On 28 July 2020, the virtual signings ceremony officially concluded the strategic partnership between Hamburg University and Kyoto University.
Dr Juichi Yamagiwa (President) and Prof Yasuyuki Kono (Vice-President for International Strategy) participated in the ceremony on behalf of Kyoto University. Hamburg University was represented by Dr Dieter Lenzen (President) and Ms Courtney Peltzer-Hönicke (Head of Department of International Affairs). Due to Covid-19, a face-to-face signing ceremony was beyond the bounds of possibility. However, the atmosphere was very congenial from beginning to end since this occasion marked the first meeting of both parties after a long time and there was a lot to talk about. The conversation between the presidents started with discussing current problems caused by Covid-19 and the current status at both universities. In the following exchange, they mutually reconfirmed that through this special partnership both universities join forces and further foster the collaboration in research and education. After this, the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) was signed. The meeting was concluded by the mutual expression of hope to be able to meet in person in the near future. At the end both presidents faced towards their monitors and performed an “air handshake” as a sign of appreciation even over a far distance.
As the fourth bilateral agreement of this kind for Kyoto University, this MoU is planned to strengthen the exchange in humanities (social studies and law, classical Chinese literature, and archival resources preservation) and a great variety of other fields (neuroscience, quantum physics, ecology, logistics, climate change related subjects).