So close yet so far, Japan remains an elusive country for many Koreans even after nearly a half century of diplomatic normalization. While thorny issues still haunt the relations between the two countries, it behooves those of us in academia to opt for reason over emotion in approaching Japan. Founded in 2002 under the firm leadership of the venerable duo of Kim Young Jak and Han Sang Il, and full fledged under the unwavering initiative of the current director Lee Won Deog, the Institute of Japanese Studies at Kookmin University has set a model for area studies that is theoretically solid without being divorced from reality. After a mere span of ten years, the IJS stands today at the forefront of Japanese studies in Korea by accumulating an array of critically acclaimed projects ranging from primary source compilation to multidisciplinary analyses of Japanese society.

In recognition of its proven track record and further academic promise, the IJS has been designated by the National Research Foundation of Korea as a "Priority Research Institution" to head long-term research programs in Japanese studies. Under the Foundation's sustained support, IJS researchers have been thoroughly cataloging and examining massive documents on the ROK-Japan normalization talks. In May 2008, upon completing the first stage of the project, the IJS published a five-volume annotated bibliography of those documents, which was hailed by the Foundation as "Model Research in Social Science." The IJS has made a foray into sources on the Japan side as well. In 2009, the Northeast Asian History Foundation awarded the IJS a substantial grant to work on the recently declassified Japanese archives of the normalization negotiations, and IJS researchers have systematically scrutinized those sources to show the intricate inner workings of Japanese foreign policy. Funding sources outside Korea such as the Japan Foundation and the Japan World Expo Fund Project have also made generous contributions to the IJS to carry out numerous publication and translation projects.

The comprehensive compilation and review of source material will help keep longstanding issues between Korea and Japan in perspective and also clarify policy implications for improving the bilateral relations. In fact, instead of staying within the confines of an ivory tower, the researchers and staff at the IJS have sought to respond to the demands of popular audiences and policy makers by putting together some of the most cutting-edge academic work in an accessible language on its biannual journal Japan Space while sharing its work with other professional circles through open conferences, ad hoc colloquia, and press interviews. In doing so, the IJS has helped forge an extensive network of Japan specialists well beyond Korea.

In celebrating the first successful decade, all of us at the IJS renew our commitment to judicious scholarship. And we are prepared, as in the past, to put our findings to the test with the same rigor by working with fellow researchers from all over the world. Join us in building a vigorous forum for learning.

KIM Dong Myung
Ph.D. in International Relations, University of Tokyo (1998)
Research Interest: International Relations of Northeast Asia
E-mail: kimdomy@kookmin.ac.kr

KIM Suk Yeon
Ph.D. in History, Yale University (2005)
Research Interest: Modern Japanese History
E-mail: karajan@kookmin.ac.kr

KIM Young Mi
Ph.D. in Korean History, Seoul National University (2005)
Research Interest: Contemporary Korean History
E-mail: kym6102@kookmin.ac.kr

KIM Young Jak
Ph.D. in International Politics, University of Tokyo (1972)
Research Interest: Diplomatic History of Northeast Asia
E-mail: yjakkim@hotmail.com

RHYU Mi Na
Ph.D. in Asian History, Waseda University (2007)
Research Interest: Korea-Japan Relations, Japanese Colonialism
E-mail: rhyumina2@yahoo.co.kr r

PARK Sun-Young
Ph.D. in Social Communications, University of Tokyo (2006)
Research Interest: International Relations of Northeast Asia
E-mail: sypark1@kookmin.ac.kr

PARK Chang-Gun
Ph.D. in International Politics, University of Sheffield (2005)
Research Interest: International Relations of East Asia
E-Mail : cgpark77@kookmin.ac.kr

AHN So Young
Ph.D. in Comparative Politics, Yeungnam University (1995)
Research Interest: International Relations of East Asia
E-mail: ahnsy81@naver.com

YOO Ji-A
Ph.D. in Modern Japanese History, Rikkyo University (2006)
Research Interest: Postwar Japan
E-mail: saigunbi@naver.com

LEE Won Deog
Ph.D. in International Relations, University of Tokyo (1994)
Research Interest: Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy
E-mail: wdlee@kookmin.ac.kr

LEE Jung Hwan
Ph.D. in Political Science, U. C. Berkeley (2010)
Research Interest: Japanese Political Economy
E-mail: factnnorm@kookmin.ac.kr

LEE Jong Eun
Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University (1983)
Research Interest: Political Philosophy
E-mail: jongel@kookmin.ac.kr

LEE Jiyoung
Ph.D. in Political Science, University of Tsukuba (2007)
Research Interest: Comparative Politics, Gender
E-mail: saboten@hanmail.net

LEE Hyun Jin
Ph.D. in Korean History, Ewha Womans University (2005)
Research Interest: Contemporary Korean History
E-mail: hjinlee@kookmin.ac.kr

CHANG Bak-Jin
Ph.D. in Politics, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (2007)
Research Interest: Diplomatic History, Korea-Japan Relations
E-mail: bakjin@kookmin.ac.kr

JUNG Miae
Ph.D. in International Relations, University of Tsukuba (2000)
Research Interest: Japanese Politics, Gender
E-mail jma0523@hanmail.net

CHOI Hee Sik
Ph.D. in International Relations, Keio University (2008)
Research Interest: Korea-Japan relations, Japanese Foreign Policy
E-mail: choihs@kookmin.ac.kr

HAN Sang Il
Ph.D. in Asian Studies, Claremont Graduate School (1974)
Research Interest: Japanese Intellectual History
E-mail: sihan@kookmin.ac.kr

HYUN Dae Song
Ph.D. in International Politics, University of Tokyo (2004)
Research Interest: Korea-Japan Relations, Territorial Disputes
E-mail: dshyun@gmail.com