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Top Page >> News & Events >> Establishment of Myanmar Branch
News & Events ニュース & イベント
Establishment of Myanmar Branch

1. Introduction

Contact between Myanmar scholars and Japanese Universities took place since early 19th century. The arrival in war time Japan of 30 military cadets from Myanmar (then known as Burma or Biruma in Japanese) went to the Imperial Military Academy in Zama near Tokyo to be joined a year later by another group of cadets. Also 30 Myanmar civilian scholars participated in the program on Japan Overseas Scholars from the South or Nanpo Tokubetsu Ryugakusei (Nantokus).

The first connection between Okayama University and Myanmar Scholars was in 1981, and the acceleration period could be observed in the year 2000. Since then the Okayama University and the Myanmar academicians and researchers has been in close contact, especially in the field of medicine and allied sciences. An agreement of cooperation between the Departments under the Ministry of Health and Okayama University was signed in the year 2002. In the year 2012, a Commemorative Ceremony to mark the Tenth Year of the Agreement of Cooperation was celebrated at the Department of Medical Research in Yangon, Myanmar. It was honored by Professor Kiyoshi Morita, President of Okayama University and Professor Pe Thet Khin, the Myanmar Union Minister of Health and high ranking government officials and professors. The connection between Okayama University and Myanmar scholars was further enhanced by the work of NPO Myanmar Japan Collaboration Project for Fostering Medical Human Resources which consists of over 500 Japan nationals led by Professor Shigeru Okada who is Professor Emeritus of Okayama University School of Medicine, Dentistry and Allied Sciences.

Myanmar scholars who had returned from Japan formed a Students Association since the post-World War II period. However, a comprehensive alumni could be formed only in the year 2001. With a strong statute, scholars who returned from Japan formed the Myanmar Association of Japan Alumni (MAJA) as a federation. It consists of JICA Alumni Association of Myanmar (JAAM), alumni associations of Tokyo, Nagoya, Hiroshima and Kobe Universities and Myanmar Branch of Overseas Human Resources and Industry Development Association (HIDA).

Early this year, a group of scholars who returned from Okayama University, generated an idea to form an ex-scholar group. It was further discussed and an Organizing Committee was formed. The Committee, with the support of Prof. Shigeru Okada, communicated with officials from Okayama University and eventually managed to establish the Myanmar Branch of Okayama University International Alumni Association during a relatively short period of time.

2. The Ceremony and the attendants

The inauguration ceremony was carried out at the Yadanar Hall of the Park Royal Hotel in Yangon, Myanmar according to the agenda. (Annex 1)

The ceremony commenced at 9:00 AM with the arrival of special guests and alumni members. From different parts of Myanmar, 71 alumni members attended the occasion. Those from Upper Myanmar had to travel a day ahead to participate in the meeting. Although, it was an official working day in Myanmar, the organizing committee managed to obtain permission from the Ministry to allow the alumni members to attend the ceremony.

The ceremony was attended by the following distinguished Professors from Okayama University.

  1. Professor Kiyoshi Morita, President of Okayama University
  3. Professor Zhang Hong, President of Okayama University International Alumni Association
  5. Professor Emeritus Shigeru Okada, Chairman of the Board of Directors of NPO: Myanmar Japan Collaboration Project for Fostering Medical Human Resources
Two senior officials from the Embassy of Japan, Myanmar graced the occasion.
  1. Mr. Toshio Yamamoto, Minister Counsellor
  3. Mr. Yusuke Masuoka, First Secretary (Culture and Information)
Special guests who honored the occasion were as follows:
  1. Professor Paing Soe, Councillor NayPyiTaw and former Deputy Minister of Health
  3. Dr. Kyaw Min, Former Director General, Ministry of Health
  5. Dr. Khin Pyone Kyi, President of Myanmar Liver Foundation and former Director General, Ministry of Health
  7. Dr. Than Sein, President of Public Health Foundation and former Director of WHO South East Asia Regional Office
  9. Professor Tin Maung Han, Rector of University of Medicine, Mandalay
The following senior alumni members were also present at the ceremony
  1. Professor Aung Kyaw, Patron of Myanmar Association of Japan Alumni
  3. U Myint Wai, Patron of Myanmar Association of Japan Alumni
  5. Dr. Aung Win, President of HIDA
  7. Dr. Thin Aye Aye Ko, President of Kobe University Alumni

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