French Japanese Cultural Symposium “New Roads Taken by Art and Culture” was held

On October 3, a French Japanese cultural symposium entitled “The New Road Taken by Art and Culture” was held in Room 101, Building 6. The symposium was organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Embassy of France in Japan/the Institute Francais, Nikkei Inc., and co-organized by the University.

The symposium was organized to mark the 70th anniversary of the signing of the 1953 French Japanese Cultural Agreement and to provide an opportunity for cultural professionals, artists, and representatives of the academic community to gather and discuss the interaction between art, culture, and new technologies.

The Embassy of France requested us to co-sponsor this event, as Sophia University has built friendly relations with France over the years through its high-quality French-language education.

Symposium held on October 3

At first, President Yoshiaki Terumichi delivered a welcoming address, followed by remarks by Commissioner for Cultural Affairs Shunichi Tokura and Ambassador Philippe Seton of France on behalf of the Japanese and French governments.


The symposium opened with a morning keynote address, “The New Road Taken by Art and Culture, Prospects for France and Japan,” followed by a discussion.

The afternoon consisted of three roundtables, Forum 1: “Creation, Artists and Artificial Intelligence (AI),” Forum 2: “Cultural Heritage and Cultural Access -Challenges and Opportunities Presented by New Technologies,” and Forum 3: “Extended Communities -How Social and Technology Innovations Can Expand the Capacities of People Enjoying Culture.” A total of 15 speakers, five each from the French and Japanese organizations spoke on these themes.

Professor Ikuko Yairi (far right) spoke at Forum 3

Professor Ikuko Yairi of the Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Information and Communication Sciences, participated in Forum 3 as a panelist. Professor Yairi explained individual diversity and herd dynamics as seen through brain measurements and studies of microflora such as bacteria and discussed 21st century communities with the other speakers.

President Yoshiaki Terumichi (right) and Ambassador Philippe Seton (at the French Embassy in Tokyo)

Prior to the symposium, President Terumichi and French Ambassador Seton met for talks. When President Terumichi explained that “Sophia has signed student exchange and academic exchange agreements with 25 higher education institutions in France,” the Ambassador was amazed at the large number of agreements.

They promised that the two parties shall continue to work closely together in the future.

Sophia University

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