About Us

History of MEIJ

The Middle East Institute of Japan was founded in February 1956 as a private organization by a group of university professors and intellectuals specializing in the Middle Eastern affairs. Their determined efforts have made the Institute the first and most prestigious organization in the field of the Middle East studies in Japan.

Shortly thereafter in 1956, the Second Middle East War occasioned by the Egyptian nationalization of the Suez Canal, carved in relief the increasing political and economic importance of the region on the world map.

The Middle East Institute of Japan was authorized in 1960 as a juridical body under the supervision of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and in April, 2012, was registered as a Public Interest Incorporated Foundation authorized by the Prime Minister.

The original activities of the Institute aimed at promoting correct understanding of the region and its affairs among the Japanese public, through providing timely and relevant information and commentaries. With increased geopolitical importance of the Middle East, Japan’s interest in and attention to the region was expanded and deepened. The Institute has responded to this situation with its research and publication activities covering the region’s politics, economy, religion, culture and history.

As a private entity, the Middle East Institute of Japan runs its activities with the financial support of its Members, corporate and individual, under the supervision of the Board of Executive Directors, and presently has 10 research fellows (4 full-time, 5 visiting and 1 part-time) in addition to an administrative staff under the secretary general.

The Institute provides the Members with a variety of services, and carries out public promotional activities as well. Its quarterly journal “The Journal of Middle Eastern Studies” (in Japanese) is widely distributed as a most learned publication on the Middle East.