A Swiss delegation has visited Tohoku University on the second leg of a trip to mark 150 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and Switzerland.
Earlier in the day the delegation visited the coastal town of Onagawa, where donations from the Swiss Red Cross and Caritas Switzerland have helped to reconstruct a medical center. Onagawa was heavily damaged in the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, which reached heights of 16 metres and caused thousands of casualties.
At the head of the delegation was the Minister of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research, Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Amman, who met with Tohoku University President Susumu Satomi. "We are happy about having the chance to contribute to Onagawa," said Schneider-Amman.
"Switzerland is a country like Japan without raw materials. We invest very much into our education, research and innovation system and we are looking for collaborations with top universities like yours, around the globe."
Tohoku University currently has academic exchange agreements with the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne and Eidgenossische Hochschule Technische Zurich (ETH) in Switzerland.
Japan is Switzerland's fifth largest trading partner sending exports that include hi-tech components. Relations between the two countries stretch back to when Swiss watchmakers arrived on Japanese shores, prior to its ports being opened to the west.
Contact:International Exchange Offices