Ehime University Reform Symposium: “Go Global, Work Abroad” was held at the Nanka Memorial Hall.
The “2015 Ehime University Reform Symposium: Go Global, Work Abroad” was held at the Nanka Memorial Hall on Monday, October 26. The symposium was co-hosted by the Japan Association of National Universities, which supports educational projects of Japanese national universities based on public appeals to enhance social interest and attract supporters. About 270 people, including university students, local citizens, high school students, faculty and staff members, participated in this event and there was lively discussion with the keynote speaker and the panelists.
This symposium aimed to be interactive by making it possible for the audience to exchange opinions through Q&A and digital technology. Professor Masaki Yasukawa, Director of Institute for International Relations, posed a question to the audience in his opening remark, “How important do you think it is for you to become an internationally-minded person while doing your business in Ehime?”
In the keynote speech, Mr. Tomio Moriguchi, Chairman of Seattle Uwajimaya, started his talk with explaining how his father and family, who were immigrants from Ehime, struggled to start up a business in a new country. The audience seemed very impressed by his success story on how he and his predecessors grew UWAJIMAYA to be the most successful Japanese supermarket in the US. The speech was followed by the video message from Mr. Kihei Otani, President of Nanka Ehime Kenjinkai (Ehime Immigrants’ Association in Southern California). Mr. Otani said in his video message: “I am honored to thank you for remembering the effort and sacrifice of the Nanka Ehime Kenjinkai pioneers, as I have learned the story about the construction of the Nanka Kinen Hall located on the Ehime University campus. He also said: “I hope that the original goal of adding this hall is still being fulfilled by providing various educational activities through the faculty and students.”
The participants included a lot of high school students from Matsuyama Higashi, Uwajima Minami, Ehime University Senior High School, all of which have been selected as Super Global High Schools by the Japanese Ministry of Education. In the panel discussion, one of those students asked: “What qualities besides speaking English do you think are required to be successful in doing business overseas? Mr. Moriguchi answered: “Having a hobby even while you are a student makes it easier to expand human network when you actually go abroad. That will not only make a good influence on your business but help to enrich your own life.” Through the discussion session, the participants listened intently to the panelists’ answers and nodded in acknowledgement to the points being raised.
Finally, Professor Yuka Tsuchiya, moderator of the panel discussion, wrapped up the session by asking: “Did this symposium help you to develop an international awareness?” and 92% of the audience answered “Yes”.