Kuala Lumpur, November 28, 2012: UTM had the privilege of a visit by Koji Omi, considered as a key political figure and one of the most influential in the field of science and technology in Japan. In conjunction with the visit, discussions were held with the Vice-Chancellor of UTM, Prof Datuk Zaini Ujang and top officials of the university in a cordial yet significant engagement.
Koji Omi expressed keen interest to collaborate further with UTM, which he regards as a university that has achieved significant progress in Malaysia and in the region, resulting in impactful outcomes. UTM is now visible as a reputable graduate-focused research university in innovative, entrepreneurial and global ventures.
Koji Omi is known for his outstanding achievement as the founder of the Science and Technology in Society (STS) Forum with the aim of building a worldwide network among scientists, policymakers and business people. The STS forum has been successfully held annually in Kyoto, Japan since 2004, to discuss pertinent issues in science and technology for the good of mankind. The forum is regarded as the meeting point of great minds such as nobel laureates and renowned scientists and thinkers.
Koji Omi’s presence in UTM thus marks a significant moment for the university to engage in meaningful events such as the STS Forum.
UTM has continuously established close ties with Japanese institutions in various academic and research ventures. As such it is most apt that the Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology is located on the grounds of the UTM Kuala Lumpur campus, a strategic project between both the Malaysia and Japanese Governments.
It is also worth noting that in tandem with the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), UTM with the help of JST-JICA grant under the SATREPS programme has also set up a research hub for the development of low carbon societies for the Asian region. This provides funding for research and capacity building to develop framework policies for low-carbon development by local researchers.
Koji Omi was also a three-time Japanese Cabinet Minister, namely former Minister of Finance (Sept. 2006 – Aug. 2007); Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy, and for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs (2001-2002); Minister of State for Economic Planning (1997-1998).
One of his outstanding achievements included the central role he played in enacting the Fundamental Law of Science and Technology in 1995. This law contributed greatly towards making Japan a science and technology-oriented nation. As Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs, and for Science and Technology, he advocated for and was very influential in promoting the founding of the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, regarded as an international and interdisciplinary graduate university with the “best-in-the world” concept in mind.
Koji Omi will also have the opportunity to have an audience with HRH Raja Zarith Sofiah, the Chancellor of UTM in conjunction with the launch of the Zarith Sofiah Foundation in UTM Kuala Lumpur Campus.