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President Makino Speaks at 1st Japan SDGs Award Briefing Session

January 24, 2018

A briefing session was held on January 20 at the Fukoku Seimei Bldg. in Tokyo on the 1st Japan SDGs Award. The Japan SDGs Award was created to recognize enterprises or organizations selected by the SDGs Promotion Headquarters (headed by the Prime Minister) for making excellent efforts that contribute to achievement of the SDGs. Okayama University won a special prize, the “SDGs Partnership Award,” for achievements worthy of special mention. The briefing session brought the twelve winning organizations together, including our university, allowing each organization to report on its efforts. There were about 250 people in attendance, with Kotaro Katsuki, Director of the Global Issues Cooperation Division of the International Cooperation Bureau at Japan’s Foreign Ministry taking the platform as a commentator, along with Kaoru Nemoto, Director of the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) in Tokyo, and Miyuki Hokugo, News Bureau Copy Editor at Asahi Shimbun Co.
President Hirofumi Makino of our university gave a speech titled “Partnerships Resonating with Each Other—Okayama University’s Initiatives for Contributing to the SDGs--.” He reported about “social problem-solving genes” inherited in the area of Okayama and the results of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Okayama. In addition, he described how the university’s efforts toward the SDGs had accelerated since he had become president last April. Finally, before concluding his speech, he proposed having the award-winning organizations team up to create an “SDGs Award Ecosystem” for informing the world of Japan’s SDGs model. Director Katsuki highly appraised Okayama University’s efforts, the president’s leadership and his proposal for informing the world of the SDGs model, commenting, “It is important that the generations that will bear responsibility for our future society have the SDGs spirit.” Editor Hokugo commented, “What the SDGs constitute needs to be reexamined in an educational setting. It is there that solutions can be found, and they must be brought forth.”
At the conclusion of the briefing session, Director Nemoto commented, “I would like every one of you to participate with the SDGs as your own ideals,” and Director Katsuki said, “The awards will be held next year, too, so I hope we will have many entries.”

Okayama University’s Action Guidelines and Achievements in the SDGs
Okayama University tackles activities that will contribute to achievement of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), and in accordance with their principles and aims, exerts leadership toward realization of a sustainable society.

Significance of Okayama University’s Action Guidelines regarding the SDGs
1. Contribution toward the SDGs, which consist of present-day challenges shared by all of humanity, means to help work toward Okayama University’s purpose of “Building up a new paradigm for a sustainable world,” on the basis of our mission, “Creating and fostering higher knowledge and wisdom.”

2. Okayama University, which has a UNESCO Chair and has promoted Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), has the groundwork and responsibility to promote the SDGs, joining together with the Okayama region and international society.

3. We will engage in educational research together with activities to contribute to society, with the SDGs as a language in common with society.

4. By contributing to achievement of the SDGs, we will foster human resources with outstanding capability in problem-solving.

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