Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University



The Uzbekistan Ambassador visits APU


Dec 7, 2010

On Wednesday, November 24, 2010, H.E. Prof. Khamidulla Karamatov, Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan, visited APU. During his visit, the Ambassador toured the campus, met with APU President KORENAGA Shun, delivered a lecture on 'The tendency of the development of Uzbek-Japanese cooperation' and held open discussions with APU students from Uzbekistan.

The Ambassador was welcomed onto the campus by Pro-Vice President, Edgar PORTER before inspecting a seminar class by APM Professor, YAMAMOTO Susumu. The Ambassador then enjoyed discussions with APU President KORENAGA which focused on the relationship between Japan and Uzbekistan and the prospects for future academic exchange agreements.

During his special lecture, the Ambassador outlined the economic, political and cultural relations between Uzbekistan and Japan including investment in the Uzbekistan economy by Japanese businesses. On the subject of cultural ties between the two nations, the Ambassador described the cemeteries in Uzbekistan that are the final resting place of over 800 812 Japanese internee and forced laborers that perished in the late 1940's during the reconstruction of Soviet cities. Of the over half-a-million captured by the Soviet forces in the final days of WW2, approximately 25,000 Japanese internee are said to have been used as forced labour in Uzbekistan. The cemetery is now home to over 2000 Japanese cherry trees and maintained by the local Uzbekistan authorities who insist on caring for the final resting place of their Japanese 'brothers', as the Ambassador described, as a symbol of peace and friendship.

Running beyond the schedule time, the Ambassador kindly answered questions raised by the audience before engaging in open discussions with APU students from Uzbekistan.

During his time on-campus, the Ambassador expressed how impressed he was with the international and cutting-edge atmosphere at APU and the students' English proficiency. He also pledged his full support in the event of any "Uzbekistan Culture Weeks" being held next year as part of the annual APU "Multicultural Weeks".

Ravshanbek KARIMOV (APM 3, Uzbekistan), who attended to the Ambassador during his time at APU, commented on the experience, "I am very happy to have be given this opportunity to host such an important official from Uzbekistan. It's a great chance for me to exchange my thoughts and opinions with the ambassador".

APU currently has 31 students from Uzbekistan who continue to play an active role on the APU campus. In AY2009, PAK Andrey (APM3, Uzbekistan) won the Consulate General Prize at the "Korean Speech Contest for High School and University Students". Let's look forward to stronger ties being formed between APU and the Central Asian region in the future.

Reporter, Student Press Assistant (SPA): POUDEL Santosh Sharma(APS2, Nepal)

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