Shuji Koiso : Professor at Kushiro Public University
and Director of the Research Center for Regional Economics.
It has been said that the 21st century will
come to be called the age of local regions. As various activities become
globalized and world trends and changes become less certain, a new
direction may be found by focusing on such local regions. Today, it has
already become necessary for local regions to act as sources of
information and policy. Thus, we have to cultivate the ability to view
and appreciate local regions in a more scientific way.
The Research Center for Regional Economics was established in June 1999
and has since been operating as an open-to-the-public academic research
institute, a regional institute for the study of social science, and a
local think tank. Since its establishment it has been engaged in the
innovation of various research activities. The center still has not
come to find its most effective direction: how the center should respond
to various local issues as a regional institute, and how it can
effectively organize and coordinate research projects within its limited
size and finances. Nevertheless, we will continue to make a steady
progress to fulfill any new roles that the university should come to
I hope that the spirit of regional creativity will be further boosted
from the expanding influences of the regional research activities
provided by the Research Center for Regional Economics.