The Sainsbury Institute and the Nara University signed an agreement of cooperation on 8 January. Nara University is a private university founded 45 years ago. They are a specialized university in humanities with a strong focus on archaeology and cultural heritage studies. Dr Simon Kaner has cultivated a good relationship with Nara University through his former contacts at the Cultural Agency and other organizations, who are now teaching and researching at the university. Nara University has ongoing cooperative relationships with two universities each in both China and Korea. The Sainsbury Institute is the first European academic institutions with which the university has a formal agreement.
The agreement was signed between Mami Mizutori and Dr Ishihara Hiroshi, President of Nara University. It sets the general framework for future cooperative projects between the two organizations. These include holding events such as symposia and workshops together, with a view to facilitate student exchange in the way of bespoke summer school courses.
After the signing ceremony, Simon was invited to give a special lecture to around 100 students studying a module on cultural heritage. His lecture on recent developments and findings in British archaeology was welcomed enthusiastically by the students and researchers.