On Monday, June 19, 2023, Prof. Fumitaka Mafune, the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, at the University of Tokyo, received a courtesy visit from H.E. Mr. Shihab Al Faheem, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Arab Emirates, and held a meeting with him. Prof. Akiko Shimizu, Vice Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Prof. Hidemi Takahashi, Director of the University of Tokyo Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (UTCMES), Prof. Seiji Morimoto, Visiting Professor, and Mr. Mohamed Al Samahi, Head of the Political Affairs Section at the UAE Embassy in Japan also attended the meeting. H.E. the Ambassador is a Japanophile, having studied at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) and received training at Japan Cooperation Center for Petroleum and Sustainable Energy (JCCP).
At the start of the meeting, the Dean welcomed the H.E. the Ambassador’s visit to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and mentioned the recent efforts to strengthen the relationship between the two countries, including a recent foreign ministerial conference. Then, he explained that the UTCMES in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is actively engaged in Middle Eastern studies, with the Sultan Qaboos Chair in Middle Eastern Studies funded by a donation from the Sultanate of Oman. He expressed his hope that the ambassador’s visit would serve as an opportunity to promote cooperation and exchange in academic research between the UAE and the university.
In response, H.E. the Ambassador expressed his expectation for further development of the relationship between the two countries, not only in the energy sector but also in advanced scientific technology. He also expressed his expectations for the role that the University of Tokyo could play in the academic cooperation between the UAE and Japan. Noting that the number of students from the UAE who have studied at the University of Tokyo in the past is limited, he expressed his hope to utilise scholarship programs to increase student exchanges and promote active academic and research exchanges with our university. Furthermore, H.E. the Ambassador mentioned that the UAE places great emphasis on promoting art and culture, as symbolized by the Louvre Annex in Abu Dhabi, and expressed his expectations for expanding exchanges with Japan through art and culture.
At the end of the meeting, the two sides agreed on the importance of maintaining close contact with each other and discussing ways to cooperatively strengthen academic exchange, to enable concrete proposals in the future.
This text was translated into English by UTCMES staff.
For the original text in Japanese, please visit the University’s website.