Jun 1, 2010
On Wednesday, May 19, 2010, APU and Bungo-Takada City concluded a Friendship Agreement at a signing ceremony held at the Oita Prefectural Office. Bungo-Takada has introduced a number of initiatives to promote industry and nurture graduates for the future under the Comprehensive Plan, "A Town of Exchange and Culture Interwoven into a Thousand Years of History and Abundant Nature", while APU aims to nurture globally-minded graduates as a centre for education and research. This Agreement serves as the starting point for further exchange programs and the foundation of a solid collaborative and cooperative relationship between the two parties.
In attendance at the signing ceremony were Mayor of Bungo-Takada City, NAGAMATSU Hirofumi, APU President KORENAGA Shun, and official witness, Governor of Oita Prefecture, HIROSE Katsusada. In the ceremony, Mayor NAGAMATSU commented that, "This Agreement is built on an equal partnership that will allow us to share our resources with each other. I look forward to new ideas and initiatives coming from this Agreement", to which President KORENAGA replied, "Bungo-Takada City is a treasure-house of historical and cultural assets that will be of great interest to our students such as the unique 'ROKUGOU MANZAN' culture. I know that our students and citizens have engaged in interaction and exchange in the past, but I hope that this Agreement will be the start of even more comprehensive initiatives between us".
Blessed with a warm climate and an approximate population of 25,000, Bungo-Takada City was established in March, 2005 with the amalgamation of Bungo-Takada City, Kakaji Town and Matama Town. During the Heian period, about one thousand years ago, Bungo-Takada City comprised part of "Usa Jingu" shrine's demesne lands and with this economic backing, gave birth to the unique "ROKUGOU MANZAN" culture. The region's abundant nature and cultural history remain popular throughout Oita and further afield. Furthermore, the Bungo-Takada administration is achieving great results from unique educational systems such as the "Learning Academy for the 21st Century" that supplements the effects of the introduction of the five-day school week system (2002-).
APU was opened through the invitation of Oita Prefecture and Beppu City, and considers the internationalisation and revitalization of the region to be one of its central missions. APU has now concluded agreements with 16 municipalities and organizations both within and outside of Oita Prefecture including this agreement with Bungo-Takada City. Every year over 1000 students participate in exchange programs both in and outside the Prefecture and are making their contribution to the regional community.