Although the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan have dropped off our main news screens, the fallout from the natural disaster is still being felt in surprising ways but the University of Warwick has stepped in to ensure that the academic work for two individuals has not been interrupted.
Dr Takashi Terada and Dr. Iwata have taken up the offer from the University of Warwick to conduct research at its Warwickshire campus for a month.
Dr Takashi Terada, Professor of International Relations at Waseda University, Tokyo, one of the most prestigious private universities, explained how the stay at Warwick was of benefit: “I’ve managed to complete three papers whilst I’ve been here and have been able to focus and concentrate on my work which I know would have been much more difficult at home in Japan especially as they have shortened the semester too.”
He explained that because Japan was still operating on a reduced power policy following the incident at the Fukushima nuclear power station, there were times of the day when air conditioning units in public places in Tokyo had to be switched off to save power - so the English climate had actually been a welcome break from the intense humidity back home.
Dr. Iwata is from Tohoku University, which was directly affected by the earthquake and is the third oldest state university in Japan. She specialises in English Drama and History and was very enthusiastic about her chance to study at Warwick: “Although we have the internet and Skype, mixing and meeting other academics face-to-face is so much better and has really enhanced my work.”
Professor Koen Lamberts, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Academic Resourcing [from 1 Nov] at the University of Warwick, who has just returned from a visit to Japan, said: “This scheme came about because our academics at Warwick were concerned for their international colleagues in Japan and wanted to do something practical to help.
“Following my recent visit there, I realise how important it is to stay engaged with Japan and want to extend long-term support which will continue long after the initial impact of the earthquake. We are committed to building our academic links and collaborative work with Japanese research institutes and we certainly see potential for further development of research collaboration between Warwick and Japan.”
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