The Canada-Japan Research Group is a think-tank composed of entirely students, aiming to analyze and compare challenges facing rural communities in both Canada and Japan. The CJRG has been established with the intent of studying the revitalization of rural communities, in particular, the roles of foreigners in that process. The CJRG's primary institutional partner in Toronto is the Asian Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, and collaborates with multiple student groups, universities, and municipalities in Japan.
The CJRG organizes various events such as conferences, with primarily undergraduate students as participants. This allows for creative and innovative opinions and perspectives on the part of the students, which may stem from factors such as their past experiences, personal background and attributes, which may be different from those of the typical academic. Yet, it is aware of the fact that students may lack the depth and breadth in their line of thoughts , thus guest speakers will be furnished to inform students of the crux of the public and academic discourses, in order to facilitate more sophisticated discussions.
The CJRG acknowledges the preponderance of data and statistics in the correct interpretation of the magnitude and status of the problems that it is attempting to resolve. Therefore, students stationed in rural regions of Japan and Canada, such as Hakodate and Nova Scotia, will be performing fieldwork which includes activities such as interviews with local residents, in order to understand the severity of the problems via first-hand materials. They will be mentored by reknowned university professors and specialists, so that professionalism will be guaranteed in the duration of fieldworks.
The CJRG comprises students who are studying in Japan and Canada, which provides stellar opportunities for it's members, living across the pacific ocean, to exchange opinions and perform comparative studies of the situations in rural Japan and Canada. Through such efforts, it believes that students will be able to sieve out the commonalities, which provide room for further cooperations, and differences, which remind them of the aspects that deserve special attention. In addition, we faithfully hope that new ideas of resolving the problem will be sparked through the verbal exchanges.