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School of Modern Languages welcomes Ambassador to only Japanese programme in Wales

22 November 2016

His Excellency HE Mr Koji Tsuruoka, guests and welcome party at the School of Modern Languages
His Excellency HE Mr Koji Tsuruoka (pictured centre), guests and welcome party at the School of Modern Languages.

His Excellency HE Mr Koji Tsuruoka, Japanese Ambassador visited the School of Modern Languages this month to meet with staff and students who are involved with or studying our Japanese programme.

The visit, which took place on 18 November, was an opportunity for the Ambassador to underline the importance of providing centres within universities that provide Japanese studies and Japanese language programmes. The Ambassador stressed the significance of Cardiff being the only university in Wales to offer Japanese programmes to its students.

Mr Koji Tsuruoka was joined on his visit by Mana Takatori, Regional Director for Europe & Director-General for the UK of the Japan Foundation,  Sean O’Shea, PA to the Ambassador of Japan and Guilia Bergamin, International VIP Visits & Events Protocol Officer from the Welsh Government.

The welcome party at the School included Professor Rachael Langford, Head of School, Professor Kenneth Hamilton, Dean of International for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Dr Nick Parsons, Head of International & Engagement Directorate, Dr Christopher Hood, Reader in Japanese Studies & President of the British Association for Japanese Studies, Dr Miho Inaba, Lecturer in Japanese Language, Professor Nora de Leeuw, Pro Vice Chancellor, International and Europe and Bethan Caines, Partnerships Development Manager.

While at the School Mr Koji Tsuruoka met students studying Japanese and Japanese exchange students who he took the time to talk to and find out about their experiences at the School. School staff discussed the importance of Japanese programmes and how they are integral to the School’s portfolio of courses. They also noted some plans for the future and how new programmes which include Japanese elements are currently being discussed.

Speaking of the visit, Dr Christopher Hood said, “It was wonderful for the Ambassador to come and visit us as part of a very busy schedule of meetings and events in Cardiff. This really helps to highlight the significance of our programmes at the university and what they mean for Cardiff, Wales, the UK and relations with Japan. With attention turning to the international rugby match the next day between Japan and Wales and thoughts about Japan celebrating the hosting of the Rugby World Cup in 2019, it was also an opportunity to ask the Ambassador to think of us celebrating 30 years of Japanese in Cardiff at that time.”