PULLMAN, Wash. — On Oct. 19, Japan’s International Christian University and Washington State University will hold a reception at the Tokyo American Club to inaugurate a new joint exchange program in peace and security studies.

Established in the aftermath of World War II on June 15, 1949 by Japanese and North American educators in Tokyo, ICU will promote common projects in peace studies with other universities and research institutes in Japan, East Asia and Europe.

WSU, the only American university in that consortium, already has signed a president’s agreement for research educational collaboration in peace studies, model United Nations, service learning projects, gender studies and related initiatives.

Other participating universities include the Free University of Brussels, University of Cologne, University of Munster, Seoul National University, Ewha Women’s University, Yonsei University and Taipei National University.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Foley, who received an honorary doctoral degree from ICU, has been invited to the Oct. 19 reception. 

“The WSU-ICU student exchange program with ICU has made study abroad in Japan more attractive, and there is no doubt that the increasing interest in Japan among students and faculty will strengthen the Asia program,” said Noriko Kawamura, director of WSU’s Asia program and associate professor of history.

“The ICU–WSU partnership is significant because of the momentum that it will provide to stimulate WSU’s Japan, East Asia, Trans-pacific regions study programs at the College of Liberal Arts,” Kawamura said.

WSU representatives attending the Oct. 19 inaugural include President and Mrs. V. Lane Rawlins; Mr. and Mrs. William Marler, president of WSU Board of Regents; WSU Foundation President Rick Frisch, Vice Provost Doug Baker, International Programs Director Bob Harder; College of Liberal Arts Dean Barbara Couture and Associate Dean Marina Tolmacheva.

ICU and WSU representatives plan a series of meetings and work sessions to discuss the details of collaboration on the peace and security partnership.  Both schools have already identified 15-20 faculty members from each side to participate in the project, Kawamura said.  Kawamura and Dr. Edward Weber, director of the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service, will negotiate the details of the next working session scheduled in January at ICU.