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CAS to Benefit from MOU with Marubeni Corporation
2012-05-01

A Memorandum of Understanding  (MOU) signed on Sunday April 29 with Japanese trading and investment company Marubeni Corporation (Marubeni) will establish academic initiatives within the university’s College of Arts & Sciences (CAS).
 
The agreement was signed by QU President Prof Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad and Marubeni President Mr Teruo Asada in the presence of members of QU leadership, Marubeni representatives, CAS faculty, staff and students. H.E. Mr Kenjiro Monji, Ambassador of Japan to Qatar, also witnessed the ceremony.
 
It comes at the time of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Qatar and Japan and aims to strengthen the relationship of mutual understanding of the cultures and histories of the two countries. 
 
In the terms of the agreement, Marubeni will provide sponsorship funds in the amount of US$6 million over a 5-year period.  The company will also establish a Faculty Chair in Japanese or East Asian Studies; a student internship program to Marubeni’s Tokyo Office; and a Qatar-Japan student cultural program.  It will also provide Japanese textbooks for QU Library as well as translated texts to schools through QU.
 
Commenting on the MOU, Prof Al-Misnad said:   “ This strengthens the bond of appreciation and respect the state of Qatar shares with Japan, as well as the very special relationship Qatar University enjoys with the people of Japan.  Doha has a sister city in Japan – Chita City -- and we have hosted delegations from the city here at QU.  QU has a vibrant Japanese Club and several of our students have participated in cultural exchange programs.  Very recently, our debate team visited Tokyo in March to participate in the ICU Debating Tournament”.
 
Prof Al-Misnad also noted that QU Library hosts a Japanese Corner and continues to receive book donations from the Embassy of Japan as part of the ongoing relationship between QU and the Japan Foundation.  “This collection of books enriches our library and serves our students and the wider community to better understand Japanese culture and history”, she said.
 
Prof Al-Misnad recalled the seminar in 2008 on “Working in today’s world as women” conducted by 3 top Japanese women scholars in which they made presentations to arts and sciences students on women’s development and empowerment in the workplace.  “All of these interactions with the academic institutions and people of Japan underline the extent of the bonds we share with this wonderful country”, she said.
 
Mr Asada outlined the corporation’s history of its relationship with Doha which began in the 1970s, with an established office opening in 1980.  The company was the first to participate in a QatarGas LNG project and have been involved in various other projects over the years including the Messaieed A IPP project, he said.
 
Mr Asada noted that while Marubeni has been engaged in commodity trading, which includes crude oil, petroleum products, petrochemicals, and fertilizer products, as a core business, the company has also been promoting corporate social responsibility initiatives around the world in the field of education, culture, social welfare, and the environment.  “We are most proud that we are able to strengthen the bonds with the countries in which we are engaged through these efforts, and as such,  we hope to do the same with Qatar through the CSR activities in the area of education and culture encompassed in this MOU.  In collaboration with Qatar University, we look forward to contributing to the promotion of cultural exchange between Qatar and Japan”, he said.
 
Ambassador Monji emphasized the significance of the MOU in the context of the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.  He welcomed the initiative by Marubeni to promote cultural and academic interaction and praised the positive cooperation from QU.  He stated that he highly valued the role played by the private sector to further strengthen the friendly relationships between Japan and Qatar and to expand them into various areas other than the economy.
 
CAS Dean Dr Eiman Mustafawi said: “This agreement is the outcome of a series of discussions we had with the Marubeni representative in Doha. We are proud to be the recipient of this remarkable agreement and know that our students, faculty and researchers, the QU community, as well as the wider Qatari society will benefit in very positive ways from the education and culture initiatives that will emanate from the College as a result”.