The VIII Forum of Russian and Japanese Universities' Rectors

On September 23, 2019 The VIII Forum of Russian and Japanese Universities' Rectors and the Second Meeting of The Association of Russian and Japanese Universities were held under the auspices of President of the Russian Union Rectors, Rector of Lomonosov Moscow State University Viktor Sadovnichy and President of Hokkaido University, Professor Masanori Kasahara.

The main topics of the event were health and medicine, human resources exchange and regional development.

Welcoming the participants of the Russian-Japanese scientific and educational dialog, President V. A. Sadovnichy has recalled that the bilateral relations between the universities has been developing for many years and the Forums of Russian and Japanese Universities' Rectors have been arranged since 2009 being a unique platform for discussing university cooperation. The Cooperation Agreements signed at those events have engendered real initiatives, scientific ad academic projects in which more and more participants, such as students, Phd students, professors and researchers have been involved.

Great hopes are laid on young people who have increasingly been participating in the cooperation: their involvement allows bilateral relations to be filled with new content, fresh energy and bright ideas.

The most important challenges for humanity according to President Viktor Sadovnichy, are now associated with medical science and the cooperation in this area is a prioriry. Doctors at Moscow State University collaborate with colleagues from the universities of Tsukuba, Niigata, and Tohoku holding joint medical conferences and implementing research projects. E.g., a joint Russian-Japanese team is working on stem cells at MSU Institute of Regenerative Medicine using the technology elaborated in Japan. Speaking about the development of university clinics, the Rector of MSU proposed another area of Russian-Japanese scientific and educational cooperation between clinics and leading universities of the both countries.

Another project specified by the MSU Rector is a joint development by Moscow State University and Soka University of a robotic module for evacuating and assisting radiation victims. The robotic system for assisting people distantly who suffer from radiation has been elaborated on the basis of the existing robot "Angel" at Moscow State University.

An important project is being jointly performed by the chemists of Moscow State University, Tokyo Technological University and Kyoto University. The research team is addressing nuclear safety issues and the aftermath of the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant using the experience of the Chernobyl accident. The cooperation between MSU and Japanese universities is intensively developing in the field of physics, computer technology and other areas of knowledge.

Students get also increasingly involved in developing cooperation between the both countries. In 2008 at the First Meeting of the Association of Russian and Japanese Universities it was proposed establishing the Students' Union within the framework of this Association. At the VIII Forum of Rectors of Russian and Japanese Universities the Second Russian and Japanese Youth Forum was organized from 22−27 September, 2019 at which 60 students from universities of the both countries took part and discussed the main important topics from ecology, medicine and other scientific fields.

On September 24, 2019 the VI Russian and Japanese Scientific Forum was held at which the leading scientists from Russian and Japanese universities presented reports on the latest researches in the field of history, archeology, philosophy, psychology, literature and foreign languages, economics, world politics and environment.

The Head of the Japanese Delegation Professor Masanori Kasahara reported about the achievements of the Association of Russian and Japanese Universities.
Foreign languages studies and courses, mutual educational programs have become the mainstream feature of the new educational environment in Russia and Japan. Professor Kasahara noticed that there were some difficulties in correlating national curricula with similar specialist training courses in the other country. He underlined that 66% of Japanese universities supported the mutual offset of the disciplines on internships or academic exchange. And the special groups within the framework of the Association focus on tackling the issue that should intensify further scientific and academic exchanges.

The Forum was attended by the Chairman of the Committee on Education and Science of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Dean of Public Administration Faculty at MSU Vyacheslav Nikonov, Deputy Chairman of the Committee of the Federal Council on Science, Education and Culture Viktor Smirnov, First Deputy of Minister of Education, Culture and Sports Agency Satoshi Asidate, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Russia Toshihiro Aiki.

At the event about three dozen reports were delivered by the leaders and representatives of the leading universities of Russia and Japan.

The participants spoke about progress in implementing new agreements reached at similar previous meetings.

Within the framework of the event the following new Agreements on Cooperation between Lomonosov Moscow State University and Japanese universities, such as Chiba University, University of Nagaoka and Tokyo Technological Institute were signed.

The new Agreements undoubtedly lead to the development of new mutual projects in the leading fields of science.

The Third MSU mission is University relationship with society. According to President Viktor Sadovnichy, it should be also linked to industry and production. The interactive Russian-Japanese Exhibition "Universities-Science-Business", that took place at the MSU Fundamental Library, was arranged. The biggest Japanese companies and MSU innovative departments demonstrated their achievements and projects.

At the end of the Forum a joint Communiqué was signed.