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(November 24, 2020)  UTokyo Alumni Association of Nepal Holds a General Meeting and a Seminar Online

UTAAN (UTokyo Alumni Association of Nepal) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Seminar called Benkyokai on 21 November 2020. It was conducted using the ZOOM platform because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first part of the program, AGM, was conducted by alumni members in the Nepali language, where the past activities of UTAAN were reviewed, forthcoming plans were discussed and the new Executive Committee's (EC) 11 members led by Mr. Ram Prasad Bhandari with three advisors were elected for 2020-2022 period.

The second part of the program was the Benkyokai in which participants also took part along with the alumni members. The key presentations of the event had three distinct components: (i) Three recent graduates, who graduated in September 2020 made presentations highlighting their education, their plans to apply what they learned and anticipated support from the senior alumni and other agencies; (ii) Dr. Dipendra Gautam, UTAAN EC Member and a health expert, presented “COVID19 and Nepal's Response — A Reflection”; and  (iii) Mr. Kiyokazu Tomoyoshi, Director at the UTokyo Alumni Office, presented the recent initiatives of both UTokyo as a whole and the UTokyo Alumni Office.

In total, 29 participants attended the program, including the invitees from JICA Tokyo and Nepal, World Bank/Washington, and UTokyo/Japan. Although the physical meeting was strictly restricted by COVID-19, online tools made it possible to invite the people from different parts of the world.


(October 21, 2020)  Hands-on Activity Programs to be held ONLINE for coming Winter/Spring

The Hands-on Activity Programs, which started in 2012, are for giving UTokyo undergraduate students the opportunity to be exposed to lifestyles and sets of values different from their own.

In 2020, summer programs were completely called off due to the impact of COVID-19. However, it was decided that some programs are to be carried out ONLINE for the coming winter/spring, and the applications have started this month.

A total of 17 programs are available, including 7 overseas programs, out of which the following 6 programs are to be offered by UTokyo Overseas Alumni Associations:

1. Visiting China and Student Exchange
2. Learn business in Singapore
3. Experience London as a European business center
4. Current UAE
5. Visit UTokyo alumni who are professors at Harvard Medical School
6. Visit professors, researchers and students who are UTokyo alumni

(October 1, 2020)  Chicago Akamon-kai Holds Online Meeting, Inviting Kyoto U. Associate Professor Tatsuhiko Inatani

The Chicago Akamon-kai held an online meeting on Sep. 25, 2020, inviting Associate Professor Tatsuhiko Inatani (Graduate School of Law, Kyoto University) who gave a keynote lecture entitled "Rule of Law in Society 5.0 - Governance Innovation & Beyond."
Associate Professor Tatsuhiko Inatani explores a new, suitable and sustainable governance system of AI technologies development for Society 5.0. He made a comprehensive and philosophical presentation including topics such as: 1) features of Society 5.0; 2) relationship and interaction between humans and technologies; 3) limitations and issues of traditional governance systems and hazard-based regulation; 4) introduction of co-regulation; 5) potential utilities, limitations and issues of risk-based regulation; and 6) future perspectives of "Rule of Law." Throughout the presentation and Q&A session, he impressively provided many actual case examples and their underlying historical narratives. He highlighted how largely diverse each country’s thinkings are, despite this being a global issue, not a local/regional issue. He also stressed the importance of further global international discussion, adding that Japan is expanding its presence at international conferences including OECD. 
A total of 14 members, including honored guests, gathered. The participants’ backgrounds were diverse, ranging from graduate students at the University of Chicago to professionals and corporate employees. Participants from outside Chicago, such as the East Coast as well as Japan, were also warmly welcomed and actively participated in the discussions.
Though face-to-face communication is severely restricted this year due to the COVID-19 crisis, they hope to continue to deepen their fellowship by using online meeting tools.

(August 20, 2020)  Online Dialogue with Ms. Akiko Sakaedani: “Do you hear the sound of hope? -- Starting a children’s radio program in Rwanda” to be Co-hosted by Satsuki-kai America and Friends of UTokyo (FUTI)

Satsuki-kai America and Friends of UTokyo (FUTI) will present an online dialogue with Ms. Akiko Sakaedani, formerly with UNICEF's Rwanda Office. She has recently published a book titled “Do you hear the sound of hope?” which discusses how she started Rwanda’s first radio program for children.
Rwanda is a beautiful country with thousands of green hills. Many families in the villages do not own a TV, and radio is the main media. Back in 2013, there was no radio programme for small children, however. It was all about news, sports, and pop songs. As a believer in Early Childhood Development, Akiko decided to create the first children’s radio programme in Rwanda.

Date/Time  September 12, 2020, Saturday, 10am-11:30am (EDST-USA)
  [September 12, Saturday 11pm~, Japan Standard Time]
Format  Zoom invites will be sent to people who RSVP.
Language Japanese
RSVP Required. Please RSVP by September 9, 2020, by emailing with
1) your name, 2) email address,  3) major and year of graduation at Tokyo, 4) current affiliation, and
5) questions for the presenters.
Organizer  Satsuki-kai America
Co-organizer Friends of UTokyo (
Photos Photos taken during the session may be used in FUTI’s online and offline publications.
Please inform the organizer prior to the lecture if you do not wish to be included in the photos.
Note The opinions expressed during the dialogue may not necessarily represent those of the organizer or co-organizer.

Akiko Sakaedani Petrovic is an international development worker with 16 years of experience in Eastern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. She mostly works in the areas of health communication, partnership and donor relations. She was the co-director of the Egypt Japan Education Partnership in 2019-2020, and currently works at the UNICEF Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa to coordinate the communication response to COVID-19. Based on her experience in Rwanda from 2013-2018, she published a book in June 2020 from Chobunsha publishing company titled Kibo Kikoeru (Do you hear the sound of hope?).
She was born in Tokyo, and graduated from the University of Tokyo in 2001, majoring in anthropology. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in Intercultural Communication, and Master of Science in Public Health. She is married and has a son.

(July 27, 2020) Chicago Akamon-kai Holds Online Meeting Inviting Prof. Sadaoki Furui 

The Chicago Akamon-kai held an online meeting on Jul 19, 2020, inviting Professor Sadaoki Furui, Chief Research Director of the National Institute of Informatics, Professor Emeritus of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and Chairman of the Board of Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (TTIC).

Professor Furui presented a keynote lecture entitled “Research Trends and Future Prospects of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research”. He comprehensively walked through: 1) recent advancement of AI, 2) countries and organizations leading AI research, 3) what AI can't do or is not good at, 4) relationship between AI and human beings, 5) faking/privacy/fairness/code of conduct, 6) future of AI, and 7) future AI technology development in Japan. He reiterated it is crucially important for Japanese professionals to form a close, cross-disciplinary network with non-Japanese professionals from universities, research institutes and companies through global collaboration and competition. He also added it is imperative to advance interrelationship among humans - AI - science (natural and social sciences) to create a new, better era and introduced the aims of a new AI institute planned at the University of Tokyo.

A total of 26 members including honored guests gathered. Participants’ backgrounds were diverse, ranging from graduate students at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University to professionals such as researchers and corporate employees. Participants from outside Chicago, such as the East Coast as well as Japan (including Professor Teruo Fujii, Executive Vice President of the University of Tokyo), were also warmly welcomed and actively participated in the discussions that followed after the session by Professor Furui.

Though face-to-face communication is severely restricted this year due to the COVID-19 crisis, they hope to continue to deepen their fellowship by using online meeting tools.

(July 21, 2020) FUTI Online Dialogue “Learning from Covid-19: New York and Tokyo” (July 29, Zoom)

Friends of UTokyo (FUTI) is pleased to present an online dialogue between Prof. Peter J. Macotullio (Director, Institute for Sustainable Cities at Hunter College; UTokyo professor, 2001-2006) and Dr. Geeta Mehta (Adjunct Professor, Architecture and Urban Design, Columbia University; UTokyo, PhD). Together they have several decades of experience about global cities in America, Asia, Africa and Europe.
This is the inaugural talk in a series created to bring together UTokyo international alumni in the US and others interested in FUTI’s work.
Covid-19 infection and death rates have been very different in New York and Tokyo, two mega-cities with among the highest population densities in the world. While the two cities are not lacking in financial capital, could social capital be the reason for such different outcomes? The speakers will present their research and analysis of the possible answers to this and show how social capital is the essential wealth of communities in not only preparing for future health or climate shocks, but also in addressing the ongoing issues of social inequity and social justice. 

Date/Time July 29, 2020, Wednesday, 8pm-9.30pm (EDST-USA)
Format Zoom invite will be sent to people who RSVP
Language English
RSVP Required. Please RSVP by Monday, July 27, by emailing to with 1) your name, 2) email address, 3) major and year of graduation at Tokyo, 4) current affiliation, and 5) questions for the presenters. [If you would like more information about ways to become involved in FUTI, please indicate so.]
Organizer  Friends of UTokyo (
Co-sponsors Satsuki-kai America
Photos Photos taken during the session may be used in FUTI’s online and offline publications. Please inform the organizer prior to the lecture if you do not wish to be included in the photos.

Presenters’ Bios
Peter J. Marcoutullio:
Prof. Peter J. Marcotullio is Professor of Geography and Director of the Institute for Sustainable Cities at Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY). He is also Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning at Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation (GSAPP). Prior to 2006, Prof. Marcotullio was Lecturer (1999-2001) and Professor (2001-2006) of Urban Planning in the Urban Engineering Department, University of Tokyo and held several positions at the United Nations University, Institute for Advanced Studies, Japan (1997-2008).
Geeta Mehta:
Dr. Geeta Mehta is an adjunct professor at Columbia University and the founder/president of Asia Initiatives ( where she developed Social Capital Credits (SoCCs), a community currency for social good that was recognized by Fast Company as the “World Changing Idea” this year. Geeta is also the co-founder of “URBZ: User Generated Cities” (  She has been recognized as One of the 21 Leaders of the 21st Century by Women’s eNews. She currently serves on New York Mayor’s Advisory Board for Waterfront Development, and several non-profit boards.

(June 22, 2020) Homecoming Day 2020 to be Held Online for the First Time 

Homecoming Day is a university-wide event for all alumni to get together again on the Hongo and Komaba Campuses. Since its launch in 2002, it has offered opportunites for alumni to reconfirm their ties with fellow alumni and also with the University.

Under the continuing effects of Covid-19, it has been decided that Homecoming Day 2020 will be held online for the first time.

Both live streaming and prerecorded video streaming will be available.


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