Kyoto University commemorates NGO certification in Thailand, signs MoU with NSTDA (28 September 2018)

23 Oct 2018

      For more than five decades, Kyoto University has been involved in wide-ranging academic activities and networks in the ASEAN region, opening its ASEAN Center in Bangkok in June 2014.

      On 7 March 2018, the University was granted permission by Thailand's Ministry of Labour to operate in the country as a foreign non-governmental organization (NGO), marking the first time that such status has been granted to a Japanese university. This is anticipated to significantly enhance the operations of the ASEAN Center.

      On 28 September, the University held a ceremony and reception in Bangkok to commemorate the NGO certification, and also to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding for Academic Cooperation and Exchange (MoU) with Thailand's National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA).

      The ceremony opened with a welcome greeting from Dr Kayo Inaba, Kyoto University's executive vice-president for gender equality, international affairs, and public relations, followed by congratulatory addresses from four distinguished guests: Dr Sophon Napathorn, Thailand's vice-minister of education, Dr Kanyawim Kirtikara, vice-minister of science and technology, His Excellency Mr Shiro Sadoshima, Japan's ambassador to Thailand, and Mr Kazuhiko Hayashi, director for international analysis at the Higher Education Bureau of Japan's education ministry MEXT. The guests expressed their best wishes and anticipation for the expansion of collaborative activities between Kyoto University and institutions in Thailand and other ASEAN countries. These addresses were followed by a presentation by Dr Yasuyuki Kono, Kyoto University's vice-president for international strategy and director of the International Strategy Office. He provided an overview of the University's newly acquired NGO status and its implications for the expansion of academic exchange between Japan and Thailand.

      The MoU was signed by EVP Inaba and NSTDA President Dr Narong Sirilertworakul.Through their cooperation, Kyoto University and NSTDA aim to promote joint research among Japanese, Thai, and other ASEAN researchers, and to expand collaborative research activities of the Japan-ASEAN Science, Technology and Innovation Platform (JASTIP), which was launched in 2015 with funding from the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).

      The ceremony was attended by approximately one hundred government officials and researchers from Japanese and Thai institutions, and featured a poster session showcasing Kyoto University's education and research activities in the ASEAN region.

      The University's NGO status in Thailand will enable the ASEAN Center to operate with greater stability, as it seeks to promote Japan-ASEAN collaboration in science and technology, research, and education, and strengthen its regional academic network, with a view to facilitating development in both the ASEAN region and Japan.


      From left: EVP Inaba greeting the crowd, Vice-President Kono delivering a presentation, and ASEAN Center Director Mamoru Shibayama closing the ceremony


      From left: Mr Hayashi, MEXT's director for international analysis; HE Ambassador Mr Sadoshima; Dr Kanyawim, Thailand's vice-minister of science and technology; Dr Suphat, secretary-general of Thailand's Office of Higher Education Commission (OHEC); KyotoU EVP Inaba; KyotoU Vice-President Kono; Dr Fumihiko Matsuda, assistant to Kyoto University's executive vice-president for international affairs; and ASEAN Center Director Shibayama 


      From left: Science and Technology Vice-Minister Kanyawim, NSTDA President Narong, KyotoU EVP Inaba, and International Analysis Director Hayashi


      Ceremony attendees

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      Kyoto University commemorates NGO certification in Thailand, signs MoU with NSTDA (28 September 2018)
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