• Kyodo

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A dedication ceremony was held Friday to mark the opening of a Japan center at Moscow State University aimed at deepening the knowledge of students interested in Japanese media and culture, university officials said.

The ceremony to open the Russian-Japanese Center for Mass Media and Culture Studies was attended by Japanese Ambassador to Russia Minoru Tamba and Yassen Zassoursky, dean of the university’s faculty of journalism, which opened the center.

The establishment of the center, which will give students access to Japanese newspapers and other material, comes after former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto approved Zassoursky’s proposal to set up the facility during his visit to Russia in April 1999.

Currently, there are about 20 students enrolled in a Japanese-language course at the faculty, but the competition to get into the course is high and the number of students with a keen interest in Japan is increasing, according to the officials.

Zassoursky also stressed the center’s significance, saying aspiring journalism students who study Japan contribute to expanding links between Russia and Japan.

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