The signing ceremony for an Agreement of Cooperation with Charles University in the Czech Republic was held on May 22, 2017, at Ritsumeikan University Suzaku Campus. The agreement was signed by Professor Martin Kovář, vice-rector of Charles University; Professor Mikio Yoshida, president of Ritsumeikan University; and Professor Shun Korenaga, president of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, following the signing of a letter of intent this March. Charles University is the second Czech university with which Ritsumeikan University has formed a partnership. In the welcome address, Professor Yoshida stated “I am pleased that our students, the members of Ritsumeikan Männer Chor (male choir), have now brought three universities together and I strongly hope that this Agreement of Cooperation aids in the development and further collaboration of the three universities.”
At the same time, Ritsumeikan welcomed Associate Professor Jan Sýkora, vice-director of the Institute of East Asian Studies of the Institute of East Asian Studies in the Faculty of Arts at Charles University, who greatly contributed to the signing of this agreement.
Following the ceremony, the Charles University delegates and Ritsumeikan executives discussed Czech history and languages, as well as the Erasmus programme, which is an EU student exchange program established in 1987, and the Campus Asia Program, which is a joint campus program operated by Ritsumeikan University; Dongseo University in Busan, South Korea; and Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in Guangdong, China.
The three signatories to this latest Agreement of Cooperation agreed that a student exchange agreement would be entered into as the second step for their relationship. At the conclusion of the meeting, Professor Yoshida presented Professor Kovar with a tapestry of Kinkakuji (the Golden Pavilion temple), which is located in the vicinity of Ritsumeikan University’s Kinugasa Campus.