The Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Belgium, Mr. Makita Shimokawa, says “This is going to be the first ever Japan Chair in the European continent and we are delighted for this achievement. For many years, since my arrival in Brussels, VUB has been working very hard to make this happen, through various lectures, courses and seminars under the CSDS Japan Program. We value the high levels of responsibility, accountability and management skills of the team and look forward to a stable and long-lasting future cooperation through the establishment of the Japan Chair at CSDS.”
“The Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) considers Japan, a key partner and an important actor on the world stage” says Prof. Dr. Romain Meeusen, VUB Vice Rector Internationalization. “We are deeply honoured, therefore, to have been selected by the Government of Japan for this landmark endowment”. Prof. Dr. Hugo Thienpont, VUB Vice Rector for Innovation and Industry Relations and in charge of VUB Chairs, welcomes this new Japan Chair and underlines the importance of Japan as an actor in the field of technology for the rapprochement towards the European Union. Mr. Karel De Gucht, President of the Brussels School of Governance (BSoG) added “The appointment of the Japan Chair will mark an important new chapter in our engagement in the region, and we are excited by the prospect of providing high quality analysis on Japanese politics and foreign policy.”
The Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy (CSDS) of the Brussels School of Governance (BSoG) already established a Japan Program in October 2020. “This partnership will ensure that we are able to further promote academically rigorous discussions on geostrategic developments in Asia and the Indo-Pacific region, to enhance awareness of Japanese foreign and security policy in Europe, and inform and shape the policy agenda confronting the Japanese and European leadership, focusing specifically on the EU and NATO.”, says Prof. Dr. Luis Simon, CSDS Director.