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Tohoku University

Tohoku University Special Lecture: The Role of International Collaboration and Culture regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic



Japan’s top virologist and infectious diseases expert, Hitoshi Oshitani, will be presenting the latest on coronavirus research in a special online lecture hosted by the Tohoku Forum for Creativity on July 10.

He will be joined by professors Toshiya Ueki and Toshiaki Kimura, who will speak on the social impact of COVID-19, and the roles that international agencies, cultural institutions, history and religion can play in addressing the pandemic.

Although the initial wave of COVID-19 infections has subsided in many parts of the world, experts say it is unlikely that the infection rate will ever reach zero. In fact, countries that appear to be doing well now, could still be hit with a second or third wave.

In this lecture, the panel will compare measures taken in different countries and suggest reasons some regions are doing better than others. It will also look at why the World Health Organisation has been unable to unite the world in tackling COVID-19, and what that means if there’s another, even deadlier, virus in the near future.

Finally, the panel will draw lessons from other pandemics in history and suggest how a “new normal” that involves co-existing with the coronavirus, can also effect positive lifestyle changes.

Sayaka Dake, Professor, Graduate School of Law, Tohoku University

Hitoshi Oshitani (Professor, Graduate School of Medicine, Tohoku University)
will speak on the status of COVID-19 and what’s causing the different rates of infection around the world. He will also draw lessons from past pandemics, and highlight the connections between human actions and the spread of infectious diseases.

Toshiya Ueki (Executive Vice President, Tohoku University)
will explain the structure and laws that govern the World Health Organisation, and
the historical background of its establishment.

Toshiaki Kimura (Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University)
will share his thoughts on the importance of religion in spiritual countries such as Japan, and how that affects choices and behavior during and after disasters.

The three short lectures will be followed by a broad discussion and a Q&A session, which all participants are welcome to submit questions to. The event will be held in English and is open to anyone who is interested. Registration is required

Special Lecture: The Role of International Collaboration and Culture regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic
Date: July 10, 2020, 5 – 6:30 p.m. (JST)
Venue: ONLINE, delivered from TOKYO ELECTRON House of Creativity, Katahira Campus, Tohoku University


Tohoku Forum for Creativity, Organization for Research Promotion,
Tohoku University

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