Russian-Japanese Exchange Seminar

December 11, 2018

Thanks to the support of Mitsui and Co., TUFS hosted a ‘Russian-Japanese Exchange Seminar’ as a part of the Mitsui Russia Education Program and Russian Student Japanese-Language Training program.

Mitsui, as a part of their philanthropic activities, has since 2007 offered free lectures and short-term study-tours in Japan to students, primarily students from St. Petersburg University.  This year, five students visited Japan from the 1st to the 14th of December. They were all exceptional students majoring in either international relations or Japan studies.  These students visited disaster-struck areas in the Tohoku region, Kyoto, and Hiroshima, received study-training at Mitsui headquarters in Tokyo, and also found time to visit TUFS.  Additionally, five TUFS students, including three students who studied abroad at partner institutions in Russia, participated in the seminar.

In the seminar, TUFS Special Professor Arai Shigeru introduced the seminar participants to the history of TUFS, as well as the mission of the World Development Reinforcement Office (Russia).  Following this, TUFS professor Suzuki Yoshikazu moderated a very lively discussion, which jumped back and forth from Japanese to Russian to English, on Russo-Japanese relations.  In Russia today, considerations of international relations and job opportunities lead an overwhelming number of Russian students to choose to study English, or one of two Asian languages, namely Chinese or Korean.  This means that the presence of the Japanese language in Russian education is on the decline.  With this situation in mind, Professor Suzuki presented informative statistics gathered at the citizen-level in Japan and Russia regarding perceptions of each other.  With these problems in mind, the students in the seminar discussed what can be done to improve Russo-Japanese relations, and engaged in frank exchanges of opinions.  Of particular note, a number of students argued for the importance of not just state-to-state level discussions, but of exchange and interaction between the populaces of the two nations.  The formal discussion was followed by free discussion, and then a lunch which offered participants the chance to further engage in an exchange of opinion.

Japanese and Russian students participating in discussion

Overview of the seminar

Date and Time: 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., December 11, 2018

Venue: TUFS General Culture Research Seminar Room

Russian participants: 5 (titles omitted)

TUFS participants: 5