In 1986, in order to coordinate its many activities concerning Japan and the international community, Earlham created the Institute for Education on Japan (IEJ). The Institute is responsible for all Japan-related outreach activities conducted by the College. In addition, IEJ plays a key role in both marketing and fundraising, and is charged with primary responsibility for the maintenance of Earlham's close relationship with constituencies from Japan.
All College faculty with expertise on Japan contribute to the work of the Institute when their other obligations permit. The Institute's outreach work links Earlham's Japan-related learning and teaching resources to local and regional communities in the United States through a variety of educational, cultural, and community service programs.
IEJ staff are frequently called on to offer consultation to Japanese businesses seeking help in getting settled in Indiana and Indiana businesses seeking advice in working with customers from Japan. Schools involved in Japan-related programs seek advice and assistance with planning, fundraising, and implementation. Other colleges developing Japan and East Asian studies programs visit Earlham to study its programs and to speak with its personnel. The Earlham administration consults with IEJ regarding the marketing of the College, the recruitment of students, and the development of fundraising programs in Japan.
In 2004, Earlham’s Institute for Education on Japan received the Foreign Minister’s Commendation from the Government of Japan as part of 150 years of Japanese - U.S. relations. The award was given in recognition of the commitment of the Institute to educational, cultural, and community programs to increase understanding between Japanese and Americans.
Chuck Yates, professor of Asian history and director of the Institute, accepted the award at the Consul General’s residence in Chicago during which several other midwestern organizations also received commendations.