Tohoku Forum for Creativity
Tohoku University

The Role of International Collaboration and Culture regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic


 Though the initial wave of COVID-19 infections has subsided it is unlikely that the infection rate will reach zero, especially with a second and third wave foreseeable in the future. The spread of COVID-19 has led to a number of social and economic problems and with the eradication of the disease still not in sight, everyday life is beginning to adjust to co-existing with the virus. Despite the important role of international organizations in tackling the pandemic, there seems to have been little coordination on a global scale to tackle new infectious diseases, as made apparent that the number of COVID-19 cases in East Asia being fewer than those in the West.
 It is necessary to take into mind the history, culture, and religious traditions of individual regions when examining approaches to infectious disease. The historical case of the Japanese ‘smallpox demon’ or ‘Hōsōshin’, gives us insight into how the Japanese people have handled and lived with such diseases in the past. Also, while it can be said that the spread of COVID-19 has been observed due to religious gatherings, there has also been movement beyond the interests of individual religions towards cooperative movement.
 This discussion provided by Tohoku University invites leading experts in the fields of infectious diseases, international law, and religion to explore the historical background of infectious disease in order to give further understanding of the challenges and current situation of the COVID-19 stricken world. Also taken into account is the importance of international organizations with attention to the relationship between culture and infectious disease. The handling of infectious diseases may have also brought about common benefits to countries and peoples the world over. It is our hope that this discussion will help deliver new insight into how international cooperation and culture can contribute to peace and welfare during the COVID-19 Pandemic.



Friday, July 10, 2020 17:00 -18:30 (JST)


ONLINE - delivery from TOKYO ELECTRON House of Creativity


Hitoshi Oshitani (Professor, Graduate School of Medicine, Tohoku University)
Toshiya Ueki (Executive Vice President, Tohoku University)
Toshiaki Kimura (Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University)


Sayaka Dake (Professor, Graduate School of Law, Tohoku University)


17:00 ‐ 17:05

Message from Tohoku University President Hideo Ohno

17:05 - 18:00

Part One
Current situation and history

18:00 - 18:30

Part Two
Q&A and future prospects


Questions and Answers : [PDF]


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- Closed

Registration deadline: Friday, July 10, 2020 9:00 (JST)
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