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JSPS Quarterly No. 21, Autumn 2007 (69 KB)

Twelfth Japanese-German Symposium Held on Climate Change

The JSPS Bonn Office and the JSPS Club (German alumni association) co-organize a Japanese-German Symposium every year. Focusing on themes in scientific domains in which the two countries are achieving leading-edge results, these symposia are aimed at promoting bilateral collaboration by allowing Japanese and German specialists in the subject field to report and discuss their pioneering work with each other.

The twelfth symposium in this series was held on the theme "A Universal Challenge: Climate Change" on 11-12 May. Its venue was the historical town of Bamberg in the state of Bavaria.

In recent years, acute international focus has been placed on climate change as an issue affecting the future of the entire human race. In January of this year, a summit was held between the heads of state of Japan and Germany, in which they committed to placing high priority on climate change in German-Japanese collaboration, including under a post-Kyoto international framework from 2013. Climate change was again the theme of the G8 Summit held in Germany in June. Given this compelling background, the holding of the 12th Japanese-German Symposium on climate change was very timely and, with over 200 participants, highly successful as well.

Three speakers were invited from each Japan and Germany. From Japan, they were Dr. Satoru Ikeuchi, professor, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, who is doing research on both cosmophysics and the environment; Dr. Harukazu Iguchi, associate professor, National Institute for Fusion Science, who is working on energy issues; and Dr. Takuji Nakamura, associate professor, Kyoto University, who is a specialist in atmospheric observation. Invited from the German side were Dr. Harry Lehmann, Federal Environment Agency; Dr. Andreas Behrendt, University of Hohenheim; and Prof. Dr. Udo E. Simonis, Social Science Research Center Berlin.

The six speakers delivered presentations on their research results in a manner that was both interesting and easy for researchers of other fields to understand. Led by the cochairs, Prof. Dr. György Széll, University of Osnabrück, and Dr. Arnulf Jäger-Waldau, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, the participants, many of whom have had experience in joint German-Japanese research, engaged the speakers in vigorous inquiry and discussion, frequently running the sessions overtime.

Among the German speakers, Dr. Behrendt had conducted joint research with Dr. Nakamura under a JSPS fellowship, and Prof. Dr. Simonis, now a highly distinguished social scientist, had done research in the 1960s at The University of Tokyo under one of JSPS's first international exchange programs. Over long years, his deep understanding and strong support for Japan has been highly valued.

The proceedings of the symposium are scheduled to be broadcast on dpa (Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH), which provides nationwide coverage of news on education and research.

Following the symposium, the JSPS Club held its annual meeting, at which it reported that it now has over 200 regular members. As the JSPS Bonn Office supports the autonomous activities of the JSPS Club, the staff was very pleased to hear of the success experienced by the Club.

JSPS Bonn Office