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Russian-Japanese seminar held at ISU

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Last Saturday, the Russian-Japanese seminar “Japanese Prisoners of War in Siberia” was held at Irkutsk State University. Its participants were teachers and students of the Faculty of History ISU and representatives of Japanese universities: Osaka University, Hiroshima University, Kobe University, Osaka University of Economics, Kyoto Pedagogical University, Musashi University.

“Within the year of Japan in Russia and the year of Russia in Japan, the topic of Japanese prisoners of war and internment of 1945-1956 in the history of Russian-Japanese relations occupies an important place. As this issue has long been one of the sources of contradictions in the relations between two states”, – the head of the Department of World History and International Relations, professor Sergey Kuznetsov said.

Professor of the Department of Japanese Literature and Art History of the University of Hiroshima Takayuki Kawaguchi gave a presentation at the seminar. He told about the fate of the famous Japanese artist, writer and public figure Shikoku Goro, who from 1945 to 1948 was in Siberia a prisoner of war. Professor Kawaguchi in his speech noted: "despite all the hardships of the post-war period which had to face both local residents and internees, Siberia was a place of inter-cultural interaction".  

Sergei Kuznetsov, a scientist from ISU, a major scholar in the fields of Japanese history and Russian-Japanese relations, author of several books and publications to the topic of the seminar, presented his research. He told about the peculiarities of life of Japanese prisoners of war in Mongolia.

It should be noted that the lecture of Professor Sergey Kuznetsov "Siberia in the reports of Japanese travelers, diplomats, journalists and researchers" will be held on 27 October at the scientific library of ISU within the educational project "Scientific weekends".

The 4th year students of the Faculty of Foreign languages of Institute of Philology, Foreign languages and Media communication Julia Bortnowskaya and Danil Ozerov were engaged as interpreters at the meeting and brilliantly coped with their task.  

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