The Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU) is a product of the strong sister-state relationship between the State of Michigan and Shiga Prefecture. Since 1968, various exchange programs have been developed, including goodwill missions, teacher and high school student exchange programs, and education programs that take place at JCMU.
Currently there are several academic programs offered to students who attend Michigan's public universities. These programs are dedicated to building relationships between Japanese, Americans, and other nationalities through active learning and participation in language, culture, family life and society. Over 800 university students have participated in JCMU programs since 1989.