economies. For now, I enjoy conducting research on economic development of Osaka with perspectives on its relations with Africa and the rest of Asia from my base at the Institute of Political and Economic Studies, Kansai University.


Jingyuan, Wu
PhD student, Department of International Studies
Graduate School of Frontier Sciences,the University of Tokyo

My research focuses on international development and environmental cooperation, with a geographical emphasis on Asia. I feel the strong passion of our JSAS members towards Afrasian studies. As a secretariat, I would like to contribute to further academic communications and collaborations between Asia and Africa.

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