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University of Iowa News Release

Aug. 26, 2004

Japanese Consul General To Speak On U.S.-Japan Relations Sept. 1

Takao Shibata, Consul General of Japan, will speak about "Japanese-U.S. Relations," Wednesday, Sept. 1, from noon to 1 p.m. at the kickoff event for the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC) 2004-2005 luncheon series. The event will be held at the Rockwood Fellowship Hall, Congregational Church, 30 N. Clinton St.

Shibata will also lead a round table discussion on "Japan - U.S. Partnership in Northeast Asia" at 4 p.m., Sept. 1, in Room 302 Schaeffer Hall on the UI campus, which is free and open to the public. This discussion and Shibata's visit are sponsored by the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies (CAPS).

Shibata, the ninth consul general to serve in this post, was born in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. He graduated from International Christian University in Tokyo and studied at the University of Uppsala in Sweden and at the Stockholm Institute of Economics. Within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo, Shibata's assignments have included postings in the Development Cooperation Division and in the First International Economic Affairs Division. Overseas assignments have included tours of duty in Sweden, Pakistan, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and at the Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. He has also served as assistant president at the International Fund for Agricultural Development, a specialized agency of the United Nations located in Rome. Shibata moved to Kansas City from New York upon completing his term as visiting scholar at Columbia University. Shibata's wife, Mieko, is currently a staff member of the United Nations in New York.

The noon lunch will be catered by New Pioneer Co-op Catering. The cost of attendance is $7 for members and $8.50 for non-members. Checks may be written to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council and mailed to ICFRC, 38 International Center, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802. Reservations cannot be received any later than noon, Monday, Aug 31. Reservations may not be made by phone but last minute adjustments may be made. For more information, call ICRFC Executive Director Tom Baldridge, or Marianne Weiss at the temporary number of 319-335-0342.

For those unable to attend, WSUI-AM (910) will carry this program Thursday, Sept. 2, following the noon news. This event is sponsored by the ICFRC and CAPS, with additional support from Iowa State Bank & Trust, Blank & McCune, The Real Estate Company and New Pioneer Co-op.

The Iowa City Foreign Relations Council is a non-profit association of community and university people interested in learning more about U.S. foreign policy, world affairs and current global issues impacting world societies. The group provides members with the opportunity to hear more than 35 experts per year who visit the UI campus and the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area. Annual membership fees are $50 per person, $75 for a household of two, $25 for additional house member; and $20 for full-time students or visiting scholars.

CAPS' mission is to promote teaching, research, and outreach related to East Asia and Southeast Asia. Within its teaching mission, CAPS strives to support new faculty appointments and encourages curricular and programmatic innovations designed to strengthen the educational programs of the university. To further its research mission, the center seeks and offers support for faculty research projects designed to generate new knowledge about the institutions and cultures of East Asia, and facilitates student and faculty exchanges with universities and institutes in East Asia. In its service mission, the center sponsors campus programs and outreach activities that increase awareness and appreciation of Asian societies and cultures, disseminates information about East Asia to interested persons within and outside the University, and maintains ties with an active network of scholarly and civil groups around the state.

Both ICFRC and CAPS are affiliated with International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost for academic programs and dean of International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026, lois-gray@uiowa.edu. Writer: Po Li Loo