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Russia-related Events

2017/11/01(Wed) 14:35
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The 2017 Japan-Russia Student Forum in Vladivostok

The Japan-Russia Student Forum was held at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok from September 4 - 8. Taking part were 24 participants from 12 Japanese and two Russian universities.

The forum comprised a mix of group discussions and cultural activities. The discussions, held in English, explored ways for future collaboration between Japan and Russia in areas such as medicine, economics, agriculture, education and culture.

In the latter part of the week, the students had the opportunity to get to know each other better through group excursions to Vladivostok's famous museums and aquariums.

Representing Tohoku University were Tomoya Okuno, a third year doctoral candidate in Engineering, and Yuka Hakoda, a third year undergraduate studying Agriculture.

Okuno delivered the opening speech on behalf of the Japanese universities, and shared his experiences working on joint research projects with Russian help. Okuno works at the Maruta and Nakamura Laboratory at Tohoku University's Institute of Fluid Science.Hakoda, using her expertise in rice production, gave a presentation on increasing economic and cultural exchanges between Japan and Russia.

Ideas and proposals from the discussions were delivered by a student representative group at a plenary session of the Japan-Russia Student Forum, attended by ministry officials and senior university personnel.

Tohoku University President Susumu Satomi also spoke at the session, in which he encouraged the students to take on the challenge of building a new era of Russo-Japanese friendship. "Everyone who participated in this Japan-Russia Student Forum is a front runner in the next generation of exchanges between our two countries," he said.

The results of the Student Forum were presented as a joint proposal for action by student representatives of both countries to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who met with the students on September 7.

The Japan-Russia Student Forum was co-sponsored by Tohoku University, Hokkaido University, Moscow State University and Far Eastern Federal University.

Other Japanese participants included: University of Tsukuba, University of Tokyo, Niigata University, Chiba University, Kanazawa University, Yamaguchi University, Nagasaki University, Oita University, Tokai University and Kindai University.

The event was a chance for members to meet ahead of the establishment of the Association of Institutions of Higher Education of the Russian Federation and Japan next spring. The first General Assembly of the new organisation will take place at Hokkaido University in May 2018.

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Tomoya Okuno delivers his opening speech

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Yuka Hakoda gives her presentation

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President Satomi addresses the students at the plenary session

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All students from both countries come together to say goodbye


President Satomi attends the Eastern Economic Forum

A delegation from Tohoku University, led by President Susumu Satomi, attended the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) held at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Russia between September 5 - 7. This was the third meeting of the EEF, regarded as an important event for maintaining and developing economic ties between eastern Russia and Asia.

A number of major political figures participated, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

The group from Tohoku University comprised Executive Vice President Toshiya Ueki, Professor Kaoru Maruta (Institute of Fluid Science) and Associate Professor Nurbosyn Zhanpeisov (Institute for Excellence in Higher Education, Global Learning Center).

At the forum, President Satomi participated in the APEC Conference on Cooperation in Higher Education and in a Japan-Russia Business Roundtable discussion. He also delivered a speech at the plenary session of the Japan-Russia Student Forum, which was held concurrently, within the framework of the EEF. There, he spoke on behalf of the host institutions - Tohoku University, Hokkaido University, Far Eastern Federal University and Moscow State University.

In addition, President Satomi attended a private meeting with Prime Minister Abe and other Japanese participants. Japanese students had met earlier with their Russian counterparts at the Japan-Russia Student Forum, and President Satomi reported to the Prime Minister that the students were discussing ways to improve future relations between the two countries.

With President Satomi in attendance, the prime minister then met with the students, and received the results of their discussion in a written proposal. In it, the students suggested the establishment of a Japan-Russia Student Association, and for student visas to be waived.

The prime minister told the students that he was delighted with their enthusiasm and ideas and expressed hopes that such engagement and discussions would not only continue but lead to a bright future for Japan and Russia.

The EEF and sideline events were extensively covered by the media, with reports appearing on television, newspapers as well as the websites of the prime minister's official residence and of the central government.

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Photo credit: Cabinet Public Relations Office


A springtime exchange courtesy of the Tohoku University Cross-Cultural Program with Russia

Between March 11 and 24, fifteen students from Tohoku University enjoyed the hospitality of Novosibirsk State University, where the Institute of Humanities treated their guests to a mixture of cultural and educational activities which helped to deepen the students’ appreciation of Russia, its culture and people. Among the varied educational activities prepared for the students were lessons in the Russian language and Russian culture, as well as a visit to the research institutes at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The academic side of the trip was complemented by a chance to attend ballet, interact with Russian students at the university dormitories, and to enjoy the company of students of Japanese at the Siberia-Hokkaido Cultural Center.

Students at Novosibirsk State University were delighted to join in the activities for the duration of the program, taking every opportunity to support students from our university. A notable characteristic of the program is that student exchange between Russia and Japan is afforded a great deal of importance, with ample time set aside for cooperative project work as part of a collaborative environment.

This exciting opportunity for first and second year students of Tohoku University to sample the delights of Russia was the result of a cooperative educational program called the Tohoku University Cross-Cultural Program with Russia (TUCPR), part of the Re-Inventing Japan Project which is funded by the Japanese government. It follows a first exchange with Novosibirsk State University held in January 2015 and another in March 2016, this time with Moscow State University. The remaining participants are Far Eastern Federal University, the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the aforementioned Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The participating students enjoyed experiences not possible at home and through these gained a broader knowledge of Russia, learned the significance and importance of Japan-Russia relations, and developed a mutual understanding of their fellow students who are likewise responsible for the future prospects of both countries.

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Visiting the Novosibirsk Rail Bridge

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A farewell to friends at the closing ceremony


A visit from Novosibirsk State University (NSU) Institute for Humanities Staff and Students

Tohoku University Executive Vice President Toshiya Ueki received a courtesy visit from NSU Institute for Humanities Professor Elena Voytishek and five researchers and graduate students from the Institute on February 10, 2017. The group was in Sendai to attend the “Asian Studies at NSU and TU Ⅱ” workshop jointly organized by TU and NSU, and made use of the opportunity to visit EVP Ueki as well.

Professor Hiroki Oka, Director of the Tohoku University Center for Northeast Asian Studies (CNEAS TU), also attended the meeting. The attendees discussed how the fourth Japan-Russia workshop developed fruitful research meetings, the ongoing expansion of relevant research fields year by year, and the young researchers and graduate students joining as presenters since last year. EVP Ueki spoke regarding the bolstering of cooperation in a variety of research fields over the many years that TU and NSU have collaborated, and encouraging student exchange in recent years. He also expressed his gratitude for the earnest work of those from NSU who are involved in these efforts.

Following Tohoku University’s “Creation of Innovative Leaders for New Japan–Russia Relations” project adoption into the Re-Inventing Japan Project in 2014, several joint education programs have been carried out between TU and universities in Russia, and among these NSU is a valuable partner. We have strong expectations for further exchanges with them in the future.

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(Front row from right) Director Oka, EVP Ueki and Professor Voytishek

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At the Japan-Russia workshop.