It is a great pleasure and honor for me to welcome you to Tokyo, to the University of Tokyo for the celebration of the 11th international congress of APSA in 2011.
The University of Tokyo was established in 1877 as the first national university in Japan. As a leading research university, the University of Tokyo offers courses in essentially all academic disciplines at both undergraduate and graduate levels and conducts research across the full spectrum of academic activity. The University of Tokyo is known for the excellence of its faculty and students and ever since its foundation many of its graduates have gone on to become leaders in government, business, and the academic world.
The Department of Urban Engineering at the University of Tokyo, the host of the next conference, was established in 1962 and its Graduate School Programs was launched in 1966. At the time, there had been no international congress where scholars from Asian countries were to assemble and discuss urban problems by themselves. The origin of the academic interaction at APSA can go back with the first international conference in 1991, which was planned and held by our department. The APSA was formally organized in 1993, and Prof. Sadao Watanabe served as the first president (now he is a honorary chairperson of APSA and honorary professor at the University of Tokyo).
Tokyo is quite an interesting yet stimulating city, but at the same instant has been facing with gradual recession of historic districts and necessities to improve crowded built environment of wooden dwellings and to conserve its unique cityscape. I sincerely hope we meet together and enjoy active discussions of current urban planning issues.
See you in Tokyo in September 2011!
Department of Urban Engineering, the University of Tokyo
Chairman of 11th International Congress of Asian Planning Schools Association