2018 University Students’ International Conference in Mie (UNICOM)

UNICOM, (University International Conference in Mie) was held for the third time from the 23rd to 25th of November, 2018, cosponsored by Mie prefectural government and KIP. This time, about 60 university students, including to international students, gathered in Kihoku-cho, in Mie prefecture. We had great experiences such as uomachi exploration, forestry tour, Kumano Kodo conservation etc. And we had two discussions about forestry. As we cherish listening to the voice of the local people in our regional study-trip, we have the opportunity to talk with those who are engaged in the primary industry at the local area. Finally at the closing ceremony, many guests, including Vice Governor Watanabe, came and got a review.

Nov.23(Fri) Visiting Ise-shrine, Opening ceremony, Visiting uomachi Nov.24(Sat) Visiting Kumano Kodo Center, Exchange meeting with residents, Kumano Kodo conservation expeience, Discussion I “Does designation of the World Heritage site lead to the environmental preservation?”, Nov.25(Sun) Visiting forestry, Discussion II “What can we do for the revitalization of forestry?”, Closing ceremony



—KIP Mybottle—

—Kumano Kodo—

—Dinner at the Inn—

—Making Dried Fish—

【Comments from participants】

Through the UNICOM (including the study in advance), I experienced and learned a lot of what I could not only by reading texts about the topics, such as the World Heritage and environmental protection, and forestry, which I would not have got interested in if I had not participated in UNICOM. Although each of us might not take big action, I do not think “getting to know first” is not significant. At the same time, I faced the difficulty in discussing a big theme of one industry because doing so necessarily requires consideration of other industies. I realized again I had to get knowledge and good judgement about various things. Also, I was motivated to learn global topics thanks to the chat with overseas students. I am very busy learning about “the World”.
(Akinobu Teramichi, 3rd year at University of Tokyo)

Starting from pre learning, I did a lot of research about the World Heritage and Forestry Conservation. After that, I actually went to the local area and my thought was deepened after the discussion. Furthermore, I am happy that I was able to encounter a lot of friends. The most impressive thing during the UNICOM was that we cooperated with everyone and carried the bench to the mountain side. At that time, one of the Kumano Kodo Kataribe said, it is a job that only young people can easily accomplish. However, it is also true that currently extremely few young people are participating in the conservation activities. At that time, I felt that I was seeing only a part of Japan for one more time. I hope that I can make full use of what I learned during this event and think more about the local area in the future.
(Chen Yingfan, 4th year at Keio university )

I had a valuable experience listening to lots of English and Chinese in Mie where I am accustomed. At the same time, I could hear the direct opinions about Mie from a viewpoint of the outside Mie. At the time of discussion, We made a concrete discussion: “What can I do?”. I felt it important to take action. It will not end just by discussion.
I value precious opinions and I will take actions “capture problems as my own” in Mie. In addition, I was involved as a student committee member of Mie. I was able to touch the passion of the organizer. Continuation has power. I hope that UNICOM will continue in the future.
(Kazuma Iwano, 3rd year at Kogakukan university)