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President Oike participates in the APRU 11th Annual President’s Meeting

The APRU (Association of Pacific Rim Universities) 11th Annual President’s Meeting was held at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China from May 28th~30th, 2007. Kyoto University President, Dr. Kazuo OIKE attended the meeting together with Executive Vice-President for Research and Finance, Dr. Hiroshi MATSUMOTO; Director-General of the Organization for the Promotion of International Relations and Vice President, Professor Toshio YOKOYAMA; and Director of the International Affairs Division Mr. Masao TSUKAMOTO. The meeting was attended by 24 presidents from APRU affiliated universities, six special guests and over 70 other participants.

On the 28th, the party from Kyoto University attended the APRU World Institute (AWI) Governing Board Meeting, as well as a Welcome Dinner hosted by Professor Yang Wei, President of Zhejiang University. On the 29th, the APRU Forum, which was entitled “Higher Education and Emerging Economies,” was held. Keynote speeches were given by ZHANG Xinsheng, China’s Vice-Minister of Education; Professor Franklin YANG Chen Ning, Distinguished Physicist and Winner of the 1957 Nobel Prize in Physics; and Professor TU Weiming, Director of the Harvard-Yenching Institute and Professor at Harvard University. The speeches were followed by an exchange of opinions and ideas on topics such as the relationship between basic science and applied science in the 21st century, the importance of research into civilization and ethics, and the need for a renaissance in the humanities fields. The day’s proceedings were brought to a close with a dinner reception hosted by Mr. LÜ Zushan, Governor of Zhejiang Province.

On the morning of the 30th, following the planning meetings for future APRU activities, the President’s Open Forum was held. At the forum, President Oike gave a presentation entitled “Kyoto University’s Ongoing Efforts to Realize a Comprehensive Framework for Natural Disaster Reduction in the Pacific Rim Region,” in which he discussed the fundamental principles of Kyoto University’s Mission statement: the pursuit of harmonious coexistence within human and ecological community on this planet.

As well as the presentation by President Oike, the forum featured presentations by Professor Paul CHU, President of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, who explained his idea for the establishment of community-orientated education and research institutes, and Professor Henry YANG, Chancellor of the University of California, Santa Barbara, who presented a report about on-campus eco-efficiency. These presentations continued the theme set by Professor Tu Weiming in his call for a renaissance on the forum’s opening day (Professor Tu was also a speaker at the Kyoto International Culture Forum 2004: “In Quest of Kokoro / Human Minds for This Planet,” when, as on this occasion, the professor expounded the importance of research into kokoro – the human heart and mind). The presentations shared a common purpose in conveying the increasing opportunity for academic integration geared towards a reconsideration of the relationship between humankind and nature.

On the afternoon of the 30th, President Oike delivered a speech at an international symposium in the city of Hangzhou entitled “Circular Economy and Sustainable Society.” The symposium, which was jointly held by the Integrated Research System for Sustainability of Japan, the Kyoto Sustainability Initiative, Ritsumeikan University, and China’s Zhejiang University, was also attended by the presidents of the University of Tokyo, Osaka University, Waseda University and Ritsumeikan University.