China National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language (NOTCFL) and Japan's Obirin University signed a cooperation agreement in Tokyo on Nov. 1 to set up a Confucius Institute in the university.
The Confucius Institute in Obirin University will be the second Confucius institute set up in Japan. Minister and education counselor Li Dongxiang from China Embassy in Japan was commissioned by NOTCFL to sign the agreement with President Toyoshi Satow of Obirin University.
Chinese ambassador Wang Yi and officials from Japan's ministry of culture & science and foreign affairs ministry attended the ceremony and delivered speeches.
In his speech, Wang indicated that establishment of this Confucius Institute was firstly in keeping with Chinese and Japanese people's wishes to enhance mutual understanding. After the reform and opening up policy, China has witnessed spectacular changes and is striding for internationalism. The world also needs to understand and know more about China. Therefore the Chinese language becomes an increasingly important link between China and the world. The institute provides convenience for this purpose. Wang hopes that more youths will come to this institute to learn Chinese, and thus understand the Chinese culture and know about China's progress and changes.
Wang also said that the Confucius Institute is a significant platform for both China and Japan to probe into Confucius's studies and promote Oriental civilization. Confucianism oriented towards Confucius's studies is the essence in oriental civilization and a crucial part in human civilization. Confucianism advocates such thoughts as "Do not unto others as you would not be done by" and "staying friendly with neighbors," emphasizes "keeping your promises in friendship" and upholds "applying courtesy and cherishing peace." These sophic ideas have not only brought up the gorgeous oriental civilization but also remain inspiring for standardizing relationship among people and even nations. They have practical significance for men to build up a harmonious society and a peaceful world.
(chinanews.cn November 3, 2005)