Japanese statesman to visit Findlay

By SARA ARTHURS
Staff Writer
Kiyoski Ueda, governor of Saitama Prefecture, Japan, will visit Findlay on Saturday.
A prefecture is like a state in the United States.
Ueda will participate in two presentations open to the public, both to be held at the Ritz Auditorium, Old Main, at the University of Findlay.
University of Findlay President Katherine Fell and U.S. Rep. Bob Latta will welcome Ueda at Fell’s office Saturday morning before the presentations.
The first presentation, scheduled for 10:25 a.m., will feature a lecture by Ueda followed by discussion with University of Findlay students on the topic “Wings to the World: Developing Global Human Resources in Saitama Prefecture.”
Hiroaki Kawamura, associate professor and chairman of the Department of Language and Culture at the University of Findlay, said in Japan, and in particular in Saitama Prefecture, there is a serious shortage of the labor force as the birth rate declines and people are living longer. Many young adults go abroad to work.
Because of this, Saitama is trying to establish a “human resources network” looking at how to establish and maintain networks with those who work abroad, Kawamura said. Ueda will speak on this topic and three undergraduate University of Findlay students will then offer a response, talking about their own travels overseas and how they formed networks across national borders.
Ueda’s second presentation is scheduled for 11:25 a.m. Ueda, along with teachers who were participants in the Fulbright/Jennings/Community Foundation Japan Project, will hold a “Discussion on International Education: Japan and Hancock County.”
Nine Hancock County teachers, three University of Findlay pre-service teachers and Kawamura spent four weeks in Japan this summer with funding from a Fulbright Scholarship. The goal was to bring back to their classrooms what they had learned in Japan. Kawamura said the teachers met Ueda while they were visiting Japan, so this week it is their turn to host him.
After the presentations, Ueda will meet with university and community leaders at a lunchtime reception, then will receive a tour of the University of Findlay campus. The day’s activities will conclude with a cherry tree planting ceremony.
Kawamura said Ueda previously visited Findlay in 2010, and was welcomed by the university. This time, however, Ueda will be welcomed by leaders from the community as a whole including representatives from Findlay and Hancock County governments and Findlay City Schools. Kawamura said this reflects increasing interest by the larger community, not just the university. When Findlay sent an economic delegation including Mayor Lydia Mihalik to Japan in 2012, they met Ueda.
Ueda will spend one day in Findlay and another day in Columbus. He will also attend the Midwest Economic Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. As part of this trip he is also visiting Mexico, where his community has a sister city.
Arthurs: 419-427-8494 Send an E-mail to Sara Arthurs

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