University of Tokyo: Conclusion of a partnership agreement with Leiden University and the implementation of the Owada Chair Program

A new rotating chair program has been launched in recognition of the achievements of Prof. Hisashi Owada, a graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, the University of Tokyo, and former President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Through this program, Leiden University, the oldest university in the Netherlands, where the headquarters of the ICJ is located, and one of the leading research and academic institutions in Europe, and the University of Tokyo aim to establish close academic exchanges among researchers and students in the humanities and social sciences. The achievements of the Owada Chair Program will be shared with the public through the internet and printed materials.

In August 2009, the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Tokyo concluded a university-wide academic exchange agreement with Leiden University. Upon the retirement of Prof. Owada from his post at the ICJ in December 2018, the former President of Leiden University proposed the establishment of a chair program to further strengthen cooperation with the University of Tokyo. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences/College of Arts and Sciences, in harmony with Prof. Owada’s long-held aspirations to provide the younger generation with opportunities to tackle new challenges, have now concluded an agreement with Leiden University for the establishment of the Owada Chair Program. Although there have been some delays in the initial start-up due to the global situation concerning COVID-19, the first session of the Owada Chair Program is scheduled to be held at Leiden University in October 2021.

The Owada Chair Program will be in place for six years until 2026. For each new session, a theme related to international relations will be chosen, and a leading expert on the field will be invited to give a keynote lecture, followed by seminars consisting of researchers and selected students from both institutions. The Owada Chair Program will be hosted alternately by the two institutions. The theme of the first session is “Emotion and Politics.” Researchers and students specializing in the social sciences, including international law, international politics, and economics, and in the humanities, including history, ethics, and anthropology, will be recruited for participation. It is expected that the research and education efforts of this program, with an emphasis on the interdisciplinary approaches at which Komaba excels, will further promote the globalization of our campus.

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