2018 Activity Report

March Activity Report

31 March 2019
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Anita Devchand

Pic from L-R; Ms Tsunoda Sarama (Embassy), Ms Janet van Rhyn, Prof Ahmed Bawa (Both from USAf), Prof Shinichi Takeuchi (TUFS), Ms Tomoko Kawakita (JICA – CJS)
Pic; Prof Shinichi Takeuchi seen her with Dr Mabutho Shangese and Ms Tomoko Kawakita

SAJU Preparation

Prof Takeuchi from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS) who is also the SAJU Coordinating Professor for the Japanese universities, came towards the end of February to do a site inspection of the facilities that have been ear marked for the SAJU delegates. He was taken on a tour of the venue, the Future Africa Campus which is part of the University of Pretoria and is a brand new campus. The Future Africa campus hosts a state-of-the-art conference centre, breakaway rooms, hotel as well as an eating area. Ms Kawakita from JICA-CJS facilitated his visits. Prof Takeuchi met with academics and SAJU members on his trip.

Pics above & below; Mr Arsenio Botha in Japan

Return of Exchange Student from Hokkaido University

Mr Arsenio Botha, a third year BSc Medical Science student went to Hokkaido University on the HUSTEP exchange program from the University of Pretoria. He spoke highly of Japan, its culture and people. He was most impressed with their practice of “Ubuntu”, which is a South African term loosely translated as brotherhood. He felt that although we speak about it, it is actually practiced by the Japanese people as “we live for each other.”

He found Sapporo, a city in Hokkaido to be amazing with a feeling of calm that set him at ease the moment he got there. Meeting other International students and forging close bonds with them and the Japanese students proved to be invaluable. He was so taken in by his experience that he wishes to return to Japan sometime in the future.

Pic; Poster of Japanese Cultural Event
All Pics courtesy of Japanese Embassy; Martial arts display
Pic; Archery demonstration
Pic; Playing a Japanese Musical Instrument

Pic: Ikebana Flower Arranging

Japanese Embassy Cultural Expo

The Japanese Embassy hosted a Cultural Expo in South Africa at the Brooklyn Mall, Pretoria on the weekend of 1 March 2019 to 3 March 2019. There was a lot of interest in all the activities which included martial arts demonstrations, Ikebana flower arrangements, kimono displays and film shows to mention a few. Mrs Anita Devchand assisted the Embassy by promoting the event to the students at the University of Pretoria.

Pics; Rikkyo University students at University of Pretoria

Rikkyo University visits University of Pretoria

On 12 March 2019, 9 students, 1 coordinator and a professor from Rikkyo University visited University of Pretoria as part of their visit to South Africa. They were treated to a lecture on the History of South Africa by UP Professor Karen Harris and were taken on a campus tour by two UP students who also serve as guides. They were then taken to the Mamelodi Campus of UP for further interaction with the local community of Mamelodi. It was wonderful to see more and more visits from Japanese students to South Africa and particularly to University of Pretoria.

February Activity Report

28 February 2019
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Anita Devchand

Pic; Mr Martin Lesole Manganye

New member of staff at Centre for Japanese Studies (CJS)

The Centre for Japanese Studies is proud to welcome Mr Martin Lesole Manganye who is assisting us in place of Mrs Satoko Olivier who left us last month. Martin went as a post graduate student to study an MBA specialising in Japanese Management at the Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. He studied in the famous Onsen City located in the South of Japan. He is also able to speak a bit of the Japanese language and has brought back with him a wealth of information from Japan so he is a wonderful inspiration to all our students interested in going to Japan.

Mrs Anita Devchand refers students regularly to visit him so that they can be encouraged to study in Japan.

Pics; Professor Masafumi Nagao in meetings with academics at University of Pretoria

UP Visiting Fellow (VF) Professor Masafumi Nagao

The University of Pretoria contracted Professor Nagao to assist in various projects one of which is to assist CJS with preparations for the forthcoming SAJU 4 conference taking place in May 2019. Prof Nagao will assist from February to September 2019 on a part time basis as he has commitments all over the world. He will also be assisting for the TICAD VII participation by UP and South African universities. Another area of involvement is the strategic partnership possibility between UP and University of Tokyo. In the short span of time that he spent at UP in February, already he has met with academics and various interest groups at the University.

Mrs Anita Devchand also arranged various meetings for him with UP students. He met with groups of students both undergraduate and postgraduate to listen to their hopes about the future, their plans and vision. He encouraged them to study abroad to expand their knowledge.

Many of the students sought his advice regarding their desire to study specifically in Japan. The students gave very positive feedback on their interaction with him and they all enthused on what a great motivator he was. Lots of students were disappointed because he was unable to meet with them all but Mrs Devchand assured them that on his return in May she would reschedule further sessions with him.

Pics; Sophia University students attending lectures and group discussions at University of Pretoria

Sophia University Study Tour to the University of Pretoria

10 Students, 5 male and 5 female visited University of Pretoria from Sophia University as part of a study tour organised by Edu Africa. This was the second group to visit UP. Last year a group of 10 female students visited. As part of the study tour they were given lectures at UP on the History of South Africa, they visited the Mamelodi Campus (another campus also part of UP), located approximately 22km’s from the main Hatfield Campus. They were also given a tour of the main campus and visited the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria. As part of their 3 day programme in Pretoria they also met with a group of students staying at the UP residences for discussions of mutual benefit to both groups. They then moved onto Cape Town for the next part of their journey.

January Activity Report

31 January 2019
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Anita Devchand

Pic; Poster of the Centre for Japanese Studies

University of Pretoria Welcome Day

The University of Pretoria (UP) opened its doors to the first year students officially on Saturday 26 January 2019, by hosting a Welcome Day.

Copies of the above pamphlets of the Centre for Japanese Studies (CJS) were distributed to create awareness of the existence of the Centre as we are located in the Graduate Centre which is far off from the main undergraduate student activity areas.

Pic: Pamphlet of the Japanese Language Course presented at the University of Pretoria

Japanese Language Course

The registration and applications for the Japanese Language Course opened in January 2019 much to the anticipation of students who queried about the course from the end of last year. The Centre was inundated with queries both from students as well as the private sector and we hope to get a good response to the above brochure that was distributed to everyone.

Pic; Older students at the Graduate Centre during Orientation week
Pic; First year students belonging to two different UP residences at Orientation week
Pic; Students belonging to specific residences
Pic; First year non-resident students
Pic; Students from an all Boy’s residence

Orientation Week at University of Pretoria

The University hosted an Orientation week from 28 to 31 January 2019 to familiarise the students with all aspects of Campus life. Mrs Anita Devchand distributed pamphlets to the students from her orientation gazebo and took the above pictures.

The university after being quiet up to that day was flooded with first year students. The excitement and anticipation created by the students brought the campus alive. Students belonging to the various residences are required to wear the respective uniforms of their houses and a lot of fun was provided by their activities of dancing, singing and various games. The second picture with the girls in their hats and sticks for example were students from the female residence and the students from the male residence have to escort them wherever they go. The idea is that anyone can try to steal their hats and the guys have to protect them. They will chase “the thief” and retrieve the hat. Each residence has a unique activity that they showcase during orientation week.

Farewell to Mrs Satoko Olivier

Mrs Satoko Olivier was appointed by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce (CCIJ) in South Africa to assist CJS with a few tasks from September 2018 to March 2019. One of which was to create a database of students who went to Japan to study or do an internship and another was to establish a Japanese Library at CJS.

Unfortunately Satoko-san had to leave us as she secured another job. We wish her well in her future endeavours.

Pic; Sophia University student Kaita Ikeya with BCom student Ms Mishka Devchand

Welcome to Scholarship Student Kaita Ikeya

Mr Kaita “Kai” Ikeya, a student from Sophia University (Jochi) in Japan arrived in January 2019 on a year long scholarship to study at University of Pretoria. He is currently studying International Politics in Japan and has taken two subjects here at UP, Politics and Public Administration. Mrs Anita Devchand introduced him to other students and also interviewed him and this is what he had to say. He is staying at the TurkDorp residence with other international students. Everyone is very welcoming and kind to him. He has made a good few friends and has already travelled to the Province of KwaZulu-Natal. He has already travelled to some 25 countries around the world. CJS wishes him all the best for the duration of his stay at UP.

November Activity Report

30 November 2018
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Anita Devchand

At the podium is Dr Cobus van Staden at the Lier Theatre, University of Pretoria with members of the audience for the Japanese Pop Culture weekend
Poster of the Japanese Pop Culture Weekend at University of Pretoria

Japanese Pop Culture Weekend

The Embassy of Japan, South Africa in collaboration with the University of Pretoria Arts Department hosted a Japanese Pop Culture weekend at the Lier Theatre on the main Hatfield Campus of the University. As can be seen from the poster, it was an exciting event that was open to both the students as well as the general public.

The “chill” weekend kicked off with a lecture by Dr Cobus van Staden. This was followed by a NHK World Japan Documentary film and the highlight was a beautiful movie called “Spirited Away”.

The next day started off with a film called Thermae Romae and ended with a Japanese Animation called “POP IN Q”.

The eventful weekend was thoroughly enjoyed by all in attendance.

from L-R; Mrs Tomoko Kawakita, Dr David Sekao with visiting Professor Yoshio Kawamura at the Centre for Japanese Studies (CJS), University of Pretoria (UP)
Prof Yoshio Kawamura and Mrs Anita Devchand of CJS outside CJS Offices

Discussions with Professor Yoshio Kawamura

Professor Yoshio Kawamura, the Professor Emeritus from Ryukoku University flew in from Japan to South Africa especially to attend the Oversight Committee Meeting (OCM) in his capacity as CJS Advisor and was roped in to attend many other meetings. He met with Dr. Thulani P. Makhalanyne of Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology who is now onto a Bilateral research collaboration with Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science Technology (JAMSTEC) and also with Dr Sekao of the Department of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education from the Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria who is introducing “Lessons Study”, a teacher collaboration practice which originated and is practiced in Japan for decades.

Hotel at the Future Africa Campus
Rear view of the Conference Centre at Future Africa Campus where the SAJU 2019 Forum will be held showcasing the break-away rooms in glass at the top rear end.
Front view of the Future Africa Conference Centre on the inside

Visit to the venue of the SAJU 2019 Forum

The SAJU Admin Planning Committee of the SAJU 2019 Forum visited the Future Africa Campus to check the venue that was proposed for the SAJU 2019 Forum. What we found there was a hotel (the colourful building), a dining hall, break-away rooms and a state of the art conference facility. The venue is still currently under construction but will be ready in January 2019. All the members were very impressed with the venue and the ambience of the place. Future Africa Campus is located on the Experimental Farm of the Hillcrest Campus of the University of Pretoria and belongs to the University. It is a short 5 minute drive from the main Hatfield Campus.

from L-R; Ms Sarama Tsunoda from the Embassy of Japan, Ms Tomoko Kawakita from CJS, Ms Janet van Rhyn from USAf, Ms Ntswalo Ngobeni from USAf, Ms Anita Devchand from CJS and Mr Toba Kota from the Embassy of Japan

SAJU Admin Planning Committee

In preparation of the SAJU Forum to be held on 23 and 24 May 2019, a subcommittee meeting of the Planning Committee called the SAJU Admin Planning Committee held a few meetings to discuss the logistics and admin tasks required to proceed with the smooth handling of the SAJU Forum. Members of this committee comprise of representatives from Universities South Africa (USAf), Embassy of Japan and CJS.

from rear L-R Prof Hennie Stander – Acting Director CJS, Prof Vasu Reddy- Dean of Faculty of Humanities, Mr Shuichiro Kawaguchi – Minister-Counsellor of Embassy of Japan, Mr Yasuhisa Kitagawa-First Secretary Embassy of Japan, Mr Toshikazu Otani- President CCIJ, Mr Hiroyuki Nemoto- Executive Director JETRO, Mr Tomohiro Seki-Chief representative JICA SA Office and Prof Yoshio Kawamura-Ryukoku University

Oversight Committee Meeting

On an annual basis during November the Management of the Centre for Japanese Studies meet with officials from the Embassy of Japan, JICA, CCIJ and JETRO to discuss the activities and financial standing of the Centre.

The meeting is usually held at the Embassy of Japan and followed by a dinner hosted by the Embassy.

The meeting is chaired by the Dean of Humanities; Prof Vasu Reddy and the Activity report is presented by the Acting Director of CJS; Prof Hennie Stander.

L-R Mr Hiroyuki Nemoto Executive Director-JETRO, Prof De la Rey VC of University of Pretoria (UP) and Mr Shuichiro Kawaguchi Minister Counsellor Embassy of Japan
Members of the OCM with the VC of UP and Minister Counsellor of the Embassy of Japan

October Activity Report

31 October 2018
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Anita Devchand

Seated in the Centre is Mrs Tomoko Kawakita (JICA Expert assigned to CJS) surrounded by students

Showcasing the Global Japan Office

We were extremely pleased to showcase the Global Japan Office, University of Pretoria. Mrs Anita Devchand put up posters of Japan and provided booklets, brochures, newsletters and leaflets of TUFS, Japan and CJS to create a welcoming Japanese Ambiance.

We welcomed our first students to the GJO office. The GJO office is located in room 2-77, The Graduate Centre, Hatfield Campus.

Students were encouraged to visit the office to read literature about Japan and to work on their applications for the exchange programs to Japan at these premises. Mrs Devchand captured this photograph of Mrs Tomoko Kawakita, the JICA Expert assigned to the Centre for Japanese Studies seen here assisting the students with their applications.

Ms Sonja Yonehara addressing the audience at one of many events organised by the Centre for Japanese Studies, University of Pretoria

Saying farewell to a colleague

It was with great sadness that the Centre for Japanese Studies bid farewell to Ms Sonja Yonehara. Ms Yonehara was the first administrator of the Centre and thereafter worked for JICA who assigned her as the Project Coordinator at CJS, University of Pretoria.

Ms Yonehara spent 4 years working closely with the Embassy of Japan hosting many Japanese events and thereby creating a lot of awareness and interest in Japan. She will be missed for her loyalty, dedication and hard work in promoting the academic and cultural aspects of Japan here in South Africa. Ms Yonehara returned to Japan in October 2018.

Visiting Universities from Japan to the University of Pretoria

Visit by International University of Japan (IUJ)

Ms Chie Ishizaka, staff member of the Office of the Top Global University Project and Prof YingYing Zhang Zhang, Associate Professor at the Graduate School of International Management from the International University of Japan visited the University of Pretoria. They met with representatives of the Centre for Japanese Studies, Department of Business Management and the Gordon Institute of Business Science, and discussed the possibilities of future collaboration.

Visit by Nagoya University of Foreign Studies

Prof Shuhei Shimada from the Nagoya University of Foreign Studies visited the University of Pretoria to meet with representatives of the International Cooperation Division to discuss the possibilities of signing an agreement with the University of Pretoria. He also paid a courtesy call visit to the Embassy of Japan and JICA. Prof Shimada was formerly a Professor at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and has visited the University of Pretoria on a previous occasion, and was partially responsible for the signing of the MoU between the University of Pretoria and the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.

September Activity Report

30 September 2018
Global Japan Office Coordinator
Anita Devchand

Mr Arsenio Botha doing his presentation

The Centre for Japanese Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa arranged a wonderful TUFS Student Information Session on the evening of 11 September 2018.

There was a lot of interest amongst the students at the University and the response to this event was overwhelming that we had to change venues last minute to accommodate the number of students who wanted to attend. There were 81 students who attended compared to previously where we had only 25 students. The venue was packed to capacity.

Mrs Anita Devchand, Administrator at the Centre for Japanese Studies did the introduction and welcomed our Honoured Guests, Professor Shinichi Takeuchi along with Dr Yasuo Matsunami, both from TUFS who were present at the event.

Professor Takeuchi did a presentation to the students entitled TUFS connects resources worldwide, From World to Japan and From Japan to World.

Mr Arsenio Botha who was going as an Exchange Student to Hokkaido University did a presentation to the students on the procedure to be followed when applying from the University of Pretoria to Japan. His presentation was called “Applying for an Exchange Program at TUFS”. Next Mr Smart Maqubela from the International Student’s Division explained the role of his office and the requirements for the credits for the subjects that the students choose. Thereafter two exchange students from TUFS, Ms Saki Takayama and Mr Naoto Mihara were introduced to the audience so that the students could network with them.

Finally, the very successful evening ended with a question and answer session that Dr Matsunami kindly agreed to respond to the students queries.

Professor Cheryl de la Rey, Vice Chancellor of the University of Pretoria addressing the participants. Seated and to the right, is the Japanese Ambassador to South Africa, His Excellency, Shigeyuki Hiroki. Seated to the left is Professor Shinichi Takeuchi (TUFS) and Professor Takahiro Morio from Tsukuba University

On 12 September 2018 the Centre for Japanese studies hosted the SA-Japan Bilateral Planning Seminar at the Assupol Cricket Club House, at the Hillcrest Campus of the University of Pretoria.

This planning session was to discuss the SAJU Forum that will take place in 2019. In attendance was the Vice Chancellor, Professor Cheryl de la Rey, The Japanese Ambassador to South Africa, His Excellency, Shigeyuki Hiroki. Among the participants were also the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Professor Vasu Reddy, the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Professor Maxi Schoeman, Professor Ahmed Bawa from USAf, Prof Morio from Tsukuba University, Prof Takeuchi from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, JICA representatives, Department of Higher Education and Training and various other Departments.

It was a very fruitful engagement and the outcome was agreement on the main Thematic Areas as well as the formation of a Planning Committee to take this event forward.

Seen here is Prof Takeuchi, Prof Schoeman and Mrs Devchand

The Global Japan Office was officially opened on 13 September 2018 at the University of Pretoria by Professor Shinichi Takeuchi from TUFS.

At that ceremony, the Global Japan Office Name Plate was officially handed over to the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Professor Maxi Schoeman. Mrs Anita Devchand was introduced as the GJO Coordinator at the University of Pretoria. Mrs Devchand was also handed a set of business cards from Professor Takeuchi.