The first term of the “Contemporary Chinese Area Studies” program ended in March 2012. Jointly established by member universities and institutions, the research network centers have received evaluations that one of its aims of establishing and strengthening network centers were achieved. In addition, each network center was said to have achieved initial goals during the term. We have thus received the feedback that the project should be continued to the second term.
 On the other hand, we have also learnt from the feedbacks that there should be closer cooperation among network centers. It is said that particularly “regarding Chinese studies, which encompass a large body of researchers, the centers should be strengthened in a way that would also contribute to nation-wide network buildings”.
 Upon such evaluations, NIHU decided to carry out the second term of the “Contemporary Chinese Area Studies” program for the next five years starting from fiscal year 2012. As a way to further organically strengthen network ties among different centers of distinct specialty areas, we have set “Interdisciplinary Research of Contemporary China: Understanding the Emerging Giant” as the common theme in the second term. In addition to the 6 network centers, we have newly established two partner network centers at Aichi University and Hosei University, so as to expand our network across the nation.
 China is under constant change, and its presence in the international society is also increasing. It is significant to study the country through a comprehensive area studies perspective instead of each discipline separately.
 However, in an era of globalization, just studying China would not suffice to truly understand the country. It is also necessary to take perspectives of different areas and their interactions, including the Islamic and Indian societies.
 In the second term, we aim to make steady progress toward our term targets. Not only would the program contribute to fostering a new generation of researchers, but also improve the country’s position of contemporary Chinese area studies in the world.