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At Opening Ceremony of Core University Programme between Kyushu University and Chungnam National University under JSPS-KOSEF Core University Programme

September 5, 2003


Prof Chung Duk Kim, Chairman of KOSEF,
Prof Kajiyama, President of Kyushu University,
Prof Arikawa, Vice-President of Kyushu University,
Prof Dae Yong Kim, Chungnam National University,
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

I am very proud to declare that JSPS has today started a new Core University Programme with KOSEF on the "Next Generation Internet." Kyushu University and Chungnam National University will take the role of core universities for the next four years.

The Core University Programme is the flagship of JSPS's international collaboration in Asia. JSPS and KOSEF are already conducting, very effectively, five projects under this scheme. Energy, semiconductors, ceramics, soft materials, and fisheries; each project is unique and requires a different research approach. They all have the benefit of collaboration in common.

This new project on the Internet has a particularly promising future, both in terms of scientific achievement and in strengthening our friendship ties.

The Internet has a huge impact on us. The first time I encountered it was about ten years ago when I worked at the Ministry of Education and Science. Though not an expert in the field, I recognised right away the value of the technology not only in improving the quality of life and work, but also in enhancing the quality of education and research.

This has now come true. We can no longer imagine life and work without email or the Internet. Computer technology, together with the global network, has also fundamentally changed the nature of learning and researching. Universities have changed dramatically, opening new horizons of research in many areas.

I am impressed by the fantastic progress that has been made in information technology over the past ten years. For example, later in the ceremony, Prof Kajiyama will deliver us a message via TV conferencing all the way from his campus in Kyushu. Also, I can exchange email with Chairman Kim of KOSEF at anytime everyday! It's splendid how this technology is enriching our lives.

Nevertheless, there are still many aspects of this field that we can explore together. On-line security is still a very serious issue, as we saw in the rapid spread of the MSBlast to hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide. E-learning and virtual museums are being developed, and will expand our academic and cultural activities. More work is also needed in high-quality network technology, such as IPv6, multicast communication and wireless communication. So there are still many challenges for us to take on together.

The great advantages of the Core University Programme are the large scale of its exchanges and its flexibility. Any expert in the subject field can join our projects. So this is not just a Kyushu-Chungnam joint programme. It can accommodate the best researchers from any university. Japan will encourage the participation of leading researchers in this programme.

Japan and Korea are two countries at the cutting edge of IT technology and industry, which makes our joint initiative a most ideal channel of collaboration. I believe that we are both good at originality, creativity and hard work. Combining these qualities, I am confident that we will achieve high goals under the strong leadership of Prof Arikawa and Prof Dae Yong Kim, the two coordinators of the programme.

Ladies and gentlemen, it again gives me great pleasure to be here with you this evening to celebrate the start of this programme. I ask all of you to work with us in advancing this collaboration. I look forward to our progress bringing Japan and Korea even closer together.

Thank you very much.