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Japan, Vietnam universities collaborate for climate change battle

Vietnam-Japan University and Ibaraki University in Japan have signed an MOU to offer a joint master’s degree in climate change.
Vietnam is among the countries dealing with the fallout of climate change, especially the greenhouse effect, according to Professor Nobuo Mimura, director of Ibaraki University, who visited Hanoi earlier this month for the signing.

The two universities will offer a master’s program in climate change and development in Vietnam with the goal of training students to resolve climate problems and get related jobs.

Vietnam-Japan University principal Furuta Motoo hoped the cooperation between the two universities would generate opportunities for students and foster the development of education in both countries.

On the orientation day for the program’s first ever batch, Mimura and other representatives of Irabaki University discussed with students various ideas related to fighting climate change.

Japanese professor Nobuo Mimura talks to students on orientation day.
Japanese professor Nobuo Mimura talks to students on orientation day.

“Ibaraki University will invite leading experts on climate change in Japan to teach at Vietnam-Japan University,” Mimura said.

“We will also incorporate our teaching methodologies and provide students with access to our research and technology.”

Ibaraki University has a long history of researching into and training in climate change and coming up with measures for climate change adaptation in Southeast Asia and elsewhere.

It set up an institute for this in 2006, the Center for Global Change Adaptation Science.

Mimura said responding to climate change is essential. What is needed is to bring together qualified professionals who are capable of forecasting and foreseeing climate change so that timely measures can be taken.

Thus it is imperative to train professionals and researchers, he said.

The new master’s program is the first of its kind between Japan and Vietnam that specifically tackles the global issue.

Vietnam is among countries most affected by climate change. A United Nations report in January said rising seas from global warming could displace tens of millions in Vietnam, Bangladesh and other countries with densely populated river deltas.

Japan, meanwhile, has seen devastating impacts from diasters this year, with climate change blamed as a factor. The resilient country has seen typhoons, floods, heatwaves, landslides and earthquakes that were deadlier than ever. Many citizens used to decades of natural disasters may be underestimating the risk posed by stronger climate change-related phenomena, experts said, as cited in an AFP report earlier this month.