News & Information
On November 12, 2015 the 10th Euro-Japan Dialogue concluded a successful round of presentations, debates, company and cultural visits in Rome and Venice. Euro-Japan Dialogue is a program that allows a select group of YNU students to visit two universities in Europe to carry out presentations and discussions on economic topics. Ten students from the College of Economics gathered in Rome with Professor Alexander McAulay and Keiko Ishiwata of the International Education Committee. They spent two days visiting Roma Tre University, before moving on to Venice to meet with YNU partner institution University of Ca Foscari.
Founded in 1992 and currently Rome’s second-largest university by student enrollment, Roma Tre university is a short train ride from the city center to the area served by Basilica San Paolo metro station. At Roma Tre University, YNU College of Economics students gave three presentations over two days. The sessions, facilitated by Professor Lucilla Lopriore, included one on ‘Japan’s Economy in the 21st Century.’ The presentation outlined Japan’s economic history in the 19th and 20th century, before analyzing the challenges Japan faces in a globalised economy in the 21st century. In addition, Roma Tre requested that the YNU students present on ‘Japan and the EU.’ An overview of the historical and current contact between the EU and Japan was relayed to the audience, focusing on the healthy trade between the two economic powerhouses, and also Japan’s observer nation status within various EU bodies. The Italian students and academics were impressively knowledgeable about Japan, and had many challenging questions, such as how young people in Japan view the current alterations to the constitution and Japan’s changing interpretation of military matters. There was also a fascinating discussion between the two sides on the corroding influence of organised crime, namely the yakuza and mafia, on economic performance.
From the Roma Tre side, Italian students Martina Iorio and Nicola Caravaggio, PhD candidates in Economics, presented on their experiences on the European exchange project AguaSociAL, a pan-European initiative that saw them spend two months in Brazil assessing a dam construction project. This lead to a discussion, along with their supervisor Professor Salvatore Monni, on the various social and economic issues related to dam construction.
Company visits are always a highlight of the program, and this year the cohort visited the iconic Cinecitta Studios in Rome. With ‘soft power’ being one of the main themes of this year’s Dialogue, it was fascinating to see up close the studios favoured by the likes of Federico Felini, Sergio Leone, and Martin Scorsese. Of course, for Japanese students, Cinecitta is best known these days as the site where Thermae Romae was filmed. The historical role of Italian cinema, and the contribution Cinecitta makes to the local economy, were outlined in English by the guide.
Cultural tours are always a part of Euro-Japan Dialogue, and just stepping out the door in Rome became a cultural tour. Away from the core academic program, students were able to visit such historic sites as The Vatican, The Colloseum, The Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, the Fountain of Trevi, and the ancient port town of Ostia Antica.
Euro-Japan Dialogue then moved on to Venice where partner institution Ca Foscari University were the hosts. Founded in 1868, Ca Foscari occupies various locations in the city. The recently opened Department of Economics sits on the site of a former abattoir. The university is also a large center for Japanology, with 1600 students currently majoring in Japan Studies. It came as no surprise then that a large audience of around 100 students gathered to hear the YNU cohort present on ‘Women’s Role in the Japanese Economy.’ The YNU students showed Japan’s pronounced M-curve when it comes to female participation in the labor market, and made recommendations on how to improve the situation. After the Dialogue session, Italian and Japanese students enjoyed talking in a convivial atmosphere.
Plans for the 11th Euro-Japan Dialogue are already underway, with the next cohort scheduled to visit Bucharest and Athens in 2016.