What is a Confucius Institute?
The Confucius Institute is a project implemented by the Chinese government with the aim of developing and enhancing international systems for Chinese language education and promoting an understanding of Chinese culture in countries around the world. The project works to support students of the Chinese language, to foster understanding and friendship between China and the other countries of the world, and to promote world peace and development. Confucius Institutes have been established in partnership with local universities and other institutions in a number of countries around the world, where they are actively engaged in promoting Chinese language education and providing relevant resources and support.
On June 28, 2005, at the Chinese embassy in Tokyo the Office of the Chinese Language Council International and the Ritsumeikan Trust entered into an agreement on the establishment of the Confucius Institute at Ritsumeikan. In October of the same year, the Confucius Institute at Ritsumeikan was established as the first Confucius Institute in Japan. Jointly operated with Peking University, the Institute engages in activities aimed at contributing to regional society and promoting international exchange and international understanding. In the context of these aims, the fields of Chinese language education and training and linguistic and cultural exchange for the benefit of students, researchers, professionals, and others. In June 2006, Tokyo Confucius Classroom (Tokyo Gakudo) was established as a base in the Kanto region, and in spring 2008, Osaka Confucius Classroom (Osaka Gakudo) was established as a new base in the Kansai region with Tongji University as its partner school. In addition to these, another facility, Biwako Kusatsu Campus Confucius Classroom (BKC Gakudo) opened in 2014.