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First Video Teleconference with Nara Women’s University


On January 18, the “Living Together in a Global Society” study groups of Ochanomizu University and Nara Women’s University held their first video teleconference.

(Video teleconference in progress)

Representatives from Ochanomizu University presented the activities of three campus groups: the Ochanomizu chapter of STUDY FOR TWO (SFT), Gancha (Ganbare Higashi Nihon! Ganbare Ochadai!), and the East Timor Study Tour. We were able to provide a fairly specific report on these groups’ activities, including their booths at the Kiinsai (the Ochanomizu University school festival), their campus events and programs, and partnerships with business.

From Nara Women’s University, we heard plans for earthquake relief projects drawn up by teams of students in the Peacebuilding class. Six teams presented their ideas, including a Christmas party in a community’s shopping district, a student fishing experience program and a women’s group tour, and preparation and sale of tarts made with products from Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures that have suffered from harmful rumors of misinformation. All were highly original concepts, in which we would be delighted to take part. We look forward to further exchange of information and collaboration as the plans move toward implementation.

(An Ochanomizu University student delivers a presentation)

The video teleconference linked students in Nara (western Japan) and Tokyo (eastern Japan), who usually have few opportunities for contact, for a refreshing exchange of ideas. Presenting one’s activities provides an opportunity for reflection and improvement, and I believed we received inspiration from one another. The question-and-answer exchanges were lively and very meaningful.

Students from Nara Women’s University noted that they have fewer opportunities to assess the situation in the disaster area firsthand, owing to the great distance between western Japan and the Tohoku district. Even in the Tokyo area, however, news coverage of the disaster-stricken communities has tapered off, and one often hears people say, “Isn’t it kind of late to be volunteering?” In fact, communities are still clearing away rubble, many of the victims are in a bad state emotionally, and there is still a great deal that we can do to help out. I look forward to activities of the “Living Together in a Global Community” Study Group as an opportunity for us to recall the victims of tragedies in Japan and around the world. I believe that information exchange and collaboration of the sort we took part in recently has an extremely important role to play in raising the awareness of university students around Japan.

Because this was our first video teleconference, and because the time was short, there were a few hitches to the meeting, but I look forward to working with others to enhance the process and conducting even more lively and productive exchanges in the future.

(Misaki Saito, first-year undergraduate student, Human and Social Sciences,
Faculty of Letters and Education)

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