Sport has many kinds of power. Sport gives people joy and sadness, through which they can develop. Also, it fulfills an important entertainment role throughout the world.

On the other hand, there are many global issues of concern. It is true that significant progress has been made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), thanks to constant efforts by the United Nations (UN) and other international organizations. For instance, from the beginning of 1990 until 2014-2016 the number of people facing extreme poverty and hunger has halved. However, other global issues, not present at the time of setting of the MDGs are now emerging. One of these is the limit to the capacity of the earth and its resources to accommodate a growing population and developing civilization. Another is the increase in terrorist attacks stemming from a confrontation between ethnic groups and religions. Nowadays, ordinary people are targeted even in the US and Europe. Therefore, in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the successor goals of MDGs, include several goals to pursue peace and resolve global warming.

Sport has the potential to solve these issues. It is important to solve them via communication among people in sports at the grassroots level as well as via top-down policy direction by the UN. Sports can create empathy and deeper understanding of other cultures. The most important thing to achieve SDGs is the awareness of differences and the fostering of mutual respect. Terrorism cannot be completely solved in one day. However, it may be mitigated gradually through the increase in activities associated with SDGs, not by parochial national particularism. 

Of course, the role of Sports is not limited to the above. For example, even in developing countries, not only hunger but also lifestyle-related diseases occur. Sports can take the lead in health promotion campaigns. Human resources with knowledge of and the capacity to solve global problems are required.

Considering these aspects, our program was established in order to develop graduates who:

  • Can lead the works for international development and peace through sport in Japan or overseas,
  • Can work actively at international organizations such as the IOC with special knowledge concerning the Olympic movement, which promotes international peace, friendship and the education of young people, and its historical development
  • Understand the system and practical implementations of physical education in Japan, and can also provide support to foreign nations.

To achieve this, we developed our program in collaboration with the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya and the Japan Sport Council to produce human resources with the ability to contribute to society through sports.

Therefore, graduates are expected to work at international organizations such as the United Nations, governmental organizations in various countries, the private sector, companies, international sports federations, and supervising organizations/federations for competitions in Japan and overseas.

You are welcome to join our program. With your creativity, sports can be brighter and the world enriched, healthier and more peaceful. Let’s move forward together and make a contribution to the world through sports.

Chair, the Joint Master’s Program in International Development and Peace through Sport,
Dr. Takahiro Sato, University of Tsukuba


At present, expectations and interest regarding the utility of sports in education, physical training, health promotion, industry, events, tourism, environment, policy, international politics are diverse. Accordingly, approaches to scientific research on sports also vary. Under these circumstances, this joint major in “International Development and Peace through Sport” is receiving a lot of attention as an academic field exploring the additional value of sports.

The usefulness and importance of development through sports (regional and international development) has already been recognized. On the other hand, it is necessary to consider how to engage in development from the standpoint of sports specialization and issues in development and aid. Essentially, it is important to deepen our understanding of body movement culture in various countries and regions. In the future, various research derived from the discourse regarding the association of sports with development and development via sports will allow an associated body of knowledge to be built up and clarified.

The University of Tsukuba, the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, and the Japan Sport Council established the Master’s Program in International Development and Peace through Sport in Japan. The aim of its establishment is to develop human resources capable of being active internationally by acquiring expert knowledge and practical skills related to development through sports concurrently with the research capacity to analyze, verify and solve problems scientifically. Through these education and research activities, students will contribute to the enhancement and development of education and research in the field of sports science. I would like to pursue the new possibilities of sports science in this “International Development and Peace through Sports” program with students, graduate students, and staff.


Chair, the Joint Master’s Program in International Development and Peace through Sport,
Dr. Rie Yamada, National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya

The Japan Sport Council (JSC) collaborates with the University of Tsukuba and the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya in launching the joint master’s program in International Development and Peace through Sport which develops human recourses to promote international exchange and contribution through sport.

The article 2 of the basic act on sports which was enforced in 2011 states that promoting international exchange and contribution in sport is one of the basic principles, and article 19 stipulates to take appropriate measures to those. In addition, the sport basic plan developed the next year also specifies advancing personnel and material international exchange and contribution in sport. Under this circumstances, the University of Tsukuba and the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, national universities in physical education and sport, play an important role in implementing sport policy of our country, and the joint master’s program in collaboration between the JSC and two universities is highly anticipated.

Sport greatly contributes to issues in the diverse and complex international community, and the United Nations and sport sector have been actively promoting peacebuilding and development assistance in developing countries through sport. In order to further these initiatives, it is desired to have personnel with a competency to comprehend global issues broadly and scientifically, practical skills to contribute to the global society and research capacity. The joint master’s program will certainly cope with the expectation of the international community in nurturing human recourses, and this program is placed as an important initiative to fulfill our role in the world.

As an only independent administrative institution in sport in Japan, the JSC strives to achieve sport nation. We have dispatched an officer to the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace and have been engaging in building international partnerships and developing resources in sport. We hope that these opportunities will be effectively utilized in the joint master’s program.

President, Japan Sport Council
 Satoshi Ashidate