International Symposium

Emerging Sciences for Wildlife and Culture in Bhutan

Opening Remarks of the International Symposium
On July 11th, at Kyoto University
by Prof. Shigefumi Mori, Director-General,
Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study


Welcome to the international symposium entitled “Emerging Sciences for Wildlife and Culture in Bhutan”. My name is Shigefumi MORI, Director-General of the Kyoto University Institute for Advanced Study. As a representative of Kyoto University, it is my great pleasure to welcome the delegates from the Royal University of Bhutan.

The relationship between the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan and Kyoto University started in 1957, almost 60 years ago, when Her Majesty Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck, (アシ・ケザン・チョデン・ワンチュック)the Royal Grandmother, visited Kyoto. Her majesty was welcomed by two professors from Kyoto University, the late Takeo Kuwabara and Joji Ashida (桑原武夫と芦田譲治). In the following year, 1958, Dr. Sasuke Nakao (中尾佐助), a graduate of Kyoto University, stayed in Bhutan for about 6 months as the first Japanese scientist who visited Bhutan. Since then, there have been numerous interactions between Kyoto University and Bhutan in various domains. Diplomatic relations between Bhutan and Japan were established in 1986. This year, 2016, thus marks the 30th anniversary of official links between our countries.

To renew these close ties, Prof. Tetsuro Matsuzawa, Prof. Kozo Matsubayashi (松沢哲郎と松林公蔵)and other professors visited Bhutan in October 2010 and had the opportunity to meet His majesty the Fourth King. His majesty strongly encouraged them to promote friendship. Thus, the “Kyoto University Bhutan Friendship Program” was launched following His majesty’s encouragement. The program aims to build an equal-partnership of the two countries, Bhutan and Japan, through university activities of research, education and social outreach.

The former Vice Chancellor of the Royal University of Bhutan, Dasho Pema Thinley (ダショー・ペマ・ティンリー), visited Kyoto University in 2012. In return, Kyoto University sent a mission in 2013. As a result of these visits, a MoU was finally signed between the two universities on August 1st, 2013. Since then, hundreds of scholars and students of the two universities have been keeping in contact with each other through various joint programs.

The international symposium today will act as another bridge strengthening the ties between the two universities. We very much hope that this symposium will provide great opportunities to exchange ideas, to promote mutual understanding, and to pass on our history of friendship to the next generation.

桑原 武夫(くわばら たけお、1904年(明治37年)5月10日 - 1988年(昭和63年)4月10日)は、日本のフランス文学・文化の研究者。文化勲章受章。人文科学における共同研究の先駆的指導者でもあった。

芦田譲治 (あしだ じょうじ) 1905-1981 昭和時代の植物学者。 明治38年4月28日生まれ。昭和17年母校京都帝大の教授となる。植物生理学が専門で,生長ホルモン(ジベレリン)などを研究。日本植物生理学会の創立に尽力し,初代会長。46年から愛媛大学長をつとめた。昭和56年10月8日死去。76歳。兵庫県出身。編著に「現代生物学講座」(共編)など。

中尾 佐助(なかお さすけ、1916年8月16日 - 1993年11月20日)は、日本の植物学者。大阪府立大学名誉教授。専門は遺伝育種学、栽培植物学。ヒマラヤ山麓から中国西南部を経て西日本に至る「照葉樹林帯」における文化的共通性に着目した「照葉樹林文化論」を提唱した。

The 4th King of Bhutan
Jigme Singye Wangchuck (born 11 November 1955) was the King of Bhutan (Druk Gyalpo) from 1972 until his abdication in favour of his eldest son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, in 2006. He is credited with many modern reforms in the country. He is known as the person who promoted the idea of “Gross National Happiness (GNH)”.