Jul 29, 2010
On Friday, July 16, 2010, APU Academic Advisor Dr. George A. Sioris (former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Greece in Japan and Honorary Chairman of the Asiatic Society of Japan) visited APU where he held discussions with President KORENAGA Shun, inaugural President SAKAMOTO Kazuichi and a group of Thai students.
Dr. Sioris has served in embassies throughout the world as a diplomat for the Hellenic Republic of Greece and is currently stationed in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Dr. Sioris also delivered a special lecture after talking with Thai students over lunch in the cafeteria.
Using anecdotes from the time when Western countries began forging diplomatic relations with the countries of Asia, Dr. Sioris explained the role of diplomats as follows: "In the past, diplomats served primarily as messengers who conveyed their governments' intentions to the government of the host country, but now that strides have been made in telecommunications and the world is globalizing, diplomats must handle more multilateral relationships between their country and several other countries rather than just one-to-one bilateral relationships. In addition, diplomatic agendas have come to handle more economic issues than political issues".
He continued by saying that "the work of diplomats has a glamorous side, but we are not able to devote ourselves fully to learning the languages of our host countries". He also remarked on the qualities that diplomats need by saying, "diplomats should possess English proficiency, specialization, the ability to adapt to foreign cultures and the ability to speak a third language other than their native tongue and English". Participants included students aspiring to become diplomats, and Dr. Sioris answered their questions in a friendly manner.
In his meeting with President Korenaga Shun and inaugural APU President Sakamoto Kazuichi, Dr. Sioris agreed to cooperate fully with the International Association for Asia Pacific Studies that APU recently launched.
The Academic Advisors support APU particularly in the advancement of research and education. The 53 members from Japan and abroad include Nobel Prize winning scholars, prominent researchers and individuals from educational fields. In addition to George A. Sioris, there are many prominent members who provide their support such as Dr. Yoichiro NAMBU who received a 2008 Nobel Prize for Physics, Taiwan's first Nobel Prize winner Prof. LEE Yuan Tseh, and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Professor Muhammad Yunus.