In order to officially launch the EU Institute at Waseda, and ensure the smooth commencement of the Institute's wide range of activities from 1st April 2009, Waseda University, with the support of the European Commission Delegation to Japan, hosted an inauguration ceremony at the RIHGA Royal Hotel Tokyo on March 26th 2009. The EUIJ Waseda is the third EU Institute created in Japan, and the first to be based at a single university.
Approximately 170 guests gathered for the ceremony, including representatives from the political, business and governmental worlds, various international organisations, EU Member-State embassies to Japan, educational organisations, and a number of Waseda University faculties.
The reception commenced with an opening speech by President Katsuhiko Shirai of Waseda University, and was followed by keynote speeches from Mr. Toshiki Kaifu, 76th and 77th Prime Minister of Japan and Honorary Chairman of EU-Japan Fest Japan Committee, and by Mr. Tommy Kullberg, Chairman of the European Business Council/European (EU) Chamber of Commerce in Japan; Chairman & Representative Director, KULLBERG & PARTNERS K.K.; and Senior Advisor, IKEA Japan K.K.
Mr. Kaifu was Japanese Prime Minister when Japan and the EU adopted the Joint Declaration at The Hague in July 1991. Looking back at this landmark Joint Declaration, Mr. Kaifu explained how and why he regarded the EU, or the then European Communities, to be precise, as a significant counterpart of Japan in the post-Cold War world. As a Waseda alumnus, Mr. Kaifu also recalled a conversation with Mr Haruo Nishihara, who was then President of the University. Mr. Kaifu, with Mr. Nishihara present at the reception, told an amusing anecdote regarding the rather belated establishment of the 'Waseda University European Center' in Bonn in November 1991.
Mr. Kullberg's speech focused more on the contemporary context of the relationship. He shared his idea of an EU-Japan Economic Integration Agreement, and anticipated more substantial EU-Japan co-operation that could pave the way for future rules and standards for use in markets across the world. For more details of the keynote speeches by Mr. Tommy Kullberg, please click on the following links :
After the keynote speeches, there were remarks by Ambassador Hugh Richardson, Delegation of the European Commission to Japan, and a toast from Teruaki Tayama,
Vice-President of Waseda University.
Congratulatory speeches by Professor Hiromasa Kubo, President of EUIJ Kansai, and Professor Toshiro Tanaka, Director of EUSI Tokyo were made, and the ceremony concluded with a closing address by Professor Koji Fukuda, Director of EUIJ Waseda.