Go Global Japan Project

Kick-off Meeting

On Thursday, 6 December 2012, the Kick-off Meeting of the Project for Promotion of Global Human Resource Development was held in Hitotsubashi Hall. Attending the meeting were some 200 people from the 42 universities selected under the Project, diplomatic missions and related institutions, mass media, and ministries and government authorities.

The meeting’s first session, chaired by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), began with remarks by Bando Kumiko, Director-General of Higher Education Bureau, MEXT, who spoke about the need for fostering global talent and the role of the selected universities in taking the lead in advancing this agenda, and she stated that the ministry is placing high expectation in the significant role to be played by those universities in driving the globalization of Japan’s entire higher education system. Next, Aruga Osamu, Director of Office for International Planning, Higher Education Bureau, MEXT, described the system for establishing linkage and cooperation among the selected universities. Nationwide, the system was divided into four blocks. In Block East Japan 1, the Secretariat school is Tohoku University and the Deputy secretariat schools are Hokkaido University and Kanda University of International Studies. In Block East Japan 2, the Secretariat school is Waseda University and the Deputy secretariat schools are Ochanomizu University and Meiji University. In Block West Japan 1, the Secretariat school is Doshisha University and the Deputy secretariat schools are Kobe University and Kwansei Gakuin University. In Block West Japan 2, the Secretariat school is Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University and the Deputy secretariat schools are Kyushu University and The University of Kitakyushu. Furthermore, Waseda University was designated as the Project’s Representative school. Uchida Katsuichi, Vice President, Waseda University, offered remarks, saying that the 42 selected schools have a large role to play in advancing the globalization of Japanese universities and that Waseda University would faithfully carry out its role in coordinating and strengthening linkage among them. Then, MEXT went over important points regarding the Project implementation, the grant disbursement system, and the FY2013 budget request for Project funding

The meeting’s second session was held after a break. It was attended by representatives of the Japan Association of National Universities, Federation of Japanese Private Colleges and Universities Association, National Institution of Academic Degrees and University Evaluation, JAPAN FOUNDATION, KEIDANREN, Japan Foreign Trade Council, Inc., Embassy of the United States, Tokyo, Embassy of Canada to Japan, Embassy of The People’s Republic of China in Japan, Australian Embassy, Tokyo, Japan-U.S. Educational Commission, British Council, Campus France, German Academic Exchange Service, Tokyo, and members of the media. The session began with briefings by Inoue Hiroshi, Director, Public Relations Bureau, KEIDANREN, Ichimura Yasuo, Managing Director Japan Foreign Trade Council, Inc. and Yoshida Masashi, Director, Planning and Coordination Section, (Japanese-Language) Teacher and Institutional Support Department, JAPAN FOUNDATION. They were followed by presentations and opinion exchanges for the purpose of sharing information among the selected universities. The presentations were given by four Type A (University-wide) universities (Hokkaido, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific, Waseda and Doshisha Universities) and by four Type B (Faculty/school-specific) universities (University of Tsukuba, Showa Women’s University, Tottori University and Yamaguchi Prefectural University).

Lastly, closing remarks were offered by Aruga Osamu, who said that MEXT considers the Project to be one of its main programs and that it will support efforts to internationalize universities and foster globally adapted students. After the meeting ended, the representatives of the selected universities held an exchange of information and engaged in an active discussion on the Project’s implementation.