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The Fourth Kobe University – Beijing Foreign Studies University Joint Symposium

  • July 19, 2019
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  • Keywords: International relations, Collaborations, University partnerships

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On July 6 and 7 the Fourth Kobe University – Beijing Foreign Studies University Joint Symposium took place at Kobe University’s Takigawa Memorial Hall. The event was jointly hosted by Kobe University and the Beijing Center for Japanese Studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

Kobe University has been strengthening exchange with Beijing Foreign Studies University since concluding an inter-university academic exchange agreement on November 3, 2008, and our close partnership includes a Double Degree Program encompassing the Graduate School of Humanities and Graduate School of Economics. We have continued to develop our bilateral cooperation with the establishment of the Beijing Foreign Studies University and Kobe University International Collaborative Research Base within Beijing Foreign Studies University on January 1, 2015, followed by the establishment of the Kobe University and Beijing Foreign Studies University International Collaborative Research Base within Kobe University on April 1, 2016.

This symposium series started in the 2015 academic year as part of the activities of the Kobe University and Beijing Foreign Studies University International Collaborative Research Base. This year’s symposium was held under the theme of “China, Japan and East Asia 1989-2019: Inside and Outside the Heisei Era”.

On July 6, Professor Hiroshi Okumura (Dean of the Graduate School of Humanities) and Professor Jinwen Song (Deputy Director of the Beijing Center for Japanese Studies) gave the opening speeches. This was followed by a student session moderated by Professor Yoshikazu Suzuki (Graduate School of Humanities) with presentations by three doctoral students from the Beijing Center for Japanese Studies, three doctoral students and one master’s student from the Kobe University Graduate School of Humanities and Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies. Audience members such as commentators Associate Professor Fumitake Kajio (Graduate School of Humanities) and Associate Professor Lei Pan (Beijing Center for Japanese Studies) participated in the plenary discussion afterwards, and an active debate took place.

On July 7, opening speeches from Professor Masahiko Yoshii (Executive Vice President in Charge of International Exchange) and Professor Jinwen Song were followed by reports from researchers. Moderated by Professor Daisuke Higuchi (Graduate School of Humanities), six members of Kobe University and four members of Beijing Foreign Studies University presented research from their specialist fields in humanities and social sciences including literature, history, art, economics and politics. They delivered multifaceted arguments from the perspective of China, Japan and East Asia on the period from 1989 to 2019, defined as the Heisei era in Japan. In the final plenary discussion chaired by Professor Higuchi the debate deepened further to encompass future developments in these fields.

Next year’s symposium will take place at Beijing Foreign Studies University. Through this symposium we look forward to further deepening the academic exchange between our institutions, and developing partnerships with other institutions in China, Asia and worldwide.

(International Affairs Planning Division)