Japan’s deep seated interest in the geo strategic importance of India’s North-east: Kunihiko

Shillong, May 30: His Excellency Kunihiko Kawazo and the Political Counselor expressed their deep satisfaction and appreciated the NEHU fraternity for holding an extremely productive bilateral discussion on wide ranging issues like academic and cultural collaboration in near future.

A meeting was held between visiting Japanese delegation and NEHU community of teachers and students under the aegis of the newly established Office of International Affairs (OIA) of NEHU and ICSSR-NERC.

The visiting Japanese dignitaries were presented with NEHU’s achievements for last half a decade and the visiting team appreciated NEHU’s strategic location and its contribution to larger field of knowledge.

His excellency Kunihiko Kawazo in his speech called upon the NEHU fraternity to strengthen the existing Indo Japan relationship. He referred to multilateral agreements that have been currently arrived at in the discussion between India’s Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Mr. Kishida Fumio.

His Excellency referred to India’s close partnership with Japan in areas like Science and Technology, Trade, and also in the area of people to people relations. Appreciating the natural surroundings of NEHU and its infrastructure, His Excellency compared NEHU against the urban landscape of University of Tokyo of which he is a noted Alumnus.

He pointed out at length possibility of NEHU’s collaborative work with Japan foundation which is tasked with dissemination of Japanese language and culture.

He exhorted NEHU for its enthusiasm to teach Japanese language and culture and exuded a lot of confidence in vibrant, dynamic and impactful members of NEHU fraternity in achieving higher goals of learning and research in the areas Japanese language, literature and culture.

Recollecting Japan’s connections with north-east of India, the visiting Charge de affaires opened up the doors for further discussion and collaboration through his esteemed office.

The political counselor Mr. Kentaro Orita further explained his natural affinity to NEHU by exclaiming amidst loud applause his desire to become a student here in NEHU.

The counselor further stated the professed objective of Japan’s deep seated interest in the geo strategic importance of India’s North-east and related it to NEHU’s unique socio-cultural and educational eco-system.

NEHU’s role in uplifting the region towards a pan-Asiatic and global spread of advanced level of intellectual contributions is underscored by the counselor. He emphasized upon people to people relations between Japan and North-east India that has acquired a new dimension in terms of act east policy.

Going by Japan’s role in act east policy, he projected the possibility of closer ties between academic institutions, university/industry collaboration through Japan and in the overall the possibility of larger investment by Japan for the benefit of people of North-east India.

In his presidential address, the Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Prabha Shankar Shukla solicited greater participation and cooperation from Japan and its Universities in developing concrete research collaborations in areas of mutual interest.

Imploring Japan’s role in QUAD and especially announcing QUAD fellowships for Indian students, the Vice-Chancellor elicited a lot of hope and exuberance towards more students from NEHU getting the benefit of such a fellowship.

Prof. Shukla pointed out NEHU’s consistent advancement of research; teaching and social outreach that can catch up to global standards and readily partner with relevant Japanese Universities and other institutes.

He advocated that the civilisational linkage between India and Japan is transformed into Japan finding a home in North-east of India and North-east of India finding a home in Japan.

Prof. Shukla narrated such gestures of being at home with each other as form of geo-strategic knowledge that needs to be understood by both sides in terms of epistemology and science.

He advocated that Japan and India’s drive towards building up a knowledge society and the knowledge economy call for deeper understanding between NEHU and Japanese Universities so that the cultural and civilisational foundations of Indo Japan relationship could be augmented by joint work towards new synergies in terms of knowledge and its application.

Earlier Prof. A. S. Dixit presented a brief summary of NEHU’s multidisciplinary and high impact research publications and collaborations with Japanese counterparts which was duly appreciated by the visiting Japanese dignitaries. Speaking on behalf of Indian Council of Social Sciences Research.

Prof. Bhagirath Panda invited Japanese scholars for using ICSSR’s facilities of residence, library and other research support system that is available within NEHU’s ecosystem. Both Prof. Dixit and Prof. Panda emphasized on convergent multidisciplinary research between social, natural and human sciences.

Welcoming the visiting Japanese team Prof. Prasenjit Biswas at the behest of Office of International Affairs, NEHU called upon greater Japanese initiative in rebuilding NEHU-Japan relationship.

Prof. Saurabh Kumar Dixit in his thanksgiving address urged upon the visiting Japanese Ambassador to come back to NEHU again and again so that NEHU-Japan relationship moves towards permanent hand-holding.

Large number of students and teachers had participated in the nearly two hours luncheon discussion, the moments of which included a smattering of diplomacy mixed with  intellectual and cultural proximity with Japan.

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