The 8th Euro-Japan Dialogue successfully concluded in Dublin, Ireland in early November, 2013. Fifteen students from the College of Economics met with their European counterparts over eight days, the main focus being debate and discussion of topics related to the ongoing Eurozone crisis and the global economic downturn. The program began at the School of Social and Political Sciences at University of Glasgow, in Scotland. YNU students presented on “How Japan Can Help the Euro” in the university’s impressive Senate rooms. The Glasgow students outlined the antecedents to European monetary union and offered analysis and commentary on how the current crisis affects the UK. Chaired by Dr. Duncan Ross, this was a lively and informative session with both sets of students gaining added perspective on the issues.
This was the second time for Euro-Japan Dialogue to visit Scotland, having been held at University of Edinburgh in 2011. However, this was the first time to hold the program in Ireland. At the Department of Economics, Trinity College, Dublin, the Euro-Japan Dialogue was accommodated within a course on Monetary Policy. A large audience of 60 students and teachers heard various presentations from 4th-year Irish students on the growth of the Celtic Tiger and the recent property and real-estate speculation bubble that Ireland experienced. The YNU students complemented this with a presentation examining the rise and long-term effects of the Japanese bubble of the 1980s. In addition, the YNU group presented on “The Prospects for Asian Monetary Union.” Discussion of these topics continued at social events in both Glasgow and Dublin, where students were able to mix and chat in a more informal manner. The program aims of carrying out authentic academic presentations and debate, promoting international exchange and deepening knowledge of mutual issues related to economics were fully met in these two ancient and venerable institutions. YNU owes a debt of gratitude to the staff and students in Europe whose professionalism and hard work allowed us to carry out Euro-Japan Dialogue.
As well as the Dialogue sessions, the YNU party of students and English Education academics Alexander McAulay and Keiko Ishiwata, and Economics specialist Norio Takeoka, took part in a visit to a whisky distilling operation just outside Glasgow, where the craft of making whisky, and the business of marketing and selling it, were explained. Irish history was also explored in a visit to the Boyne valley, including entry to the ancient site of Newgrange, a 5000-year-old structure that pre-dates both Stonehenge and The Pyramids of Egypt. The YNU group also took in the Hill of Tara, a mound that allows sweeping views of Ireland and was the site of coronation for Celtic monarchs.
Students could build friendships and gain added perspective on their studies during their time in Europe. The 15 YNU students made a strong impression on the European students and academics, and can take pride in their achievements. The trip was the culmination of extensive research, planning and studying of Academic English in the preceding months. A session of reflective presentation by the group was held on Friday, November 15, 2013.