373 students from 35 countries and regions have been welcomed to the Asian Studies Program

The 2015-2016 Asian Studies Program Opening Ceremony was held September 1st at the Multimedia Hall on the Nakamiya campus. 373 students from 35 countries and regions joined the Fall class of 2015.

Not only Dr. Eiko Tanimoto, the President of the Board, but approximately 50 University officials and faculty members of the Asian Studies Program attended the ceremony.

In his welcoming remarks, Prof. Yoshitaka Tanimoto, President of Kansai Gaidai, encouraged students to try to understand the reasons behind the actions observed with Japanese people in order to develop mutual respect and understanding for making positive contributions to international society.

Following his remarks, congratulatory speeches by honorable guests were given. Ms. Catherine Taylor, Australian Consulate General, Osaka, reminded students to start defining how they will contribute through their careers as global leaders with strong Japanese and Asian literacy. Next, Mr. Keith Lommel, Consul for Public Affairs, U.S. Consulate General, Osaka-Kobe, advised to invest the effort into making real Japanese friends who are not going through a “life-changing experience”, but are at home with an existing networks of friends and family. Through relationships with these Japanese friends, Mr. Lommel believes that international students will truly get to know Japan.

After a speech by Dr. Jeffry Hester, Professor of the Asian Studies Program, international students enjoyed watching a traditional Japanese street performance “Nankin-Tamasudare”, in which performers transform a bamboo screen into various shapes imitating Mt.Fuji, the Golden Bridge, and other potent symbols. After completion of ceremony, a welcome luncheon was held at the Student Services Center (North), and it gave students a good opportunity to socialize and meet new friends.

Ms. Morgan Jones , from Towson University, U.S., said she wanted to develop her Japanese language skills, especially by expanding the number of Kanji characters she knows. Also, she is looking forward to visiting Kyoto, Osaka and Sendai during her one-year stay at Kansai Gaidai.