Confucius Institute at Waseda University Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary
—The Foundation of China-Japan Friendship Lies in Public

[Source]    People’s Daily [Time]    2017-12-06 09:03:23 

Though Tokyo has entered winter, Waseda University is still full of beautiful colors. On November 30th, the Confucius Institute at Waseda University—the first research-oriented Confucius Institute in the world—celebrated its 10th anniversary in Tokyo. Around 150 people of two countries, including Cheng Yonghua, Chinese Ambassador to Japan, Kaoru Kamata, President of Waseda University, and Tian Gang, Vice President of Peking University, attended the anniversary.

State-to-state relations thrive when there is friendship between the peoples. In 2007, the first research-oriented Confucius Institute in the world was founded in Waseda University. Over the past decade, the Confucius Institute at Waseda University has developed high level educational and cultural exchanges between China and Japan, through cooperative programs between Waseda University and Peking University in postgraduates programs, academic conferences, Confucius Institute (a magazine compiled in Chinese and Japanese), academic publications and various cultural activities.

The foundation of China-Japan friendship lays in the public and the future of two countries is also in the hands of their people. Kaoru Kamata reckoned that the Confucius Institute played an important role in improving the understanding between young students of the two countries, developing the Japan-China friendship, and building a community of shared future for mankind. The Confucius Institute at Waseda University will continue advancing exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in the future through innovative educational research activities. Tian Gang said that Peking University will make joint efforts with Waseda University to well run the institute a success and promote non-governmental exchanges between two countries.

As close neighbors to each other, China-Japan relations have maintained long-term, sound and stable development, which is in line with the benefits of the two peoples and conducive to maintaining regional peace and stability. Cheng Yonghua briefed on the 19th CPC National Congress in his speech. Cheng said that the Congress is the milestone in the course of development of China, offering a blueprint for the country’s future. He even quoted from the Analects of Confucius, “Gentlemen favor both harmony and difference”, “gentlemen cooperate to do good deeds” and “one shall help fulfill others first and then himself” to depict a clear picture of China’s foreign policy after the Congress, especially the understanding of a new type of international relations and a community of shared future for mankind. And he also hoped the Japanese young people to know more about China and China-Japan relations, and take serious consideration on how to achieve peaceful cooperation and common development between both countries in the future, so as to make contributions to China-Japan friendship with specific actions.

Takahashi Gou, a senior student in the School of Law at Waseda University, signed up for the event upon the news of the 10th anniversary of the Confucius Institute. He once studied one year in Peking University and will soon work in the Asahi Shimbun. He told People’s Daily that he was grateful to the institute for the opportunity to offering a window to know more about China. He hoped that in future he could be sent to China as a journalist so as to present an objective and authentic picture of China to Japanese readers for a better understanding between the two countries.

People were impressed by the smooth communication in Chinese between a 19-centimeter-high robot and a professor at Waseda University. Report has it that the Confucius Institute at Waseda University is currently cooperating with Japanese enterprises and the mini-robots will be soon officially applied into Chinese language teaching.

On the same day, Waseda University held a special photo exhibition, which reviewed the course of development of the Confucius Institutes over the past decade and showed a dozen of academic monograph and dozens of magazines published by the institute.

Waseda University is a top private university with longest history in Japan and enjoys a long-term friendship with China over a century. Li Dazhao, the pioneer of Chinese Communist Party, and Chen Wangdao, the first person who translated The Communist Manifesto into Chinese, once were studying at this university. Currently, in the Waseda University, there are about 3,000 Chinese students, accounting for 60% of the total number of overseas students. At the same time, about 10,000 Japanese students have picked up the Chinese language courses and the number of Japanese students studying in China is increasing annually.

(Story by Liu Junguo, People’s Daily, Page 10, December 1st, 2017)


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