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  4. The Embassy Lecture Series 2012 : Embassy of Ukraine 

The Embassy Lecture Series 2012 : Embassy of Ukraine 

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Japanese


The Embassy Lecture Series is hosted by the Faculty of Regional Development Studies. The third lecture of the 2012 series was held on Thursday, December 20, 2012. H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mykola A. Kulinich gave an inspiring lecture for students who attended this great opportunity.

Ambassador Dr. Kulinich’s composure at the lectern was most likely resultant from his vast experience teaching as a professor at the national university at Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. The audience learned of his academic background at the beginning of the lecture when Associate Professor Robert Hughes reviewed Ambassador Kulinich’s accomplishments. The Ambassador then delivered an impassioned lecture.

   

Ambassador Dr. Kulinich first gave an overview of Ukraine including details of geography and history illustrated with powerpoint images. Ukraine is located in Eastern Europe. It gained independence from the former Soviet Union after the collapse in 1991. The official language is Ukrainian. Ukraine now shares a long border with Russia. Despite the fact that it had been a part of the former Soviet Union, Ukraine has a unique history and culture.
Ambassador Dr. Kulinich introduced several remarkable similarities between Ukraine and Japan, helping the audience to gain a deeper understanding and close feelings toward Ukraine.

The lecture moved on to the topic of the strong relationship between Ukraine and Japan. Ambassador Dr. Kulinich explained how close the trade and economic relations have become between the two nations. The main exports from Ukraine to Japan are corn and ore used for steel, the Ambassador said.

The two nations, Ukraine and Japan, also share a similar tragic event: nuclear power plant accidents. In 1986, a disastrous accident happened at the Chernobyl power plant when Ukraine was part of the former Soviet Union. In March 2011, when the crisis at the Fukushima power plant happened, Ukraine government took action to aid Fukushima by sending two thousands blankets, and by offering technical cooperation.

Ambassador Dr. Kulinich visited Fukushima in August 2011. He talked about what he witnessed and how he felt at this tragic site. This topic was also brought up in the question-and-answer session. The Ambassador stressed that it is most important to share lessons learned from Chernobyl and Fukushima, to cooperate, and to safely pursue nuclear power as an energy source.

In the last part of the lecture, Ambassador Dr. Kulinich introduced some prominent Ukrainians, as well as international movie stars and famous athletes who have Ukrainian roots. He talked about tourism and nature in Ukraine, and through landscape pictures showed scenes very similar to the Japanese countryside, evoking a sense of commonality with the Japanese audience.

In the question-and-answer session, a number of students were eager to ask questions. One question reflected on an important aspect of the Ambassador’s lecture which was how Ukrainians, as a multiethnic nation, can live together in peace despite their diversity. Ambassador Dr. Kulinich explained that this diversity is an advantage for Ukraine. “Whatever your background is, or whatever your roots are, we are all Ukrainians. We need to respect each other,” Ambassador Dr. Kulinich explained. One of his key words was “tolerance.” The lecture went overtime as the Ambassador generously gave his time to answer as many student questions as possible.

At the end of his lecture, Ambassador Dr. Kulinich introduced one book: “FACET OF THE WORLD Ukraine – Japan: wooden architecture.” He kindly donated it to the faculty, hoping that it would be helpful for students interested in Ukraine. This lecture was a great opportunity for students to sense the strength of the relationship between Ukraine and Japan, and, additionally, to think more deeply about the issue of nuclear power and Japan’s energy policy.


The Embassy of Ukraine to Japan