The effects of studying abroad in Japan can be delineated into the effects on society, in both the sending and receiving countries, and the effects on international students themselves. In addition, there are both direct effects that can be demonstrated by concrete data and indirect effects that are difficult to capture empirically. However, many studies on the effects of studying in Japan have concentrated on direct effects on international students (personal income, promotion, etc.), while few studies have been conducted on the indirect effects of mobility at both the national levels and individual levels.
In this study, the author focused on graduate students who enrolled during the Third Five-Year Plan of the Research Center for Japanese Studies (1995-1999), which was established as a model of cultural diplomacy. The study aimed to demonstrate the effects of this mobility in both Japan and China, as well as the long-term effects on the graduate students themselves.
First, at the macro level, the author explains the impact on graduate students caused by Japan-China relations in the 1990s, economic reforms in China, and employment system reforms. Then, at the meso level, the author presents the characteristics of educational management at the center at that time. Lastly, through interviews conducted with graduates at the micro level, the author examines the characteristics of the times and the concrete impact of studying in Japan on individuals.
The results of the study can be summarized as follows. Firstly, it is necessary to measure the indirect effects of studying abroad through qualitative research. At present, due to expectations of direct evidence, quantitative analysis of questionnaire surveys is increasingly common. This research is focused on researchers in the field of Japanese studies, and the effects of studying abroad in Japan can be summarized into three aspects: formation of a Japanese image, acquisition of research methods and objective research perspectives, and further network construction. For international students who are not working as researchers, the effects of studying in Japan could be very different. This will be an issue for future study. Secondly, the effects of studying in Japan vary greatly over the time. As shown in this study, the specific characteristics of the cohort, the changing circumstances in both Japan and China, as well as changing Sino-Japan relations have greatly influenced the purpose and effectiveness of Chinese students studying in Japan. Therefore, analysis by era is indispensable in future research.