Aims of the Japan Association for Nilo-Ethiopian Studies

The Japanese Association for Nilo-Ethiopian Studies, JANES, aims to promote the development of research into Northeast Africa (including the Nile River Valley and the Ethiopian Plateau), the Great Rift Valley (from the Red Sea to the south), the East African coast (facing the Arabian peninsula, via the Indian Ocean), and surroundings areas. By deepening mutual communication and understanding among researchers in different areas and spreading the results of relevant research through these activities, JANES seeks to contribute to the development of the region.

The region has been the location of many archaeological finds, including human fossils, which are important in considering the birth and evolution of human beings. Moreover, it is the birthplace of ancient kingdoms such as Egypt and has developed as an important base of long- distance trade over many centuries. Thus, it has been influenced by West Asia and also by India, and unique cultures in terms of language, religion, and art have been formed. Regarding farming, the Nile River Valley and the Ethiopian Plateau have attracted attention as the origin of many now-domesticated plants, including coffee. Various cultures have flourished in the diverse environments in this region.

On the other hand, this region has also had difficulties and crises, such as desertification, starvation due to drought, refugees, and civil wars, all of which occur against the background of such a complex historical and cultural environment. These issues have destabilized parts of the region, which could be said to have condensed the various problems that human beings are faced with around the world today. So, a need exists to create a forum where people from various areas can come together to discuss such problems intelligently and address them within a framework of new thinking.

JANES provides such a forum in which not only researchers with connections to this region, but also people who are concerned with larger contemporary problems, can meet together and consider this region from many points of view. The association aims to form a network for sharing the newest information about the region, with the cooperation of many related societies and research organizations from many countries. We are earnestly eager that all people who are interested in or concerned about this region should expand their horizons and aim at a new future together.

January 1992
Founder and First President (1992–2001)