Intercultural communication competence is gaining increasing impor-tance in the context of globalization. For example, politics and economics rely on social and cultural exchanges between countries and within societies, where differ-ent groups and persons with diverse social backgrounds need to cooperate and act on a daily basis. Although the term "intercultural competence" is frequently used, it ... [Show full abstract] is not always evident which concepts are associated with the expression. "Inter-cultural communication," "intercultural education," "intercultural exchange" and "intercultural training" have developed into extended fields of research in disci-plines like linguistics, foreign language teaching, educational science, psychology, international economics. In this article the author starts with a short review of per-spectives on intercultural competence in various disciplines, and discusses their implications for the field of Japanese studies, where "intercultural competence," it has been claimed, should also form part of the curriculum. In order to evaluate the possibilities of such concepts in the context of teaching and research in Japanese studies, empirical research on the topic was carried out by the author. Interviews have been conducted with Japanese, German, American and Swedish experts from universities, and educational and research institutions that are connected to fields of international and intercultural exchange, and with German students who had completed a study program in Japan. Their views are integrated into a discussion of students' international experiences, the role of misunderstandings in communi-cation, the importance of reflecting on the concepts of culture and the possibilities of developing "intercultural competence" in the context of Japanese studies. The author suggests important factors for the development of the field of Japanese studies as an outstanding area to develop and experience "intercultural compe-tence," a subject that offers many interdisciplinary research possibilities. The con-clusion reveals the possibility of integrating more didactic elements into university education in order to gain capacities to transform misunderstandings through self-reflection into a field where students learn to identify different cultural perspec-tives. Students need to learn at a well-informed level, with a methodological intro-duction of theory, to reach a complex ability in (inter)cultural understanding.