Sophia University and Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for academic exchange and study abroad program in May 2021, and in November 2022, Yoshiaki Ishizawa (Director of Sophia Asia Center for Research and Human Development) was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree (History and Humanities) of RUPP. Accordingly, on December 4, 2023, the symposium “Debriefing on the Restoration Project of the Angkor Wat Western Causeway and Environmental Management” was held at the Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center (CJCC), KIZUNA Hall on the RUPP campus and was attended by about 300 its students, including the Vice President, the Dean and other faculty members.
The symposium began with a welcome address by RUPP President Chet Chealey, followed by a lecture by Sophia University President Yoshiaki Terumichi on “Sophia – Bringing the World Together,” in which he introduced the University’s education and research activities and discussed contemporary issues concerning cross-cultural exchange. Next, Researcher Satoru Miwa of Sophia Asia Center for Research and Human Development in Siem Reap, Cambodia, introduced the contribution of Sophia University toward the restoration of the Western Causeway of Angkor Wat and its opening ceremony held on November 4. Furthermore, a lecture regarding the “Acquisition of ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Certification and Importance of Environmental Education at Angkor Monument” was given by Researcher Lao Kim Leang. From RUPP, Deputy Dean Seak Sophat (Faculty of Development Studies) gave a presentation on “A Study Using Socio-Economic Indicators Related to Disaster Vulnerability in Siem Reap City”.
After the lecture, a Q&A session followed, with a lively discussion on President Terumichi’s presentation. At the end of the symposium, Director Yoshiaki Ishizawa delivered a message to the participating students, introducing his life-long efforts to study Angkor Wat and encouraging students who will lead the future of Cambodia. As a token of his appreciation, Director Ishizawa presented a copy of the Cambodia’s Cultural Revival 33 Special Issue, RENAISSANCE CULTURELLE DU CAMBODGE (33) 2023 SPECIAL ISSUE The Second International Symposium on the Hydraulic City, and “Angkor Wat and I” by Yoshiaki Ishizawa (Khmer edition) to the participating students.
Professor Oum Ravy, alumnus of Sophia University and Vice President of RUPP, who made a special effort to organize this symposium, said, “It is a great pleasure to host this international symposium. We would like to further promote mutual cooperation between RUPP and Sophia University, including student exchange.”