Regular meeting in September, 2020

The regular meeting was held at the Atsumi Foundation Hall on September 11th, which was an unusually hot fall day. The participants could choose to join the meeting in person or via Zoom, which was also the case for the last meeting, the Tateshina Workshop in Tokyo. The theme of the meeting was "Let's find out about the activities of the early period of the Atsumi Foundation and the background that established SGRA." It was very good that all of the participants who joined in person as well as those who joined via Zoom could interact with each other. For this meeting, the Atsumi Foundation bought new audio and video equipment to improve the Zoom connection and also invited an acoustics expert. I think that both the participants who joined in person and joined via Zoom enjoyed the meeting, demonstrating that meetings have progressed toward the post corona age.

The purpose of the meeting was as follows: "Listen to the accounts given by Prof. Gao Weijun and Prof. Ferdinand C. Maquito, both first generation members of the Atsumi Scholarship, and through an open discussion think about possibilities for future SGRA activities and how to use the network of over 300 Atsumi alumni located all over the world."

To start, Prof. Gao introduced the Asia Future Conference (AFC). We understood that the AFC is interdisciplinary at its core and encourages diverse approaches to global issues that are both mindful of the advancement of science, technology, and business and also take into consideration issues of the environment, politics, education, the arts, and culture. The AFC was started as one of the activities of the Atsumi Foundation. The conference held this year was the fifth, counting from the first AFC which was held in March 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand. It was also announced that the 6th conference would be held at the Chinese Culture University (Taipei) on August 27th (Friday) - 1st (Tuesday). The theme is "BILDING A FUTURE ASIA - Solving Problems, Together." I am planning to join because it seems very interesting to me.

Next, Prof. Maquito introduced the history of SGRA (Sekiguchi Global Research Association). We learned that SGRA's mission was to contribute to good global citizenship under the principle of harmony in diversity. The core of SGRA is formed from former AISF/AIF scholarship recipients who were foreign students in the final stage of Ph.D. work at a Japanese university. The research results are widely disseminated to society through forums, reports, web contents, etc. I am looking forward to being a SGRA member because Atusmi Scholarship students can be members automatically after finishing the scholarship term.

Talk about "Rccoon" a term used to refer to alumni of the Atsumi scholarship, during the free talk after the lectures was exciting. We decided to contribute to society as "Rccoons" in the future. We also discussed how this year's scholarship members could be close to each other. Because of the coronavirus, dinner parties that scholarship students enjoy every year have been unavoidably canceled, and communication between all of this year's scholarship students has been very limited. All of us were longing for the friendship of Prof. Gao and Prof. Maquito, who were the first generation members of the Atsumi scholarship, and wanted to get to know each other better soon.

At the end, we enjoyed tasty sweets together and the meeting was closed. I am looking forward to the next regular meeting. I guess that the combined use of face-to-face style and Zoom will continue for a while because of the coronavirus. This is the future tasks of holding meetings in a post-corona society.

Yuan Xiao Yu

Translated by Aya Miyake
English checked by Sonja Dale

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