UNESCO Director-General pays official visit to Japan and participates in major scientific ceremonial event in Kyoto

The Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, paid an official visit to Japan where he lectured to large audiences and played a part at a key scientific ceremonial event that marked the 100th anniversary of the births of Mr Yukawa and Mr Tomonaga, Nobel Prize laureates at the University of Kyoto.

On 23 January, the Director-General delivered a speech entitled ‘UNESCO and Science’ at the University of Kyoto’s ceremonial event to mark the 100th anniversary of the births of Mr Hideki Yukawa and Mr Shin-ichiro Tomonaga, two Japanese laureates of the Nobel Prize in Physics. Both of these laureates were raised in Kyoto and studied at the University of Kyoto. UNESCO has been associated with the celebration of the 100th anniversary of one of these laureates, Mr Yukawa. One of the two medals on Japanese themes issued by UNESCO in 2005 commemorates Mr Yukawa, the very first Japanese laureate of the Nobel Prize.

In addition to Mr Matsuura, Mr Ryoji Noyori and Mr Frank Wilczek, Nobel Prize winners in Chemistry and Physics respectively, were the other invited speakers for this event that attracted an audience of about 400 people. They were followed by congratulatory addresses by the Japanese Vice-Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Mr Akio Yuki, as well as official representatives from the city and prefecture of Kyoto.

The Director-General, invited by the Governor of the Kyoto prefecture, gave a lecture to 100 people about his experience in working as the head of UNESCO for the past seven years. In this address, Mr Matsuura spoke about the UN system, the UNESCO Constitution and his own method for reforming UNESCO. During this official visit to Japan, the Director-General also gave a lecture entitled ‘The status quo and outlook of World Heritage’ to an audience of 300 people in Sakai, a city located in the Osaka prefecture.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N°009-2007
  • 31-01-2007
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