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Panel speaks on Japanese society

Layton Dudley

Tuscaloosa got a taste of the Japanese culture on Tuesday when a delegation lead by former Japanese Ambassador Yasuo Saito, center, came to visit The University of Alabama. CW | Layton Dudley

Amanda Sare

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Tuscaloosa got a taste of Japanese culture Tuesday when a delegation selected by the Japanese government came to visit The University of Alabama. Former Japanese Ambassador Yasuo Saito leads the delegation around the world. The group has already traveled to Saudi Arabia, Russia, France and now the University.

“Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan” is the name of the event that participating panelists give to people all around the world. The goal of the event is to inform citizens of Japanese society, business, technology and culture.

“I came to this event because I’m interested in the Japanese culture,” said Qianhui Lu, a sophomore majoring in accounting and finance from China. “Their culture helps set an example for the Chinese 
Environmental Department.”

Among the traveling panelists are Saito; Hiroshi Tsukamoto, formerly of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Tetsuo Mamada, former president of Mitsui Bussan Steel Trade Company; Mio Iwai, student at the University of Tsukuba; and Chitose Nagao, consulting supervisor and copywriter for Dentsu. All participants are from Japan and volunteered to join 
the program.

The panelists come from diverse backgrounds but each have a connection with the United States. Iwai said she hopes to share stories about Japan’s younger generation.

Students, faculty and community members gathered Tuesday to eat lunch and attend the symposium.

Mark Webster, a sophomore majoring in journalism currently taking Japanese 101, said he was able to sign up for the event through his class.

“Our professor told us about the event and gave us the opportunity to sign up to attend,” he said. “I figured it would be a great learning experience.”

The University provided Dreamland BBQ for lunch to give all of the Japanese visitors a taste of the South. Yumi Miyatake, Japan outreach initiative coordinator at the University, helped to coordinate and organize the event. For over two decades Tuscaloosa has been the sister city of Narashino, Japan.

“Our community has benefited from this relationship,” she said.

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Panel speaks on Japanese society