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(Apr 7, 2021) The UTokyo Alumni Association of Canada - East Chapter to be Established 

The UTokyo Alumni Association is engaged in enhancing UTokyo's alumni network on a global basis by connecting graduates both at home and abroad.

Currently, there are 56 overseas alumni associations all over the world, including the UTokyo Alumni Association of Canada - West Chapter, which was launched in August 2019 to coincide with President Gonokami's visit there.

This year the UTokyo Alumni Association of Canada - West Chapter is to host a Hands-on Activity Program online for current students to learn about heritage and legacy of the Japanese-Canadian Nikkei community in western Canada since the first Japanese immigrant Manzo Nagano landed in British Columbia in 1877, (please refer to the article below) as well as to exchange with UTokyo alumni working there.

We would like to establish the UTokyo Alumni Association of Canada - East Chapter this year. Mr. Long Ng of the University of Toronto plays an important role in organizing the new association, while Dr. Henry Tsang of Athabasca Univesity, President of the UTokyo Alumni Association of Canada West Chapter, fully supports the activities.

If you are interested in joining the above-mentioned alumni association, or supporting their efforts, please contact us at tft(at)mail.u-tokyo.ac.jp. (Please replace (at) with @. )

(Mar 10, 2021) The UTokyo Alumni Association of Canada West Chapter to Host a Virtual Hands-on Activity Program on “Discovering Japanese-Canadian Nikkei” 

The UTokyo Alumni Association of Canada West Chapter has been selected to host a virtual Hands-on Activity Program in the summer of 2021 on the topic of “Discovering Japanese-Canadian Nikkei Identity and Culture: Past & Present”. This program is the only overseas virtual program that is newly approved for FY2021 Hands-on Activities.
The objective of the program is to introduce UTokyo students to the heritage and legacy of the Japanese-Canadian Nikkei community in western Canada since the first Japanese immigrant Manzo Nagano landed in British Columbia in 1877. This includes the famous Vancouver Asahi baseball team that was popularized by the Japanese movie バンクーバーの朝日 (The Vancouver Asahi) in 2014.  
The program will comprise diverse online activities, including a virtual tour of the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre in Vancouver, academic lectures by professors from Canadian universities, storytelling and interviews with Japanese-Canadian Nikkei members, as well as a networking session with UTokyo alumni members currently living in Canada.  
The project is led by UTokyo alumni Dr. Henry Tsang and Mrs. Amy Avirmed. Henry is an alumnus of the department of architecture, currently an assistant professor at Athabasca University and president of the alumni association. Amy is an alumna of the department of law and is currently managing director at Classmethod Canada and executive manager of the alumni association. 
 

(Mar 1, 2021) Chicago Akamon-kai Holds Online Meeting inviting Professor Shohei Koide and Research Assistant Professor Akiko Koide

The Chicago Akamon-kai held an online meeting on Feb 20, 2021, inviting Professor Shohei Koide1,2 and Research Assistant Professor Akiko Koide2,3 who gave presentations about COVID-19 vaccines. The views and opinions expressed in the presentation were solely those of the presenters.

Both Dr. Shohei Koide and Dr. Akiko Koide provided data-based evidence for several frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines. They also kindly provided their scientific views on specific questions from the participants so that the participants clearly understood the benefits and risks of the vaccines (both knowns and unknowns), as well as the risks of not taking a vaccine (often not told by the media), and common knowledge gaps. It was also interesting that there appears to be a clear gap in the recognition of the benefits and risks of the vaccine, either implicit or not, between social groups who are willing to and unwilling to take a COVID-19 vaccine.

The second half of the online meeting was two sets of 20-minute breakout sessions with groups of 5~7 participants assigned to each room for close communication and interaction.
More than 30 members including honored guests joined this event. Participants’ backgrounds were diverse, ranging from graduate students at the University of Chicago to corporate employees. Alumni belonging to San Francisco Akamon-kai and other UTokyo alumni associations were also warmly welcomed.
Though in-person communication is severely restricted this year due to COVID-19 crisis, they hope to continue to deepen their fellowship by using online meeting tools.

(1. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine 2. Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health 3. Department of Medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine)
  

(Feb 22, 2021) Satsuki-kai America Holds Online Meeting inviting Mr. Tomohiko Okuda, Co-Hosted with FUTI (Friends of UTokyo)
-Young Professional Dialogue Series: “Urban Sanitation and International Development: Future of Decentralized Infrastructure” 

On February 11, 2021, Satsuki-kai America and Friends of UTokyo invited Mr. Tomohiko Okuda, to discuss online the abovementioned topic. He is currently enrolled in Harvard University’s Master’s Program in Public Administration and MIT’s MBA program. He is a 2020 recipient of Ito Foundation U.S.A.-Friends of UTokyo scholarship.
 
According to Mr. Okuda: The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the vulnerability of densely populated areas to infectious diseases as well as the existence of vast disparities in modern society. While public health in cities in developing countries plays an important role in controlling the spread of infectious diseases, the provision of viable public health is one of the most difficult development challenges to solve. Especially in urban slums, it is often difficult to construct even the basic sewerage system due to costs, legal issues and other constraints.  
 
In his talk, Mr. Okuda discussed his experience in Kenya undertaken under the fellowship at Sanergy, which not only builds toilets but also collects and converts waste into fertilizers and insect-based animal feeds. His talk also included a discussion of the latest trends in infrastructure development.
[http://www.sanergy.com/
 
 
A total of 25 alumni and others joined this online event, including ten UTokyo undergraduates who were “visiting” New York on Zoom under UTokyo’s Hands-on Activities program. An active Q and A session took place with many questions asked about the urban sanitation in Africa as well as Mr. Okuda’s international career. The meeting concluded with a standing ovation, and attendees wishing Mr. Okuda much success in his undertaking.
 

(Dec 11, 2020) Chicago Akamon-kai Holds Online Meeting inviting Kenichi Okada, the Consul-General of Japan in Chicago

The Chicago Akamon-kai held an online meeting on Dec 7, 2020, inviting Kenichi Okada, the Consul-General of Japan in Chicago. Kenichi Okada gave a presentation entitled: “US Presidential Election 2020 and relationship between Japan, US and China”. The views and opinions expressed in the presentation were solely those of the presenter.

Kenichi Okada shared his insightful perspectives on the US presidential election 2020 highlighting the state of Wisconsin, one of the hottest historically swing states in the US presidential election, where Joe Biden won by just 0.6%. He explained a number of different positions which later he elegantly integrated into his own interpretation. He also touched upon how Trump’s campaign was compared to Biden’s. All his insights were very interesting, particularly because they are based on not only his diplomatic legworks but also a social psychological approach. The second half of his presentation about the relationship between Japan, US and China, followed by an interactive Q/A session, were also very insightful.

A total of 26 members including honored guests joined the event. Participants’ backgrounds were diverse, ranging from graduate students at the University of Chicago to corporate employees. Participants from outside Akamon-kai were also warmly welcomed.

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.

(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
https://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/en/alumni/hands-on_activity.html

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