17th conference of the GJSSS „Societies at the Crossroads – Germany and Japan in Comparison“

Conference venue: German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ), Tokyo.

Date: Wednesday, October 23 to Friday, October 25, 2024.

Deadline for abstract submission: We welcome the submission of abstracts (up to 350 words) from members and non-members by May 1, 2024.

Please submit your abstracts here:


Conference rationale

Contemporary Germany and Japan find themselves at various crossroads, caused by unforeseen incidents that struck the international system and international relations, such as Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, or the massacre by the Islamist group Hamas against Israel on October 7, 2023. The COVID-19 pandemic also left its traces in Germany and Japan, leading to intensified caution in human interaction (“social distance”) as well as to routinizing the use of numerous formats of online communication. The notion of “crossroads” relates to the critical junctures that both societies meet and have met in the near (e.g. Japan’s tragic “3.11”) and distant past. In view of contemporary Germany and Japan, “crossroads” refers to numerous relevant issues such as the challenges posed by artificial intelligence (AI), climate change, the so-called democratic backslide in several countries across the globe, increasing flows of trans-border migration, or policymaking under conditions of demographic change and increasing urban-rural divides. Potential topics for discussion are plenty, and will hopefully inspire all participants to reflect on problems and solutions for global and local challenges alike. The empirical cases of Germany and Japan provide fertile ground for intensive debates and exchange.

While there is no participation fee, non-members of the GJSSS will be requested to pay for the conference dinner themselves.

In Remembrance of our founding member, President and Honorary President, Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans-Joachim Kornadt

On 24 April 2023, the German-Japanese Society for Social Sciences (GJSSS) lost its founding father, former President and Honorary President, Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans-Joachim Kornadt, who passed away at the age of 95. Professor Kornadt, who was Professor of Educational Psychology and Educational Science at Saarland University, founded the German-Japanese Society for Social Sciences in 1989 in Tôkyô together with a small group of German and Japanese social scientists interested in a German-Japanese scientific exchange and served as the Society’s first President. He dedicated himself to academic exchange and held various guest professorships in Japan and Indonesia, amongst others at Keiô University in Tôkyô. His scholarly work, which includes more than 150 publications, was mainly concerned with comparative cultural studies, especially on aggression research. In addition to his commitment to research and teaching, he was active in high-ranking committees in the field of education and science policy as well as science planning. For instance, he was a member of the German Science Council (Wissenschaftsrat), President of the German Psychological Society and Chairman of the Academic Advisory Board of the German Institute for Japanese Studies in Tôkyô. He was also Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research and the Wilhelm Wundt Society. After his retirement, he was Senate Representative for the establishment of the Faculty of Education at the re-established University of Erfurt, which awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2009. For his commitment to German-Japanese academic relations, Professor Kornadt was awarded the German-Japanese Research Prize and in 2006 received the Federal Cross of Merit First Class (Bundesverdienstkreuz Erster Klasse) for his outstanding achievements. He was active for our Society until the end and co-edited the volume Social Change in Germany and Japan (Pabst Publishers) together with Gisela Trommsdorff and Carmen Schmidt in 2021 to mark the 30th anniversary of our Society. With Hans-Joachim Kornadt, the Society not only loses one of its founding members, but also a highly esteemed colleague and friend.

On behalf of the Executive Board of the GJSSS

Prof. Dr. Carmen Schmidt, President GJSSS

17th meeting of the GJSSS

“Societies at Crossroads – A Comparison between Germany and Japan”

Venue: German Institute for Japanese Studies Tôkyô

Mi 23.10. 2024- Fr. 25.10.2024

The call for abstracts will take place in autumn 2023