Event Report: Student Visit to the Embassy of Latvia and the EU Delegation to Japan in Tokyo
Coordinator: Prof. Holger Bungsche (School of International Studies, KGU)
Number of participants: 15
Visit to the Embassy of Latvia (10:00-12:00):
Topic: 「Latvia in the EU - Its Priorities, Influence and Contribution」
KGU students had the honor to listen to a very dense and comprehensive lecture given by her Excellency the Ambassador of Latvia to Japan Mrs. Dace Treija-Masī herself.
The first part of the lecture covered the history, geography, society, and traditions in Latvia. This part of the lecture gave students an insight into the history of a nation that was ruled by foreign powers over centuries, but never gave up in its struggling for independence, which was finally accomplished in 1992.
In the second part of the lecture the ambassador provided the students with deep insight with respect to Latvia as an active member in the EU as well as in other international organizations as NATO or the OECD.
In this part of the lecture, ambassador Mrs. Dace Treija-Masī concentrated mainly on three issues, the advantages of Latvia being a member of the EU, the issue of BREXIT and the Latvian migrant workers living in Britain, as well as the future challenges of the EU as perceived from Latvia.
Visit to the EU Delegation to Japan in Tokyo (15:00-17:00):
Topic: 「The EU as a Global Player and the EU-Japan FTA- EPA agreement」
The first part of the presentation given by the first secretary of the trade section Sara Zennaro Atre provided a comprehensive overview over the various global activities of the European Union. It covered a wide range form the Paris climate agreement, the Iran Nuclear deal, as well as various humanitarian and development projects.
The second part concentrated on EU-Japan relations and in particular on the FTA-EPA agreement. Mrs. Zennaro Atre in detail explained the scale and scope of the EU-Japan Free trade agreement, the time frame within the reduction of tariffs will take place and the economic advantages that derive from the agreement for both Japan as well as the EU.
Comparing the Japanese FTA-EPA with the EU-Canada free trade agreement, students realized that the Japanese agreement is by far more ambitious than the Canada treaty.
Overall students learned that the EU now is the most active proponent for a multilateral world order and for free trade.
Finally, Richard Kelner introduced the Erasmus+ program and the various opportunities it offers for Japanese students for studying in Europe.