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topâPresidentfs Message
Japanese Academy of Budo President Professor,
Graduate School of Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
Recently I was elected to the position of President of the Japanese Academy of Budo | a post formerly held by Asami Takaaki (April 1, 2008 | March 31, 2011). Although I acknowledge that I am inexperienced for such a role, I am confident that this will not hamper our efforts to continue growing the Academy. I would like to thank you in advance for your guidance and cooperation.

It is widely accepted that the situation in tertiary institutions has become extremely challenging. Since the move to corporatize Japanfs national universities, administrative grants and subsidies have been declining by 1 per cent each year, human resources have languished, research funds have decreased, and many other issues have continued to surface.

As we enter a second term, we are informed that the appraisals of the corporatized bodies conducted in the first phase of this financial year will be reflected in the amount grant money made available to university administrations. Additionally, it appears that next year will see a 2% ceiling added to the 1%, potentially throwing university administration circles into crisis. Therefore, the procurement of external funds and the enhancement of research achievements have been cited as a priority, and more than ever before there is need to be proactive with research development.

Given the current situation, it is a matter of time before the impact is felt in private universities. I sympathize with many Academy members who are feeling the pinch in terms of their increasingly increasing obligations in their respective universities and schools in addition to research responsibilities. For now, we need to concentrate on lifting the level of research and education so that the fruits of our work stand up to the most stringent of assessment criteria. I sincerely hope that, through the endeavours of the Academy, the level of each memberfs research and academic achievements will continue to flourish.

Currently, there is a favourable wind backing Budo. The revised gFundamentals of Educationh outlines the aspect of grespect for the traditions and culture of Japanh. After revision of the (Japanese) Curriculum Guidelines, it was decided that Budo would become a compulsory subject in junior high school PE classes from April, 2012. I am certain there are many members who are involved in this reform in some capacity, and as an Academy that aims to promote and develop Budo, I believe we must do everything we can to support this initiative.

The next issue I would like to address is the stagnation and decline of presentations at the Academyfs research conventions in recent times. I fear that the reasons for this range from the reduction in personnel recruitment at the university level and the number of young researchers, the emphasis placed on practice over theory, and an overall decline in academic reflection. Charged with carrying the Academy into the future, I consider the edification of young researchers to be of the utmost importance. Similar to other academic societies, it is possible that the creation of a type of student body organisation is a sensible measure to generate a level of enthusiasm among the next generation of scholars.

Recruiting more young members, however, is not the only matter that needs to be addressed. It is also incumbent on us to consider how to boost research motivation in all of our members, and how to tackle the matter of increasing the Academyfs female membership. In light of all this, I propose that improving the Academyfs gBudogaku Kenkyuh (Research Journal of Budo), closer scrutiny of matters raised at the AGM, introducing measures to revitalise the special subcommittees, and providing incentive to members through recognition on a public scale, must also be reviewed and considered.

I would also like encourage all members to make use of the Budo research database that was created last year. This can be used to access previously conducted studies to enhance your own research. As a further means of increasing personal and Academy development, I encourage members to actively make applications for external financial grants, such as those for provided for scientific research by the government. Unfortunately the application and success rates for scientific research grants concerning Budo are waning.

If we are to effectively suggest and plan policies aimed at stimulating the Academy, we need to revisit the organisationfs structure to ensure that it is more in tune with our current situation. To address matters such as the declining membership and budget, we need to consider, for example, the current cost of membership fees and the possibility of implementing a gsupporting member systemh.

As a society responsible for the study of Budo, I see an important need for us to improve exchange with the wider academic world. An effective website and keeping sight of international academic conferences, lectures, and conventions are important steps to this end. In order to achieve objectives aimed at energising the Academy, I humbly request the on-going understanding and cooperation of all members and the executive.
 
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