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Outline of the Program

Local conditions and the initiatives to spur community revitalization

Gunma Prefecture is notable in terms of the rapid growth experienced in both numbers and concentration of foreign resident populations. The influx of foreign workers has reinvigorated the prefecture's economy, but also poses a range of challenges in areas such as unstable working conditions for the foreign workers, the education of their children, and friction between local residents. In order to address these challenges, Gunma University and Gunma Prefectural Government joined forces in fiscal 2002 to initiate a project on education, research and community development to create a truly multicultural society. This resulted in heightened community demand for the cultivation of human resources to advance the concept of multicultural coexistence among professionals and the working population as a whole. In order to meet this demand and assist in the revitalization of local communities, Gunma University and Gunma Prefectural Government have developed a program to train Multicultural Community Advancement Officers.

Human resource development vision for community revitalization

This program trains Multicultural Community Advancement Officers capable of accurately comprehending the current multicultural issues facing communities and workplaces, and of formulating and implementing effective solutions to the problems therein. It is designed for professionals such as teachers, medical practitioners and local government officials, businesspeople, and community volunteers. It consists of three successive courses – Analyst, Planner, and Consultant – each of which entails 30 hours of basic education, 30 hours of practical education, and 10 hours of independent research. The courses are designed to cultivate the capacity to (1) accurately comprehend the current multicultural issues facing communities and workplaces, and structurally analyze the problems therein; (2) recognize leading examples of success and failure in addressing problems, understand the factors involved, and plan effective strategies tailored to actual community and workplace conditions; (3) apply those strategies in practice in an effective and sustainable manner. Individuals completing all three courses are awarded a certificate of accreditation as a Multicultural Community Advancement Officer from the Governor of Gunma Prefecture, and expected to take leading roles in the advancement of multicultural community. By fiscal 2013, a total of 90 individuals will have enrolled in this program, and around 10 will have become accredited Multicultural Community Advancement Officers.

Perspectives to work with local government and revitalize communities

The Gunma Prefectural Government has enshrined community enhancement through multiculturalism as one of the pillars of its regional revitalization plan, and identified three core approaches: "developing local infrastructure for multicultural living," "supporting the formulation of community organizations," and "development of human resources in the community." The last of these three is pursued in partnership with Gunma University, under a training program leading to accreditation by the Prefectural Government as a Multicultural Community Advancement Officer capable of contributing to the regional revitalization plan in practice. Gunma University plans to engage local businesses and other bodies to provide support in forms such as nominating students for the program. The program will make tangible contributions to regional revitalization by supplying Multicultural Community Advancement Officers to many different sectors of the community, and thereby helping to avert cross-cultural tensions and disputes and fostering an environment in which both Japanese and non-Japanese residents can reach their full potential. Another benefit of the program will be to generate possibilities for the creation of new industrial and business activity around multicultural themes.

Mission Statement outline

Gunma University collaborates with the Gunma Prefectural Government to train Multicultural Community Advancement Officers—individuals who use an approach founded on multicultural coexistence to re-appraise their communities and workplaces and to address problems therein. A multicultural coexistence approach involves developing relationships in which peoples with differing characteristics such as nationality and culture can understand, complement and bring out the best in each other as residents of the same locality. It involves identifying new human resources for engaging in social and economic activity in the local community, and seeking to develop new social systems and industries that mobilize those resources. The objective for fiscal 2011 is to produce at least ten completing students from the first and second classes of the Analyst Course and at least five from the Planner Course; the goal by fiscal 2013 is to have at least ten individuals accredited as Multicultural Community Advancement Officers.

Project that where part-time students are involved in planning and operating

  • Japanese education project for ¨foreigners as residents in Japan¨ sponsored by the Agency for Cultural Affairs
  • Project for Establishing an International Exchange Program sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

Web Magazine

  • Gunma University
  • Gumma Prefecture
  • Japan Science and Technology Agency


Gunma University
Multicultural Community Education and Research Project Office

4-2, Aramakimachi, Maebashi-shi, Gunma-ken E-mail