May 8, 2014

Strengthening the bond between the UW and Japan

By Michael K. Young

At the UW, we have been going about the business of learning about other parts of the world almost from the beginning of the university, and certainly from 1908, when 15 Japanese students helped found our International Students Club. Today, Japanese is the second-most studied language at the university and demand for the study of this country’s history, culture and language has never been stronger. This warms my heart more than ever as my affection for Japan has only deepened since I first traveled there more than four decades ago.

The UW’s long-standing partnerships with Japan extend to the Japan-America Society of the state of Washington, which hosted me at their annual meeting last month. The event was an opportunity to deepen the UW’s relationship with our Japanese friends and partners, and celebrate our mutual collaborations — past, present and future. The continued vitality and importance of the UW-Japan relationship are aided by the enterprising culture and global worldview we are fostering on campus. At the UW, we consider every student an international student; in today’s interconnected world, weaving a global perspective into all aspects of education is critical.

There is a strong link between the continued success of the UW and the vibrant Japanese community that surrounds us. Our fates are tied and our futures depend on our abilities to work together. In this vein, I am delighted and eager to continue this legacy of educational exchange between the UW and our Japanese friends and partners. Thank you to the Japan-America Society for your friendship and for helping to create these opportunities!

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