We hope that you have spent a peaceful and blissful Christmas time and we wish you on behalf of the board of the EAJRS, a happy and fruitful New Year 2006.

Last September we had a most pleasant and stimulating conference in Lund, and we take this opportunity to thank Professor R. Greatrix, director of the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies and Ms. Annie Troedsson, librarian of the Asia Library, for their fine organisation, hospitality and generosity. We express our sincere gratitude to all of you for joining us in such great number in Lund and for contributing your expertise in discussion or as a paper. As decided in Lund, the next venue will be Venice, Italy, where Prof. dr. Magda Abbiati, head of the Department of East Asian Studies, will be our host, and Dr. Laura Moretti will act as local convenor.

The dates for this 17th annual conference have been set from 27-30 September 2006. Do not forget to mark them in your diary. We are very much looking forward to this conference at one of the major centres of Japanese studies in Italy. The site of the conference will be the Auditorium Santa Margherita, an old Venetian theatre, now part of the university and used mainly for conferences and workshops, with a capacity of 120 to 150 persons (up to 200 persons if the balcony is included), and all the equipment we need in place. Working visits to the Oriental Museum on Wednesday morning (27 September) and the Marciana Library on Saturday afternoon (30 September) are also scheduled.

Venice, being one of the prime tourist destinations in the world, is very busy at the end of September (actually at all times of the year), and this forces us to make our move earlier than in previous years. That is why, in a departure from tradition, we are sending out our call for papers at the same time as our New Year wishes. Dr. Laura Moretti has been checking out various hotels near the conference site. In the attachment you will find the list of these hotels. She has blocked a (limited) number of rooms in hotels in several price categories, with arrival on 26 September (Tuesday) and departure on 1 October (Sunday). The only problem is that we need to confirm quite soon, generally by 31 March 2006, only in one case by 15 January 2005. It may sound hard to believe but many hotels have already been booked for the whole coming year!! As Dr. Moretti commented:“the inconvenient aspect of being in Venice.” She has prepared a map with the locations of the hotels, so that participants may choose their accommodation also on the basis of the location of the hotel. The payment for the accommodation, which is at a premium in Venice, can be made on the spot, but the majority of the hotels will require statement of the credit card number.

Prospective participants are kindly requested to make their reservation directly to the hotel, specifying that they are attending the conference organized by EAJRS and Dr. Laura Moretti of the Universita' Ca' Foscari di Venezia (to get the discount accorded to the university). The total number of rooms Dr. Moretti has been able to block is limited, but hotels are rather reluctant to block more than a limited number, sure as they are that they will be able to rent their rooms at the full price anyway. To enable Dr. Moretti to follow up matters, we request that you notify her of the reservation you have made, by sending an email to her email adress eajrsvenice@hotmail.co.jp, either in English or in Japanese. In this way she will be able to monitor the progress of the reservations, and if necessary reopen negotiations towards blocking additional rooms. In case of trouble with reservation, you can contact her for assistance in clearing the problem. Be advised however that if you fail to reserve in time, the discount accorded to the University of Venice will no longer apply, nor do we guarantee that there will be availability of accommodation in the price category you can afford yourself. Conversely, in the event you have reserved a room in time but later on have to cancel your reservation for one reason or another, be sure to do this before the deadline indicated by the hotel, otherwise the hotel may charge you a cancellation fee. The deadline for the cancellation is obviously not the same as the deadline for the application of the special discount, it is closer to the date of the conference, but varies for each hotel. Dr. Moretti will check this for each hotel.

Although the location of the venue will hopefully elicit many presentations on the situation of Japanese resources in Italy, as was the case in Lund, the conference will not have a restricted special topic. It wants to give as comprehensive and full a picture as possible of recent developments in the field of Japanese resources. As in former editions of the conference, we hope that specialists from Europe, Northern America and Japan will attend in great number, but more particularly we would also like to appeal to prospective participants from China, Korea and Taiwan who are conversant with Japan-related resources.

Detailed information on the particulars of this conference will be forwarded to you in due time, but we would like to ask everyone reading this message to pass on its contents to colleagues or interested persons who they know or believe are not on our mailing list (yet).

Do not hesitate to send us the address and email address of anyone you feel may be interested and is not on our mailing list. We are looking forward to your continuing support and enthusiasm in 2006.