Minister Matsuno Hirokazu and his colleagues arrived on July 14th.
KFU has a longstanding cooperation tradition with Japanese peers, including several ongoing projects. This, of course, was the main focus of the today’s meeting. After presenting the University Rector Ilshat Gafurov said, “After Prime Minister Abe’s and President Putin’s meeting a decision was made to support many projects on the governmental levels, including those in academic mobility and joint research; I hope that our relations become even more intensive. RIKEN is our traditional liaison in Japan and helps establish contacts with many other universities. Thanks to this we can now cooperate with Juntendo University Clinic, Kanazawa University, and many others. Many companies which have their employees trained at KFU insist that we also give them Japanese language courses; as is the case, for example, with Fujitsu’s partner ICL. 20 students will go to Japan to study language and culture this summer”.
Some of the delegation's members are well acquainted with KFU, like Professor Hayashizaki Yoshihide who has long been working together with the Institute of Fundamental Medicine and Biology. The Institute’s programs were presented during the meeting by its Director Andrey Kiyasov. Vice-Rector Dmitry Tayursky, who was one of the originators of cooperation with Japan, told about its progress. It was he who initiated the KFU-RIKEN partnership in 2002 and has worked on its development. Facilities at both institutions have been envisioned so as to organically complement each other. Today physical, chemical, medical, and biological labs of RIKEN work at various KFU institutes. The Vice-Rector emphasized the high level of mutual interest that has been evident through the years.
The cooperation is not only limited to natural sciences. Academic exchange is ongoing in philosophy, sociology, and, of course, language and culture studies. There is a Center for Japanese Studies at KFU.
Minister Matsuno was impressed by this picture and replied, “I am very glad that your university is widely known in Japan and that the number of cooperation agreements is growing. I think that experience exchange and ties in science are really necessary for both sides, and we intend to develop these ties and arrange student exchange. I am glad that today we have an opportunity to discuss not only our current cooperation but also its prospects”.
The Minister also visited KFU-RIKEN labs at the Institute of Physics. The guests could witness the ongoing work and get acquainted with researchers. Many of them obtained their degrees in Japan and, naturally, support close ties with the country. This, as Rector Gafurov said, is the firm basis of cordial relations. He added that achieving mutual understanding between scientists of two countries can help the two governments create a shared vision of the future.