Kobe University Alumni Association in the Lao PDR celebrates inauguration (September 23)
Nov 2, 2012
On Sept. 23, the Kobe University Alumni Association in the Lao PDR celebrated inauguration in Vientiane, the capital of the Lao PDR. Among the guests invited to the ceremony were representatives from the Embassy of Japan in the Lao PDR, the Laos-Japan Friendship Association, the National University of Laos (NUL), local Japanese communities and alumni of Kobe University. From Kobe University, Dr. NAKAMURA Chiharu, Executive Vice President in charge of International Exchange, Prof. SURUGA Terukazu, Dean of Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Prof. OGAWA Keiichi, Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Prof. MITSUHASHI Yukari, Deputy Director for the Office for the Promotion of International Exchange, and faculty members from the International Student Center joined the ceremony. It became the first Japanese university alumni association officially organized under the Japan Alumni of Laos (JAOL) and the 11th overseas alumni association for Kobe University. The participants enjoyed the friendly and vibrant atmosphere throughout the ceremony. The inauguration also made the headline of the Vientiane Times (PDF), the local media in the Lao PDR.
At the ceremony, Mr. Kongeo Phamavanh, Vice President of JAOL, gave the opening speech. Then, a congratulatory message from Her Excellency Ms. YOKOTA Junko, Ambassador of Japan to the Lao PDR, was read by Ms. FUTAMOTO Yuko, Second Secretary for the Embassy of Japan in the Lao PDR. In the congratulatory message, Her Excellency Ms. Yokota expressed high hopes that the human network established and nurtured in Kobe will make a great contribution as a bridge between Japan and Laos after today's inauguration. It was followed by congratulatory messages from the guests of honor: Dr. Ponmek Dalaloy, President of the Laos-Japan Friendship Association; Dr. Somsy Gnophanxay, Vice President of NUL which has close and active relationship with Kobe University in educational and academic exchange; and Mr. TOGAWA Masato, Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Laos Office. They also expressed their warm congratulations with hopes and expectations for the future activities of the Kobe University Alumni Association in the Lao PDR.
Dr. Phanhpakit Onphanhdala, an alumnus who graduated from the Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies at Kobe University in 2008 and Lecturer at the Faculty of Economics and Business Management at NUL, was elected President for the Kobe University Alumni Association in the Lao PDR. In his speech, Dr. Onphanhdala extended his sincere appreciation to all members who offered invaluable support in establishing this alumni association accredited by the government of the Lao PDR. He continued that the association would strive for bridging Japan and Laos, and contribute to further development of both countries and Kobe University.
Dr. Nakamura delivered the commemorative speech titled "Towards Global Excellence: Kobe University's Present Status and Future Prospects", in which he referred to the history of human exchange between Kobe University and the Laos PDR as well as collaborative works with the Ministry of Education and Sports of the Lao PDR. In the following reception, Prof. Suruga made an opening speech. The Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies has produced many Laotian graduates, and Prof. Suruga enjoyed renewing old friendships with approximately 40 participants.
On Sept. 24, Dr. Nakamura, Prof. Mitsuhashi and Prof. Ogawa paid a courtesy call on Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phetsamone Khounsavath, Vice President for Academic Affairs at NUL. The delegates from Kobe University also visited the Ministry of Education and Sports in the Lao PDR, and have concluded the Memorandum for Matching Scholarship of the Strengthening Higher Education Project (SHEP). The signing of the MOU along with the inauguration of the Kobe University Alumni Association in the Lao PDR, as part of Kobe University's international strategies, will further accelerate the formation of global human network and contribute to expansion of academic and research exchange leading to the fostering of global talents.