The International Christian University Peace Research Institute (ICUPRI) was founded in 1991 for the purpose of strengthening and promoting peace research at ICU. Since 1984, “Peace Studies” has been offered as a course for undergraduate students, and has been highly appreciated. In addition to the keen interests of students, there are potentials concerning this area of study on the part of the faculty. Thus, it was realized that a Peace Research Institute was necessary to meet these two challenges.
The University itself was founded with a spirit of reflecting the scourge of World War II. At its origin, there was the hope that young people who studied at ICU would contribute to the realization of world peace, respect of human rights, and the promotion of social justice. The Christians who had participated in the preparations for foundation of ICU were people with quite a strong sense for peace. Against the backdrop of his severe experiences during the war, the first President of ICU, Hachiro YUASA, had a lifelong desire seeking to put “Peace” at the foundation of education and to make “Peace Studies” a pillar of the educational research at ICU. This background influenced the opening of the ICUPRI.
From the time of its opening, diversity of research areas has been the Institute’s consistent basic principle. Taking notice of the University’s doctrine of the Liberal Arts, the members of the Institute have been comprised not only of the faculty members of Division of Social Sciences, but also of various other areas, such as Humanities, Education, Psychology, and Natural Science. This is because it was the intention not to limit the object of study to peace in the narrower sense (war or security), but to include various problems to examine them through diverse points of views so that multiple ways leading to peace can be found.
Until today, besides advancing the research projects by each of the members and publishing the results, the Institute has held a number of open lectures and seminars. It also publishes a magazine in cooperation with other organizations. Moreover, since the year 2001, it inaugurated an internet publication as a joint enterprise with Iwanami Shoten for the purpose of sending out selected articles in English.
As it is a research institute in principle, it has not taken charge of any educational activities directly, although since 1992 it has carried out field trips and has taken students to meaningful places related to peace research. So far, teams of students have visited New Mexico (USA,) the concentration camps in Auschwitz and other places, as well as El Salvador. In spite of the differences of what the students have learned in these places, each of the trips let to valuable achievements on the part of students.
(as of June 2001)