The Japan Intercultural Institute is incorporated in Japan as an independent NPO (non-profit organization).

Mission Statement

The Japan Intercultural Institute (JII) is a non-profit institute supporting education, research and career development for intercultural professionals. It organizes seminars, sponsors research, and helps develop intercultural education textbooks and training materials. Its core mission is to encourage the deep learning, insight and transformation that comes from intercultural experiences and foreign language learning.  JII collaborates with publishers, academic institutions, educational associations and business in order to bring together the community of intercultural professionals in Japan. JII seeks to expand the role of intercultural communication education in Japan while helping develop a body of best-practices and intercultural theory which fits the needs of intercultural professionals in Japan.


Intercultural Professionals

Intercultural professionals have formal responsibility for facilitating intercultural contact. In Japan, that includes (but is not limited to) international business professionals, language teachers, intercultural trainers and consultants, translators, interpreters, intercultural communication scholars, administrators of exchange and study abroad programs, specialists in the fields of international understanding, global issues, cross-cultural studies, area studies, cross-cultural psychology, diplomats and international NGO and NPO professionals.


Skills and Best Practices

Intercultural professionals need expertise related to a specific domain for example financial expertise in business, linguistic knowledge for translators, or classroom management skills for teachers. In addition they need the intercultural skills to put this expertise into practice. JII focuses both on profession-specific intercultural skills and also general intercultural theory and practice. JII seminars and research projects focus on combining theory and application in the form of best practices – intercultural skills founded on an understanding of the theoretical issues related to different professional contexts.


JII’s director: Joseph Shaules

Joseph Shaules (PhD) has worked in intercultural education in Japan, Mexico and Europe for more than 25 years. He spent ten years as a tenured faculty at Rikkyo University, as well as 5 years as a special associate professor at the Graduate School of Intercultural Communication. He is currently a full professor at Juntendo University’s Faculty of International Liberal Arts. He teaches intercultural communication at the Keio University International Center. He is the Japan Specialist for Intercultures, a consulting and training company based in Germany. His books include The Intercultural Mind: Connecting Culture, Cognition and Global Living (Intercultural Press),  Identity (Oxford University Press), Deep Culture: The Hidden Challenges of International Living (Multilingual Matters) and Beneath the Surface: The Beginner’s Guide to the Deep Culture Experience. (Intercultural Press) He is proficient in English, Japanese, French and Spanish. He  lives in Tokyo.


JII Funding

JII is funded through membership fees and revenue generated by seminars.