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Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Gives a Lecture at Kyoto University (April 15, 2013)

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, chairperson of the National League for Democracy (NLD) of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, visited Kyoto University on April 15, 2013 to deliver a lecture. The lecture was one engagement in her first visit to Japan in twenty-seven years since she studied at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University in 1985 to 1986.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, an internationally recognized pro-democracy leader, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 in recognition of her contribution to the nonviolent struggle for democracy and human rights. She was also awarded the United States Congressional Gold Medal in 2008. As a representative in the lower house of the Burmese House of Representatives, she has been actively involved in negotiations for settlement and democratization with the new government established in 2011.

Arriving at the main entrance of the Clock Tower Centennial Hall at around 11:00 a.m., Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was escorted by Prof. Michiaki Mishima, Executive Vice-President for international affairs and hospital administration, to the guest room. There she met with Kyoto University president, Dr. Hiroshi Matsumoto. She was also welcomed by Prof. Akihiko Akamatsu, Executive Vice-President for student affairs and library services, Prof. Toshiyuki Awaji, Executive Vice-President for education, Prof. Nobuyoshi Esaki, Executive Vice-President for general affairs, planning and information infrastructure, Prof. Noboru Nishisaka, Executive Vice-President for finance, facilities and environmental health and safety, Prof. Kiyoshi Yoshikawa, Executive Vice-President for research, and Prof. Hiromu Shimizu, director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies.

Moving to the Clock Tower Centennial Hall, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was met with great applause from the assembled Kyoto University students. President Matsumoto then presented her with the first honorary fellowship in Kyoto University's history for her outstanding and internationally-recognized achievements. Following the award ceremony, she delivered a lecture titled "Socio-Political Change in Recent Burma and Women's Participation in It". During the question and answer session which followed the lecture, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi answered questions from students in her characteristically conscientious manner, before being presented with a bouquet of flowers as a token of thanks.

After the lecture, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi visited the Center for Southeast Asian Studies. She was engaged in research on her father, General Aung San, who is known as the leading architect of Burmese independence and "the founder of Union of Burma." She was welcomed to the center by its director, Prof. Hiromu Shimizu, and its staff members. She visited the center's Aung San Suu Kyi Room, which is preserved as it was at the time of her studies. There, she enjoyed talking with the center's members, while viewing journals and albums from the period, and recalling her time there. Her visit to Kyoto University concluded with the presentation of a bouquet of flowers by a member of the center's staff and a commemorative photo session in the courtyard.


Group photo in the guest room.

Honorary fellowship award ceremony: Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (Right), President Hiroshi Matsumoto (Left).

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is presented with a bouquet of flowers by a student.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi delivers her lecture.

In the Aung San Suu Kyi Room.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi puts her signature and a message saying "with gratitude and pride" in the last page of the Aung San Suu Kyi Room’s visitors book.

Group photo at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies.