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             12 October 2000


In March 1999, the United Nations University (UNU) received a 100 million Japanese yen contribution from the Government of Japan in memory of Dr. Yutaka Akino, who was killed in July 1998 while on active service as a Civil Affairs Officer of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT). Based on an agreement between the UNU and Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), half of this money, or 50 million yen, is being used to fund a 5-year "Akino Memorial Research Project" on Central Asia and neighbouring regions.

The overall theme of the project is "Peace and Environment in Central Asia." This broad theme can accommodate a variety of specific research on the political, economic and social factors affecting peace and stability in Central Asian counties as well as a number of environmental issues endemic to the region, thus representing the UNU's two main programme areas: "Peace and Governance" and "Environment and Sustainable Development."

The UNU is inviting young Japanese scholars, including Ph.D. candidates and post-doctoral fellows, to submit research proposals within the general theme of the project. These proposals, which may include up to one year of field study in Central Asia, must be received by 15 November 2000. (In selecting research proposals, the geographic area of "Central Asia" will be flexibly interpreted.) Successful applicants, who will each receive up to 1.2 million for field research, will be notified in mid-December.

The Akino Memorial Research Fellowship proposals will be reviewed by a committee consisting of two UNU In-House Organizers - Prof. Hideo Sato, Senior Adviser to the Rector, and Prof. Iwao Kobori, Programme Adviser - and three Core Research Scholars - Prof. Hisao Komatsu (University of Tokyo), Prof. Tomohiko Uyama (University of Hokkaido), and Prof. Tsuneo Tsukatani (University of Kyoto). These Core Research Scholars, who are all established Central Asian specialists, will also supervise the Akino Fellows. Further information and application forms are available from the UNU website:

The second cohort of the UNU-Akino Memorial Research Fellows will start their field research in Central Asia soon after an introductory seminar by the Core Research Scholars in January 2001. Research seminars on Central Asia, primarily based on the Fellows' research outcome will be held occasionally. Good papers written by the Akino Fellows could be made available as part of the UNU Occasional Paper Series, or a collection may be published as a book by UNU Press

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For further information please contact:

The UNU Public Affairs Section
Tel. (03) 5467-1243, -1246 . Fax (03) 3406-7346




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