The 80th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and Iraq Commemorative Event “Peace Building Seminar”

No. 3

1. The Embassy of Japan in Iraq, in association with the University of Baghdad and Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan, held an event titled “Peace Building Seminar” at the Embassy on 18th February 2019.

2. The Embassy of Japan invited two distinguished Japanese speakers, Professor Saburo Takizawa from Toyo Eiwa University and Professor Daisaku Higashi from Sophia University, who are prominent specialists in the field of peace building, to mark the 80th year of Japan-Iraq diplomatic relations.

3. Dr. Saburo Takizawa is a visiting professor at the Graduate School of International Cooperation, Toyo Eiwa University. He is the former Representative of UNHCR Japan, and the former Project Professor of the University of Tokyo.
Dr. Daisaku Higashi is professor at Sophia University in Tokyo. He worked as the team leader for reconciliation and reintegration in Kabul, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) from 2009 to 2010, and worked as an associate professor at the University of Tokyo from 2011. Dr. Higashi was the Minister-Counsellor in the Permanent Mission of Japan to the UN from 2012 to 2014, and then, returned to University of Tokyo. He was an associate professor at Sophia University since 2016, and is now a professor since 2018.

4. The purpose of this event was to exchange lessons learned and perspectives on the challenges of peacebuilding in both Iraq and other conflict-affected states and to seek for intellectual collaboration between Iraq and Japan to address these challenges. Among the topics discussed were how to create sustainable peace, how to support the refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), and how to advance national reconciliation, which would be vital for peace-building in Iraq. The event was also the first step to advance cooperation between Sophia University and the University of Baghdad on the issues of peace-building.

5. Many academics and students of the College of Political Science and the College of Arts at the University of Baghdad had lively discussions and exchanged ideas with both professors about peace building in order to achieve a peaceful future for Iraq.