Universities in Okinawa and Hawaii agree partnership
May 14, 2015 Sadaharu Shimabukuro, Correspondent of Ryukyu Shimpo
At the Hawaii State Capitol on May 12, the University of the Ryukyus President Hajime Oshiro, Meio University President Katsunori Yamazato, and the University of Hawaii President David Lassner signed a partnership agreement. The tie-up will create opportunities to form an international network in education and research related to Okinawan Studies, encompassing language, tourism, and the natural sciences. Those present at the signing included Hawaii State Governor David Ige. The international network plans to co-create an Uchinaguchi dictionary in Spanish and Portuguese, which are the main languages in South America.
Hawaii and Okinawa have similarities as islands. The University of Hawaii is known for its active research on endangered languages, including the Ryukyuan languages, and the university also holds various resources for Okinawan Studies. The collaboration aims to create opportunities for joint research which would be difficult to pursue individually.
At the signing, Presidents Oshiro and Yamazato said that they were looking forward to assisting each other in the education of the next generation. President Lassner said that the agreement would enhance their relationship. Governor Ige commented that he was particularly happy about this signing because of the impending 30th anniversary of the sister-state relationship between the State of Hawaii and Okinawa Prefecture.
(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)
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