2017 University Students’ International Conference in Mie (UNICOM)

UNICOM Ⅱ, (University International Conference in Mie) was held for the second time from the 3rd to 5th of November,2017, cosponsored by Mie prefectural government and KIP. About 70 students consist of the KIP students and the local students went to Toshijima-islands, the largest island in Toba-city, Mie Prefecture this time. The students experienced a lot of activities such as visiting Ise-shrine, experiencing local fishing industry, taking an action for the local garbage problem and interacting with the residents of the islands. They also had discussions for two times with the both local, and global topics.

Nov.3 (Wed) Visiting Mikimoto Pearl Island, Opening ceremony, Exchange meeting with the residents
Nov.4 (Thu) Activities with the local industry, BBQ party, Visiting the local traditions, DiscussionⅠ "Students and environmental regulations: should we regulate sales of PET bottles in university?"
Nov.5 (Fri) Visiting Ise-City (Ise-shrine and Jingu Museum), DiscussionⅡ ”What we can do as young people to inherit and develop Ama?”


—Picking up ocean debris at Nasa Seashore—

—Discussion on the final day—

—Group photo in gymasium—

【Comments from participants】
We learned about the current situation of ocean pollution in Toshijima-island and solutions to it. I personally try to get information about the issue through reading newspaper every day, but I came to know there were still many aspects of ocean pollution I did not know in the place where I live. I felt that it was shameful not to be able to explain about Japan or Mie prefecture even though I have lived there. Therefore, I want to learn about many things in Japan with much interest from now. Through this visit, I felt it was so important to have experience like this study trip.
(3rd year student at Mie University)

This was a completely different trip to the place where we have already been and studied. I did not expect that I would learn so much new things about Japan: its traditional professions and industries. It was extremely interesting and exciting!
(Zavialov Igor, research student at University of Tokyo)

What was the most important thing I learned in the discussion was the importance of thinking about what we can do for social issues. Of course, it is important to think about social problems from the perspective of government. However, unless we think about what we can do for society by ourselves, the conclusion may be impractical one. We also thought about how we can pass on our tradition. I thought we should discuss if we have to change our tradition or not. In this way, I learned the importance of thinking about how to preserve the tradition and what we can do for it.
(Tokuyuu Kou, 2nd year at Tokyo University)

I had chance to learn about the current situation of ocean pollution through picking up ocean debris along seashore. Even though I had some knowledge about it before coming, the seashore which was filled with garbage was so shocking. I truly understood how serious the pollution was by listening to residents who have been trying to solve the ocean pollution. Moreover, we exchanged opinions about two discussion themes from many perspectives thanks to our various backgrounds. It was so intellectually stimulating for me. This 3 days in Mie taught us the importance of thinking about what we can do and learning issues by visiting the place by ourselves.
(Kinuko Takeno, 2nd year at Keio University)