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Japan-Russia International Research Symposium: Mysteries of the Russian Far East Achievements from Scientific Collaboration by Hokkaido University

Hokkaido University (HU), with the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC), heldthe Japan-Russia International Research Symposium on 5 November 2013 at HU in Sapporo, Japan. The symposium, not only introduced the activities thatHU has engaged in with Russian counterpart researchers and related Japanese scientists, but also explored the possibilities for further cooperation and potential projects. 

Opening remarks were given by Prof. Ichiro Ueda, Vice-president of HU, Academician Valentin Sergienko, President of Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Ms. Yuko Nagano, Director, International Science and Technology Affairs Division, Science and Technology Policy Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

In the session 1 "Marine and Land Environment" the following joint research results were shown: the iron transferred from the Amur River Basin has been ensuring productivity in the Sea of Okhotsk, and environmental systems in the land and the sea are interacting with each other. In the session 2 "Earthquake and volcano research in Kamchatka, Kuril and Far East" the researchers presented results of earthquake/volcano monitoring which has been done by Japan-Russia joint research group over the last 20 years, and their application to disaster prevention. In the session 3 "Environmental Monitoring in Sakha" it was pointed out that change of precipitation in Sakha inland area has been influencingthe cryosphere/biosphere of the Siberian permafrost and coniferous boreal forest. And the significance offostering human resource for sustainable observationwas also stressed.

Subsequently, a panel discussion was convened under the special title: Development of Japan-Russia cooperation in Eastern Russia Region – Toward establishment of research hub in Japan for human resource development and collaboration between human and natural sciences. Prof. Yoshiaki Nishimura, Director, the Economic Research Institute for Northeast Asia, pointed out the possibility that HU, which has been in charge of Hokkaido development, can cooperate also in the field of Far Eastern development with the Russian side. Ms. Yuko Nagano explained the current situation of science and technology cooperation between Japan and Russia, and stressedthe importance of enlargement of this cooperation. Academician Sergienko mentioned that Japan has been the most important partner for Far Eastern Russia and suggested that HU and the research institutes in Far Eastern Russiamust establish a multi-layered, multilateral and cooperative regime in the field of science. Finally, Prof. Yasuhiro Yukimatsu, Director, Task Force for Research Strategy of HU, concluded that HU must addresshuman resource development more actively and play a more important role in deepening research cooperation between Japan and Far Eastern Russia. He also stressed the necessity of the development of intra/inter university research network in order for HU to accomplish its mission mentioned above. 

Closing remark was given by Mr. Takuya Okamoto, Deputy Executive director, ISTC. He pointed out the necessity of exploring the framework for new scientificcooperation which is intended for settling global/borderless problems, such as environment problems.

In total, more than100 persons participated in the symposium. Participants were not only experts and students from research institutes and universities in Hokkaido but also citizens. The number of latter participants were about 1/3 of the total. This percentage means that interests to Far Eastern Russia in Hokkaido are very high.

More information on the Symposium can be obtained from Ms. Yuko Tsuda, ISTC Moscow, e-mail:,
or +7 (495) 98231 67


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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