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Lunchtime roundtable talks with Dr. Toshihide Masukawa after the lecture Forming youthful friendships and deep emotional connections while eating, laughing, and talking

Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST)

After a special lecture by Dr. Toshihide Masukawa, a buffet party was held. It was a large party with about 130 young people in attendance, including high school students, guiding staff, and other concerned personnel.

Dr. Masukawa was surrounded by many students at his table, who took turns to take photos and ask him questions. A constantly smiling Dr. Masukawa gave each question his careful attention.


High school students of various nationalities conversed pleasantly with Dr. Masukawa.

In the party room, people helped themselves to food or sat around talking cheerfully with each other. Among them were students from Toyama High School. Im Shunjing, a schoolgirl from Korea said, “Dr. Masukawa’s lecture was very interesting, but it was difficult for me to understand. I hope that I will come to understand what he said better in the course of my future studies. During my previous day’s visit to Tokyo University and the Tokyo Institute of Technology, I had the opportunity to see their latest facilities, and was given special admission into a cleanroom. When I talked to a professor, he asked me many questions and made various comments on my responses. I was impressed to see such diverse viewpoints in a scientist.”

Nonthapath Suhonpaniku, a schoolboy from Thailand, offered another perspective. Speaking in a serious manner, he said, “I was impressed with Dr. Masukawa after listening to his lecture today. He was very friendly and his lecture was very interesting. The doctor talked about elementary particle physics. Since it is my goal to pursue this subject in the future, his lecture provided good encouragement.”

Moreover, Carilo Joanna Mary, a schoolgirl from the Philippines, earnestly talked about her experience, saying, “I felt it was a great honor for ordinary high school students like us to have the opportunity to listen to a lecture by a Nobel Prize Laureate like Dr. Masukawa. Through his lecture, he invited us to participate in the great adventure of science. The professor taught us to cultivate curiosity and to always be in the pursuit of learning. We had visited JAMSTEC the day before. As such facilities are not available in our country, it was a very interesting experience for me. Everything inside the facility was new to me, and I had my first encounter with marine creatures and some of the latest research equipment. The visit to the facility was of special benefit to me, because the research area that I wish to enter in the future was covered by the facility.”

Students from Toyama High School immediately became friends with students from other Asian countries. Some of them showed interest in the Jakarta-version AKB born in Indonesia; others talked with students from Vietnam, who gave them postcards from their country; and still others formed groups and talked about various subjects including famous places and cuisines.


Students from different Asian countries posed for a commemorative photo with students from Toyama High School. People from different Asian countries tend to look alike, and it was difficult to tell who was from which country.

Sayaka Shibata, a first-grade female student from Toyama High School, said with a smile, “I was invited to this event when I was at the SSH (Super Science High School). I am happy to have made the acquaintance of students from Vietnam.”

Aziz Farharn Fatturrachma, a second-grade male student from Indonesia, had won an award at the International Physics Olympiad in Bandung, Indonesia. Asked about his impressions of his participation in the Sakura Science Plan, he replied, “I am very delighted to have visited Tokyo University and the Tokyo Institute of Technology. I plan to engage in aircraft-related activities in the future. After graduating from high school, I first want to enter the Institut Teknologi Bandung and then study abroad.”

Ha Huy Hieu, a first-grade male student from Hanoi High School, Vietnam, discussed his impressions and ambitions, saying, “I was very impressed with the cleanroom at Tokyo Institute of Technology. I am interested in mathematics, and I would like to study abroad in either Japan or the US in the future.”

In addition, Jinnipa Arunotai, a second-grade female high school student from Thailand, said happily, “This is my first visit to Japan. The visits to Tokyo University and Tokyo Institute of Technology will leave a lasting impression on me. In the future, I would like to study mechanical engineering. I was told by my parents to determine my own future. My mother is a full-time housewife, and my father, who works at the Japanese company Isuzu, particularly encouraged me to participate in this event. I am glad I followed his advice and came to Japan.”


The venue echoed with the laughter of students of multiple nationalities.

Commemorative photos by and with students were taken everywhere.

Activity Report