TSSC Alumni Gathered in Taipei for the 2nd Meeting
On November 4, 2023, the 2nd TSSCA (Taiwan Sakura Science Club Alumni Association) onsite alumni meeting was held at the Amba Taipei Songshan Hotel from 10:30 to 14:00. For the 64 people who participated, it was a timely opportunity for SSC members coming from various backgrounds to interact and share valuable experience and knowledge.
TSSCA coordinator Dr. SHIA Wei-Yau, (Assistant Professor, National Chung Hsing University, Department of Veterinary Medicine), and TSSCA President Dr. PENG Chi-How (Professor, National Taiwan University, Department of Chemistry) delivered opening remarks and warmly welcomed all the guests and alumni.
＜Greetings by Honorable Guests＞
This part of the event began with a video message from Mr. FURUYA Keiji. An esteemed member of the House of Representatives who also chairs the Japan-ROC Diet Members’ Consultative Council, Mr. Furuya expressed his congratulations on the second Taiwan alumni reunion. The people-to-people exchange promoted by the Sakura Science Program (SSP) has become a solid foundation for mutual understanding between Taiwan and Japan, and Mr. Furuya said that SSP has provided Taiwanese students with an opportunity to experience Japan's cutting-edge science and technology. He concluded his speech by praising TSSCA─"This alumni association will serve as a bridge for people-to-people exchanges, promote further exchanges and goodwill, and contribute to the development of Japan and Taiwanese society."
Deputy Representative of Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Taipei Office, Mr. OKAJIMA Hiroyuki said that since its launch in 2014, more than 1,700 people from Taiwan have been invited to Japan through the SSP, showing that “many Taiwanese people are interested in Japan.” As science and technology develop at unprecedented speed and complexity, cooperation between Japan and Taiwan is essential. While there are many common issues, such as how to respond to rapidly advancing technologies, he hoped that “Japan and Taiwan can draw on each other's strengths to develop mutually.”
Dr. PENG Fu-Yuan, Director-General of the K-12 Education Administration at the Ministry of Education, expressed his gratitude for the opportunities SSP provides to experience Japanese science and technology—not only for university students and researchers, but also for high school students. Taiwan's Ministry of Education has so far selected outstanding high school students, including Science Olympiad participants, for SSHP (Sakura Science High School Program). He expressed his determination to continue providing maximum support so that he can contribute to the continuation of SSP.
＜Study in Japan/Scholarship System Introduction Session＞
In this session, Ms. HSIEH Tai-Chieh and Mr. KADOTA Kentaro, Director of Public Relations at the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, provided detailed guidance on studying in Japan to Taiwanese students considering higher education in Japan. The presentations covered various aspects of post-graduate study in Japan, including practical information such as how to obtain financial aid for admission to Japanese universities.
＜Sharing Session by Alumni＞
Professor CHEN Jiun-Rong
Taipei Medical University, School of Nutrition and Health Sciences
Professor CHEN Jiun-Rong introduced himself and spoke about his academic career in Japan. He talked about his study-abroad experience as a doctoral student at Tohoku University. Through his experience as an international student in Japan, he emphasized the appeal of his research activities and the importance of maintaining motivation. He also introduced the research collaboration between Taipei Medical University and Japanese universities conducted through SSP.
Mr. WU Chia-Hung
Kaohsiung Municipal Kaohsiung Senior High School (KSHS)
Mr. WU Chia-Hung introduced the exchange project between his school and Miyazaki Prefectural Miyazaki Omiya High School conducted through SSP. As an attempt for reciprocal mutual exchange, KSHS has invited back teachers and students from Miyazaki Omiya High School to Taiwan every year for exchange activities in Taiwan. By conducting such two-way student exchange, he said “we are maximizing the synergistic effects from SSP and realizing substantial and long-term Japan-Taiwan educational exchanges.”
Ms. HUANG Tina
Taipei Medical University, School of Nutrition and Health Sciences, Doctoral Program
Ms. HUANG Tina introduced the SSP-facilitated exchange project between the School of Nutrition and Health Science at Taipei Medical University and the Faculty of Agriculture at Tohoku University. She talked about not only the content of the academic exchange, but also about the cultural exchange and daily life with Japanese students, which was an important experience for her. She also concluded her presentation by saying that in the future, through SSP, she will actively conduct exchange programs between Taipei Medical University and other universities in Japan.
After the presentation, the alumni joined a networking session. Participants actively communicated with each other and forged new ties. Through their shared membership in SSC, interaction sparked new friendships and potential collaborative relationships. Participants enjoyed meeting people from different backgrounds and expertise, and were able to experience firsthand how being an SSC member increases opportunities for future tie-ups and wide-ranging support in the fields of science and technology.
Finally, Mr. ITO Sotaro, Deputy-Director of JST Sakura Science Program Headquarters, gave a speech in which he expressed his hope to continue providing interactive opportunities so that SSC members can continue connecting with each other and contributing to mutual growth and development. Once again, JST and the secretariat would like to express our deepest gratitude to TSSCA, the guests, and all the alumni who participated.
In the survey conducted after the event, participants said:
“It was great to be able to meet and talk with the alumni whom I visited the Japanese university with, after such a long time. Also, I am grateful to the organizers for being able to learn about scholarship application to study in Japan. The lunch was also very good. I would like to participate again next time.”
“Everything about the time, location, and meeting progression went smoothly. Thank you to everyone.”
“It would have been even better if the Japanese students I interacted with during SSP could also participate.”
“It would be nice if the event could also share information on skills needed for employment in Japan.”