Japan and the United States continue to attract each other’s students. The United States is the 2nd most popular study abroad destination for Japanese students, and Japan is the 7th largest sender of students to the United States. Japan is the 10th most popular study abroad destination for U.S. students, and the United States is the only non-Asian nation in the top ten countries sending students to Japan.
China is, however, the largest sender of students to both nations and a significant receiver as well. It is now the top study abroad destination for Japanese students, and the 5th most popular for U.S. students (the four destinations above it are all in Europe).
Based on Open Doors and MEXT data, the situation looks like this:
|To U.S.||From U.S.||To Japan||From Japan||To China||From China|
The rise of China can be seen as displacement. It can also be seen as opportunity. In either case, it presents a larger, regional context for partnership and mobility between the United States and Japan.
As the quotation on this page indicates, there is much to be gained by thinking of U.S.-Japanese partnership and mobility in terms of regions as well as nations. The research project by Kuroda, Yuki, and Kang (Japanese International Cooperation Agency Research Institute, Working Paper No. 26) explored existing inter-university ties within East Asia. It found that universities in this region were very interested in partnership and mobility with each other. It also found that the Northeast Asian nations of Japan, China, and South Korea were equally interested in working with universities in North America.
The rise of East Asian Studies programs at many U.S. universities parallels this interest in regional approaches. And programs such as the East-West Center affiliated with the University of Hawaii and the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego, focus on the entire Pacific Rim region, bringing the United States into the discussion as well.
In this light, linkages that connect institutions in three or more nations can create an atmosphere of mutual growth and learning, an atmosphere that parallels the growing ties among nations of the Pacific Rim and brings a regional perspective to learning about each nation. A three-way partnership among universities from Japan, the United States, and China, for example, could explore ways to circulate students among all three nations.