A large delegation from Tsinghua University, led by Vice President Xue Qikun, was in Sendai on July 26 for a series of joint workshops hosted by Tohoku University.
The event was held against the backdrop of two significant milestones: the 40th anniversary of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China, and the 20th anniversary of the university exchange agreement between Tsinghua and Tohoku University.
In his welcome speech, Tohoku University President Hideo Ohno highlighted the long-standing relationship between the two institutions, adding that he was "very glad and proud to see Professor Xue and many alumni of Tohoku University playing important and vital roles at Tsinghua University."
VP Xue, who is an alumnus and the chairman of the China chapter of the Tohoku University Alumni Association, expressed hope that the partnership will continue to grow. "Our two great universities have shared close and lasting exchange and cooperation for many years...Tsinghua hopes to identify opportunities for even greater collaboration with Tohoku University."
VP Xue and Tohoku University Executive Vice President Toshiya Ueki then signed a renewal of the exchange agreement between the two universities, originally inked in 1998, to promote further research collaboration and the exchange of faculty and students.
"Tsinghua has been engaging in very good, very high standard research," said EVP Ueki. "Going forward, I want us to work together not just in science and engineering, but also in the humanities and social sciences. There is a lot of potential here and I'm very excited about our partnership."
In the afternoon, participants attended workshops in four major fields, including materials science and spintronics. These were a companion to the inaugural joint workshops held in Beijing last December.
Participants were also introduced to the work being done on disaster mitigation and resiliency at the International Research Institute for Disaster Science (IRIDeS).
And senior leadership on both sides had a round table discussion about the management and promotion of cross-disciplinary collaborative research.
"We work well together because we're very similar. Like Tohoku University in Japan, Tsinghua has positioned itself as a leading research university in China." said Meng Bo, Associate Dean of Tsinghua University's Office of International Cooperation and Exchange. "We are also both top ranked national universities and I think that makes us feel a strong sense of social responsibility. We are driven by a similar mission to improve the lives of the people in our communities, in our country and around the world."
Over at Kawauchi Campus, the 66 Tsinghua University students who came with the senior delegation enjoyed a day of cultural exchange, taking part in a campus tour and an origami workshop with some 20 Japanese students.
In the spirit of collaboration, the students were divided into mixed groups, each tasked with making an origami tableau on the theme of "nature."
"It was a great opportunity for both sets of students to interact and get to know each other," said Rumi Watanabe of the Global Learning Center, who led the activity. "I think the Tohoku University students enjoyed sharing Japanese culture with the Tsinghua students and it looked like everyone had fun with the origami."
Contact:Tohoku University International Exchange Division
Tel: +81 22 217-4844