The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has donated 43 Japanese books translated into English and 5 books entitled, “Iwakura Embassy (1871-1873)” covering modern and contemporary Japanese history on politics, diplomatic, business and economic features.
The purpose is to boost the reference materials in the university Library at the Japanese corner to enhance Japanese studies at Makerere university.
The books were handed over to Makerere university during the end of the JICA Chair and Japan week on Friday 25th March, 2022 ending the weeklong celebration organized by JICA, Japanese Embassy and CHUSS in commemoration of Makerere university 100 years of service to humanity.
The books were handed over by the Senior representative JICA Mr. Fukuhara Ichiro to the Principal Makerere University College of Humanities and Social Sciences Associate Prof. Josephine Ahikire at a colourful ceremony held at the Auditorium in the CTF 2.
On the first day of the JICA Chair and Japane week, JICA donated 10 DVDS on the seven chapters of Japan modernization in order to promote Japanese studies at Makerere university.
“Now we would like to donate more reference materials for Japanese studies at Makerere. So these books will stimulate more interest in Japan and help you to enrich your understanding about Japan. Particularly the Iwakura Embassy (1871 -1873) is a very valuable book”, Mr. Fukuhara Ichiro said.
Mr. Fukuhara Ichiro explained that 150 years ago, after a significant isolation from the war, Japan opened her doors to foreign countries and there afte,r a few years dispatched Ambassador Iwakura and others on a diplomatic mission called, “ Iwakura mission” to the US and Europe.
Fukuhara said, the mission members including two government top officials, scholars and young students stayed oversea for over a year, studied, observed and recorded different aspects of European and American societies including politics, industry, commerce and agriculture.
“The Iwakura Embassy (1871-73) was written by one of the mission members and with this book defines how members defined the works at that time. So it is our pleasure to donate these books to Makerere university main library where the Japanese corner was launched by the Japanese embassy last year 2021. It is our pleasure that JICA contributes to the corner and the students in studying about Japan”, Mr. Fukuhara explained.
Fukuhara expressed happiness that they have been able to complete the JICA Chair and Japan Week (22nd -25th March 2022). He extended gratitude to Makerere university and the Embassy of Japan for the successful progression, thanking all who have participated in the event.
“I observed a lot of lecturers and students actively participate in the discussions, asking questions and making a lot of comments. So, I am convinced that you have developed interest in Japan.
“As you have learnt, Japan has a rich history and development experience which has shaped its home tradition and culture. After the World War II, Japan was devasted but it got rapid economic recovery and created diplomatic relations which made it emerge as one of the world powers.
“So, I believe this unique account of Japanese development experience should be a good example for Uganda to achieve further development and prosperity”, Mr. Fukuhara said.
The four days activities to mark the 100 years of Makerere, was the first time to host the JICA Chair and Japan week where a special lecture on, “Post World War II Japanese Foreign Policy”, was presented by Dr. PRESSELLO Andrew.
The success of the event at Makerere university signifies a meaningful status of the partnership between Makerere University and JICA to further promote mutual understanding and friendship between Uganda and Japan.
The Principal CHUSS Associate Prof. Josephine Ahikire described the JICA Chair and Japan Week as a great and inspiration week.
“What a great week for JICA Chair, Japan Embassy at Makerere University as we celebrate 100 years of Makerere’s existence, leveraging excellence to build a transformed society. We are here today but we have been here in an inclusive process and a very massive learning experience”. She said.
Prof. Ahikire expressed gratitude on behalf of Makerere university Management to JICA and the Japan Embassy in Uganda for offering extensive opportunity for interaction and learning and doing a range of things that enriches experience of Makerereans.
“We would like to thank the Ambassador H.E Fukuzawa Hidemoto for the generosity in material things humanity and a great sense of humour and an open mind that enriches people that he is interacting with. We would like to thank JICA for the full generosity an inclusivity. We were all in this together and the Department of History, Archeology and Heritage Studies”, Ahikire appreciated.
The principal was optimistic that the four days celebration will not just end but bear fruits not only as the Japanese story, but how to take these in the curriculum and the discussion that informs the university sense of history to take the university to the next century.
“I want to challenge the head of the Department of history to pursue some of the offshoots of the experiences in terms of student exchanges, academic vibrance, how history is studied, what sense do we have of history, how to utilize history to inform the national conversations around development”, The Principal asserted.
By Jane Anyango