Lecture by Mr Markus Kokko MBA, Counsellor of Press and Culture at the Embassy of Finland in Tokyo:"Finland – an EU country close to Japan"

Mr Kokko from the Finish Embassy (Counsellor of Press and Culture) visited the University on May 18, 2018 and had a discussion with President Hajime Oshiro and Vice President Rieko Hanashiro (for International Strategy, Public Relations Strategy and Diversity Promotion) about academic exchange between Finland and our university. Prof. Till Weber (Faculty of Global and Regional Studies) and Ms. Johanna Korhonen from Finland (Japanese Government Scholarship: Japanese Studies Student) joined Mr. Kokko on his visit to the President.

Following a courtesy visit, Mr Kokko spoke to about 70 students and professors at Global Learning Commons at our Library. His lecture is a part of the EU Kenkyu Nyumon lecture series organized by the Faculty of Global and Regional Studies. This year, Till Weber (German Studies), Atsuko Miyazato (French Staudies), Alberto Sakai (Spanish Studies) and Keisuke Nishi (Economics) were in charge of organizing.

Finland is not very well known in Japan, but RyuDai has a master student from the University of Helsinki and of course everybody remembers the incident involving the Mumin cartoon characters at this year´s Center Shiken. But Finland has much more to offer, especially in the fields of economic cooperation and education. Fin Air is the busiest European Airline in Japan, and the only one whose planes bring passengers from Japan to Europe in less than 10 hours.

Mr Kokko explained about Finland´s famous educational system which is almost entirely public and financed by the government. Since there are only 5,5 million Finnish people and the country has been independent for only about 100 years, Mr Kokko said “We cannot afford to waste a single child. We have got to educate them all as well as we possibly can.” To achieve this goal, Finland has created a number of social innovations over the years including coming close to real equality between the genders.

Mr Kokko ended his lecture on a humorous note when he talked about some unusual events/competitions in Finland such as a “Cell phone throwing contest” and a “Wife carrying Competition”.

After his lecture there were plenty of questions from the students which Mr Kokko all answered. The lecture as well as the Q&A session were all conducting in English.

From the left, Finnish Student Ms. Korhonen, Mr. Kokko, President Oshiro, Vice President Hanashiro, and Prof. Weber

The lcture was given fully in English.