Libmonster ID: U.S.-1407
Author(s) of the publication: T. FUJITO
Educational Institution \ Organization: Takushoku University

Founded in 1900. As a School of Taiwanese Society, Takuseku University was at that time the only educational institution in Japan and in all of Asia specifically focused on the study of the Asia-Pacific region.

The founder of our university, Katsura Taro, and its third rector, Goto Simpei, were well aware of the role of Russia, first imperial, then Soviet, as a part of Asia and sincerely wanted to establish friendly relations with it, the importance of which they appreciated very much. Therefore, for a correct understanding of the path taken by our university over a century, the study of its relations with Russia is of particular importance.

This year marks the centenary of the Russo-Japanese War. As you know, Katsura Taro was then the Prime Minister of Japan and fought with Russia. A professional soldier, Katsura naturally saw Imperial Russia as an enemy during the war. But immediately after the conclusion of the peace treaty, he realized the need for cooperation and friendly relations with the country that is Japan's closest neighbor. After the Russo-Japanese war, Katsura headed the government twice more and in this post made a lot of efforts to improve and develop Japanese-Russian relations.

Goto Simpei, a close associate of famous Meiji statesmen Ito Hirobumi, Yamagata Aritomo, and finally Katsura, has also always stressed the importance and necessity of friendly relations between our countries.

After the Russo-Japanese war, Goto-as the first president of the South Manchurian Railway Company, and then Minister of Railways in the second and third Katsura cabinets - proposed a specific program of measures to develop cooperation between Japan and Russia in the field of economy, foreign trade and transport, but these proposals, unfortunately, were not fully implemented. implemented. However, his plans have not lost their significance today. Despite the fact that our relations, especially during the Soviet period, were sometimes difficult, the need for economic and trade cooperation, in my opinion, is quite obvious in the post-Soviet period. The same applies, of course, to cooperation in the fields of science, culture, and education.

As the rector of Takuseku University, Goto gave a powerful impetus to the teaching of the Russian language and the study of Russia. The Russian language has been taught at our university since 1917, and country studies courses about Russia have been taught from 1924 to the present, without interruptions.

I would like to draw your attention to the following fact. Along with Japanese teachers of the Russian language at our university, almost always there were also Russians. As can be seen from the documents, native speakers worked for us from 1922 to 1925, then from 1932 to the present day. One of them was Mikhail Grigoriev, a well-known essayist and translator of Japanese literature, whose works are well known today.

Attaching special importance to the study of Russia, along with the study of China, Goto commissioned a well-known scientist, Professor Mitsukawa Kametaro, to teach these regional studies courses.

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As Chairman of the Board of the Japanese-Russian Society, Goto attached great importance to contacts with Soviet Russia and made many efforts to establish diplomatic relations with it. I think this aspect of his work is well known in Russia as well. By the way, under Goto, the teaching of the Russian language at our university was based on textbooks compiled or published by the Japanese-Russian Society.

Everything mentioned above is a story. Celebrating its centenary in 2000, Takusyoku University entered the third millennium.

The second half of the twentieth century was an era of internationalization. The twenty-first century will be an era of globalization. Globalization has its pros and cons, but at Takuseki we think mainly about the globalization of education and research, emphasizing the importance of international relations in the field of education and culture.

Currently, Takuseku conducts international cooperation on the basis of scientific and student exchange agreements with 30 universities in China, Korea, Taiwan, Mongolia, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, England, Spain, Egypt, USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia. In addition, 19 branches of the Association operate as a single network in Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Australia. So we are an open, international university.

Takuseku accepts more than 1,200 international students every year, and many of our students study abroad.

We attach particular importance to student exchange as an important part of the educational system. To see the boundless world with your own eyes at a young age is, in my opinion, necessary for the formation of a full-fledged personality's consciousness. When you see the world with your own eyes, you will understand it better. Similarly, foreign students who come to Japan and get in touch with its language and culture begin to understand it deeply.

Teaching the Russian language and studying Russia at Takusyoku University has a long history, but until now we have practically never had a chance to cooperate with Russian universities. It is often said that the twenty-first century will be the "century of Eurasia". For this to happen, Japan and Russia, which are part of Eurasia, must cooperate in various fields. That is why we signed a cooperation agreement with the Far Eastern State University in 2004.

The improvement and development of Japanese-Russian relations requires not only the efforts of politicians and diplomats, but also cooperation at the level of ordinary citizens. Inheriting the spirit and precepts of Katsura and Goto, Takusyoku University as an educational institution is ready to contribute to this.

The current Japanese-Russian symposium is focused on the past experience of relations between our countries, but in my opinion, its main importance is in determining the ways for the future. Takusyoku University has a firm intention to continue cooperation and scientific exchange with Russian universities, institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and scientific societies.

Holding such a symposium in the Russian capital, in the year of the centenary of the beginning of the Russo-Japanese war, will not only become a cornerstone of friendly relations between Russia and Japan, but will also play a great role for the coexistence of all the peoples of Eurasia and for world peace. I am deeply convinced of this.


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