The 21st WUB (World Uchinanchu Business Association) Network Conference

An educational consortium was organized as part of the 21st WUB (World Uchinanchu (people of Okinawa descent) Business Association) Network Conference held at the East-West Center (Hawaii, United States of America) on September 1st 2017 (Friday). Panelists representing Okinawa were President Hajime Oshiro of the University of the Ryukyus, President Katsunori Yamazato of Meio University, President Yasuharu Higa of Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts, and Vice-President Neil Calder of Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST). Representatives from Hawaii were President David Lassner of the University of Hawai`i (UH) at Manoa, and President Richard Vuylsteke of the East-West Center.

This symposium, co-organized and hosted by the participating universities, featured discussions on how educational collaboration between Okinawa and Hawaii should be strengthened into the future. Each panelist gave a presentation that touched upon the various partnerships spearheaded by their institution. President Oshiro spoke about the University’s academic partnership with universities of island states, and networks with overseas uchinanchu, explaining how these collaborations have furthered talent training and nurtured future human resources.

The conference also featured the Hawaii Okinawa Clean Energy Initiative and the Uchinanchu Diaspora Library Symposium, which saw the participation of Professor Ichiro Tsutsumi of the Faculty of Science, Professor Munehiro Machida of the Faculty of Law and Letters, and Ms. Chinatsu Tomita, staff member of University Library, as panelists.

Acting University President Teruko Konishi (Director in charge of Public Relations and University of the Ryukyus Foundation) joined President Oshiro in paying a visit to UH ahead of the WUB Network Conference on August 30th, engaging in discussions with Dr. John Morton, Vice-President for Community Colleges, regarding student and academic exchange between the University and the seven community colleges under the UH system. In addition, a dialogue session was also set up with Dr. Anderson Sutton, Dean of the School of Pacific and Asian Studies and Assistant Vice Chancellor for International and Exchange Programs at UH Manoa. Representatives from both universities were able to share opinions on collaborative education in Okinawa studies and research of island territories.

On August 31st, representatives of the University visited the East-West Center and met with the Center President Vuylsteke and the Dean of UH’s Faculty of Education, amongst others, engaging in dialogue about academic collaboration with the East-West Center, and utilization of mutual liaison offices. President Oshiro then joined Meio University President Yamazato and Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts President Higa to visit the Hawaii Okinawa kenjinkai (association of Okinawa people and people of Okinawa descent living in Hawaii), where they shared lively conversation on how academic collaboration and talent development between Hawaii and Okinawa could be mutually promoted.

Presentation by President Oshiro

Education symposium in progress

Visiting Dr. John Morton, Vice-President for Community Colleges (third from left)

Dialogue session with East-West Center
President Vuylsteke (on left)