While summer may be a quieter time on Indiana University’s campuses, President Pamela Whitten was able to see first-hand the excitement of international engagement and education abroad as part of a week-long trip to Japan and South Korea. The visit was Whitten’s first experience in Asia as IU’s 19th President and included a wide-ranging itinerary that celebrated the diversity of IU’s expertise and experience in the region.
The visit began in Japan, where President Whitten and Vice President for International Affairs Hannah Buxbaum met with Waseda University President Aiji Tanaka. Waseda is a global university, ranking first in Japan for the number of international students and students studying abroad, and is regarded as one of the most selective and prestigious universities in the country. The discussion centered on the active faculty and student exchanges between the universities and opportunities for further expansion of the partnership, including on the IU Indianapolis campus.
Next, the team met with President Umemoto Kazuyoshi at the Japan Foundation, a fifty-year old institution dedicated to comprehensive and effective development of the country’s international cultural exchange programs. The Japan Foundation has played a critical role in supporting IU’s 21st Century Japan Politics and Society Initiative in the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. The meeting was an opportunity for President Whitten to thank the foundation for its generous support and discuss future priorities and opportunities for collaboration.
The visit ended with an alumni dinner hosted by the president of IU’s alumni chapter in Japan, Toru Hanakawa, class of 1969. It included McKinney School of Law alum Paul Roland, director of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s international office in Japan, highlighting the close connections and ongoing impact that IU has in the state, nation, and beyond.