SIPA-GraSPP Day 2011

Conference Report

Akifumi Takegawa

First, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to disaster victims in Tohoku area. At the same time, we really appreciate that SIPA students come to GraSPP despite this challenging situation. In fact, we have been worried whether we could hold this conference after the earthquake, wondering enough people might come. Even though originally, we have planned to divide into different topic theme groups, we decided to have only Prof. Tanaka's speech this time. On that day, unfortunately, some SIPA students decided to cancel their flights and some GraSPP student could not make it to the conference because of the planned blackouts. Nevertheless, we had a lively discussion with Prof. Tanaka at the conference. After that, both students deepened exchanges at the lunch reception. Although the plans were changed, we could still talk about our school and interests. I hope SIPA students enjoyed the short stay in Japan and GraSPP could build a good relationship with SIPA.

On March 14th 2011, SIPA-GraSPP was held at Hongo campus in the University of Tokyo. This conference takes place every year to deepen the relationship between Colombia University, School of International Public Affairs (SIPA) and The University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Public Policy (GraSPP). This time, 17 students came from SIPA and 34 from GraSPP. Reflecting the earthquake at Tohoku area, the schedule was changed. First of all, Visiting Professor at GraSPP Hitoshi Tanaka gave a keynote lecture. Second, lunch reception was held to facilitate socialization. At keynote speech, Prof. Tanaka changed the topic and gave a lecture about how the Japanese government is managing this crisis. After his lecture, participants had a discussion in the Q&A session. At the lunch reception, Prof. Shinichi Nakabayashi made a toast and observed a moment of silence for disaster victims. During lunch, SIPA and GraSPP students deepened exchange. At the end of the reception, Mr. Shiina, the organizer of SIPA-GraSPP day made a closing statement.

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