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Keio University hosts the first APRU Presidents Meeting to be held in Japan as part of its 150th Anniversary Commemorative Project

Update:Jul. 04, 2008
Ms. Sadako Ogata delivers a speech (on 26 June at Kojunsha Club)
Ms. Sadako Ogata delivers a speech (on 26 June at Kojunsha Club)
Greetings by President Anzai (on 27 June at the Conference Hall of the Old University Library)
Greetings by President Anzai (on 27 June at the Conference Hall of the Old University Library)
Former Chairman G. Brown and President Anzai (on 27 June at the Conference Hall of the Old University Library)
Former Chairman G. Brown and President Anzai (on 27 June at the Conference Hall of the Old University Library)
Ceremonial Photo of the presidents (on 27 June in front of the Old University Library)
Ceremonial Photo of the presidents (on 27 June in front of the Old University Library)
Discussions in small groups (on 27 June at the East Research Building)
Discussions in small groups (on 27 June at the East Research Building)
Prime Minister Fukuda at the banquet to celebrate Keio's 150th Anniversary (on 27 June at the Imperial Hotel)
Prime Minister Fukuda at the banquet to celebrate Keio's 150th Anniversary (on 27 June at the Imperial Hotel)

From 26 to 28 June, the 12th Annual Presidents Meeting of APRU (Association of Pacific Rim Universities) was held at Mita Campus. Keio University participates in APRU as an important means to promote international expansion. APRU is a consortium of leading research universities of the Pacific Rim (West Coast of North America, Central and South America, Oceania, Southeast Asia and East Asia). To be considered for APRU membership, universities must be approved by member universities in terms of academic and educational achievements. In Japan, the following five universities have currently membership; University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, Osaka University, Waseda University and Keio University.

This year's Annual Presidents' Meeting reflected Keio's heritage and culture. The welcome dinner of the first night was held at Kojunsha Club, which was established as a social club based on Yukichi Fukuzawa's thinking, with Chairman Takeshi Fukuzawa of Board of Councilors hosting the dinner to welcome the presidents and representatives of member universities. President Sadako Ogata of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) was invited as a special guest and delivered a speech.

The theme of the Annual Presidents Meeting was "Tradition and Innovation in Higher Education", and on 27 June, a speech was delivered by Isao Kiso, Director-General for International Affairs of MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) in regards with the present situation of higher education in Japan. At Government Leaders Session by government officials, Heizo Takenaka, Director of Global Security Research Institute and Professor of the Graduate School of Media Design, and Shotaro Yachi, former Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, each delivered a speech. In the afternoon, presidents of member universities separated into smaller groups to discuss organizational operation and leadership as university presidents. More speeches followed by members of Board of Councilors of Keio University - IBM Japan CEO Kakutaro Kitashiro and Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe. During the question-and-answer session, active discussions were held with university presidents. In the evening, a banquet to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Keio University was held, and approx. 180 people attended, including Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda with the First Lady, university executives and representatives of international departments. Yumi Kurosawa, a graduate of Keio and well known abroad as a promising young Koto player, performed at the banquet, and in an enjoyable atmosphere, proved how versatile the alumni network is. Furthermore, Keio hosted School on Internet Asia Project Summit Conference at the same time. Taking this opprotunity, Presidents and representatives of this project, and guests from MEXT and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science joined in for a lively international exchange.

On 28 June, the annual business meeting was held at Mita Campus, and President Anzai was elected Chairman of APRU to succeed former Chairman G.Brown, Principal of the University of Sydney. Keio University is expected to lead the alliance of leading universities of the Pacific Rim.

Photo: Satoru Inoue and Susumu Ishito