This is the old United Nations University website. Visit the new site at

         1 February 2001

In 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 with the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT). The UNU and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) agreed that half of the contribution would be used to fund a 5-year "Akino Memorial Research Project" on Central Asia and neighbouring regions. This project is designed to help train young Japanese scholars under the broadly defined theme of "Peace and Environment in Central Asia."

Each year of the project, the UNU will award "Akino Memorial Research Fellowships" to several young Japanese scholars for up to one year of field study in Central Asia. In a meeting on 11 January 2001, the Akino Memorial Research Fellowship Selection Committee, consisting of UNU in-house organizers and three external scholars, reviewed the research proposals submitted by the applicants and decided to award fellowships to the following persons:

  • Mr. Tetsuro Chida, a master course student in the Faculty of Regional Cultural Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo, will do research on "Kunaev - Kolbin - Nazarbaev - The Change and Continuity of the Cadre Policy in Kazakhstan in the 1980s" in Almaty, Kazakhstan;

  • Ms. Toko Fujimoto, a graduate student in Cultural Anthropology, Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, will do research on "Social Networks based on Kinship: A Cultural Anthropological Study in Rural Kazakhstan" in the Mangystau and Pavrodar Provinces of Kazakhstan;

  • Ms. Kochi Okada, a doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths College, London University, will research "Culture, Art and National Identity in Uzbekistan" in Tashkent, Margelan, Buchara, and Nukus; and

  • Mr. Ippei Shimamura, a Ph.D. candidate for Anthropology, School of Cultural and Social Studies, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies (National Museum of Ethnology, Japan), will conduct research on "The Roots-seeking Movement in Aga-Buryat: New Light on their Diaspora and Shamanism" in Aga-Buryat Autonomous District and Ulan-ude City in the Russian Federation, etc.

The Akino Fellows met with UNU Rector Hans van Ginkel and their research advisers at the UNU Centre on 31 January 2001. Each will depart early this year for their field research in Central Asia.

*     *     *    

For further information please contact:
The UNU Public Affairs Section: Tel. (03) 5467-1243, -1246; Fax (03) 3406-7346




UNU home