March 2, 2020
An important partner for business, science and culture, a country with close ties to Germany: Japan was at the center of the traditional reception at Jacobs University in honor of the East Asian Association Bremen. Accompanied by musical contributions from students of the international university, high-ranking representatives from diplomacy, politics, science and business exchanged views on the latest developments in the island nation on the evening before the 119th OAV Foundation Festival.
The evening was hosted by the East Asian Association Bremen, Jacobs University, Bremen’s Chamber of Commerce and, for the first time, also by the East Asian Association Hamburg. Keynote speakers were Ina Lepel, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Japan, as well as economist, author and Japan expert Jesper Koll. Representing the hosting institutions in their welcome address were Jens V. Dünnbier, member of Jacobs University’s management board, Dirk Sänger, Vice Chairman of the East Asian Association Bremen and Almut Rößner, Chief Executive Officer of the East Asian Association Hamburg. The latter moderated an interesting panel discussion with the speakers Ina Lepel and Jesper Koll.
"Japan is currently booming in Germany," said Ambassador Lepel – referring to the close scientific and cultural network between the two countries and the positive effect of the free trade agreement concluded with the EU in 2017. Jesper Koll, who has been a resident in Japan since 1986, was founding CEO of WisdomTree Investments Japan and now serves as senior adviser to WisdomTree Asset Management, painted a complex but positive picture of the country. It is at the top of many international rankings and has implemented many reforms – "Japan has taken advantage of its crisis," stated the economic adviser, and called for learning from Japan. For example, in regards to the job market: according to Koll, 98 percent of the university students find a full-time job within ten days of graduating.
The musical performances of the Jacobs University students received much applause from the more than 130 guests. Mingchi Hou’s piano performances as well as Fuateima Niwa’s and Yash Nishaant’s interpretation of a Japanese love song contributed much to the success of the evening.
In his closing remark Eduard Dubbers-Albrecht, Vice President of Bremen’s Chamber of Commerce, thanked Jacobs University and its students for their “international hospitality”.