This article is adapted from "Japan National Tour" prepared by Haruyo Hama & Naoto Suzuki, 2008, which appeared in Wedding, D., & Stevens, M. J. (Eds). (2009). Psychology: IUPsyS Global Resource (Edition 2009) [CD-ROM]. International Journal of Psychology, 44 (Suppl. 1).
Japan came to know Western psychology as a scientific discipline in the last quarter of the 19th century. The first professorial chair of psychology was founded at the University of Tokyo in 1890. The first psychological journal appeared in 1912, succeeded by a Japanese Psychological Association journal after the inauguration of the Japanese Psychological Association in 1926.
The Japanese Association of Applied Psychology was organized in 1931 and the Japanese Society for Animal Psychology followed in 1933. The Japanese Psychological Association membership before World War II was just over 200. After the war, however, the number of psychologists increased and professional organizations expanded into many specialized fields. The 1995 version of Psychological Institutions in Japan lists 31 nationwide and 10 regional psychological associations and the total estimated number of psychologists in Japan is 24,000 to 25,000. The October 1994 statistics showed that, of 5,199 Japanese Psychological Association members, 2,737 (53%) are in universities and colleges, 729 (14%) are graduate students, 369 (7%) are in research institutes, 246 (5%) are in national and local governmental organizations, 354 (7%) are in hospitals and welfare institutions, 111 (2%) are in private organizations, and 129 (3%) are school psychologists, among others. The Japanese Psychological Association, in collaboration with other psychological associations in Japan, hosted the XX International Congress of Psychology in Tokyo in 1972 and the XXII International Congress of Applied Psychology in Kyoto in 1990.
The 1991 Japanese Psychological Association directory lists 132 universities and colleges with which members are affiliated and it also lists 28 psychological research institutes. Recent annual conventions of the Japanese Psychological Association have had attendance of over 2,000, with the number of papers presented being around 800. Sensory, perceptual and cognitive process as well as research in social and cultural psychology are the major topics of interest. Developmental studies are also growing.
Some 35 universities offer full graduate programs for M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. Others offer programs terminating in an M.A. To obtain a doctoral degree, a candidate has to spend at least five years in graduate residence and submit a dissertation. The Ph.D. degree may be conferred on non-residents for outstanding contribution. In 1988, the Association of Japanese Clinical Psychologists established the Japan Association for the Certification of Clinical Psychologists, which by the end of 1995, had issued certificates to 4,361 clinical psychologists. In 1990, the Japanese Psychological Association developed another system to certify those who had taken the required credits in psychology in universities or colleges and by the end of 1995, 1,256 certificates were issued. This Japanese Psychological Association system was developed with a hope that in future the certificate will be a minimum basic requirement for all psychologists intending to obtain certificates in more specialized areas of psychology. Neither of the above certificates, however, has legal recognition yet.
Psychologia - An International Journal of Psychology in the Orient, 4/year
Japanese Health Psychology, 1/year
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 1/year
Japanese Journal of Psychonomic Society, 2/year
Japanese Journal of Research on Emotions, 2/year
Japanese Journal of Developmental Psychology, 1990- , 2/year
Japanese Journal of Personality, 1/year
Japanese Journal of Psychology, 1926-, 6/year
Japanese Psychological Research, 1954-, 4/year