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10-17 November 2008, International Educational Forum in Japan

In the period from 10 to 17 November 2008 in Japan was conducted the International Educational Forum in which participated Russian delegation composed of representatives of the Russian Federation State Duma, heads of regional ministries of education and science, chancellors of higher education institutions, directors of colleges, specialists in the sphere of research, educational and pedagogic activity.

During the Forum the delegates visited several Japanese cities, travelling by bus, by fast train, by air and even on shipboard. The trip around the picturesque and comfortable Japanese cities was a bit tiresome, a bit romantic, but extremely interesting especially for those who visited the Land of the Rising Sun for the first time.

In the first work day Russian delegation made its way down the multistory serpentine roads to Matida city for the purpose of meeting the team of the staff of the secondary school headed by Mr. Tsurukawa. Mr. Tsurukawa was notably disposed to his colleagues from Russia, as for many years he worked in Moscow and educated children of officers in Japanese embassy and joint ventures.

School in Matida aroused a many-sided interest to contemporary engineering and educational process. Taking into consideration the most unforeseen natural cataclysms, the building is constructed using earthquake design. On the roof of the school the swimming pool is situated. In case of a fire the water is directed to fire localization. For the purpose of energy saving, water paths are covered with specific road beds that block the evaporation and therefore cooling of the liquid. Not only energy is saved in school, rain water is also collected and used for technical needs, soap for washing hands is put into grids that are tied to cocks. Common understanding of the reasonable necessity culture can be seen everywhere, even in trifles. Even in classrooms guests noticed Russian maps Ц they must be cheaper in Russia. While communicating with Director of the school, heads of Russian educational institutions expressed their will to establish mutually beneficial collaboration and exchange of experience. In particular Mr. Tsurukawa accepted an offer to visit Samara city from Samara Oblast Ministry of Education and Science that was represented by Dmitriy Ovchinnikov.

Not less interesting and significant was the visit to Akita city. One hour flight from Tokyo gave to our delegates an opportunity to see Japan from the mountain heights. In Akita International University was conducted a meeting with the Governor of the city and representatives of prefecture educational sector. University chancellor Mr.Nakajima presented directors of faculties to the guests and made for them a tour around lecture rooms, library halls and storages, familiarized them with the conditions of dormitory accommodation. At present the university collaborates with institutions of higher education from more than 80 countries including Russia.

The program of Akita city tour included visit to the high school. Accompanied by Director Mr. Mure the delegates walked along study rooms, communicated with professors and students. A well-running study process and excellent study material base enable 80% of graduates to pass entrance examinations to institutions of higher education.

In Akita Prefectural Educational Center accompanied by Director of the Center Ms. Suzuki and professor of the Akita International University Alexander Dolin Russian delegates went on a tour, exchanged their opinions on the topic of organizing the activity of further education clubs. The center is visited by students of educational institutions that belong to Akita prefecture, students of high schools in order to prepare for entrance examinations to institutions of higher education, young parents, housewifes aspiring to self education. The Center helps all persons interested in maintaining active attitude to life, looking for friends, developing their creative abilities.

Education in Japan is closely connected to national traditions, way of life, environment. Respect to nature and to their cities is visually shown in actions of local government and simple citizens. Visit of the traditional Japanese garden and Tokyo Tower completed the view of Japan as a highly developed nation.

Visit to the Sophia International University in Tokyo enabled the delegates of the Forum to get acquainted with the system of learning Russian language by Japanese students. In the University library there is a separate storage of books and publications in Russian. Among those are celebrated Ozhegov dictionary, Russian classic literature, Russian legislation, the central press of Russia.

According to the head of the Russian delegation from the Russian State Duma Pavel Kondrashev and many other Russian delegates, the forum open new opportunities for further collaboration of Japan and Russia on the topic of education, science, mutual enrichment of cultures.