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University Farewells Japanese Delegate

26th January, 2012

The University of the South Pacific hosted a farewell lunch for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Resident Representative to Fiji, Mr Juichiro Sasaki on 23 January, 2012.

The Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, Professor Rajesh Chandra together with members of the University’s Senior Management Team and other senior staff were present at the Japan- Pacific ICT Centre in Suva, to bid farewell to Mr Sasaki and to thank him for his contribution towards the University.

Mr Sasaki took up his role with JICA in 2008 and played a significant role in facilitating the construction of the Japan-Pacific ICT Centre at USP. The state-of-the-art landmark facility for the region comprises two buildings with fully-equipped computer laboratories, conference rooms, and a multi-purpose lecture theatre.

In thanking Mr Sasaki, Professor Chandra expressed his sincere gratitude to the outgoing JICA Resident Representative for his commitment and support during his time in Fiji. Professor Chandra said he was extremely pleased to have both Mr Sasaki and his successor, the new JICA Resident Representative, Mr Shumon Yoshiara present at the farewell. “Through Mr Sasaki’s leadership at JICA, USP has gained a lot of support and we look forward to working very closely with the incoming representative, to further this collaboration with JICA in the near future,” he added.

It was during Mr Sasaki’s tenure that the JICA President, Madam Sadako Ogata visited USP. Professor Chandra described this as a “momentous and meaningful occasion for the University” and thanked Mr Sasaki for making the visit possible. Highlighting the strong relationship that USP shares with JICA and the Government of Japan, the Vice-Chancellor said that Mr Yoshiara will be able to see how such assistance has benefited USP and its member countries.

JICA and the Government of Japan assisted in the introduction of new computer and information science degree courses, enhancement of the distance learning environment through efficient utilisation of new ICT technologies including the USPNet - a satellite-communications network that links USP campuses in its 12 member countries, and the establishment of the Japan-Pacific ICT Centre at USP.

Professor Chandra wished Mr Sasaki well for the future.

In his comments, Mr Sasaki thanked Professor Chandra for his leadership and the University staff for their cooperation during his term as the JICA Resident Representative. Mr Sasaki said he was pleased to work with Professor Chandra and the University in developing the USPNet to enhance the delivery of distance learning for students living in remote areas. He was also delighted by Madam Ogata’s visit to USP.

Mr Sasaki thanked USP for the cooperation extended to him. He also wished Mr Yoshiara well in developing stronger ties between USP, JICA and the Government of Japan in the future. Mr Sasaki said that he has fond memories of Fiji during the time he spent in the country.

*****

ENDS

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