HU Vice Executive attended a Ceremony Commemorating the Publication of a Book about Former Students from Southeast Asia who Experienced the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima (Malaysia)

On August 6 2015, at Sultan Idris Education University (Malay: Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris; commonly abbreviated as UPSI) in Tanjung Malim, Malaysia, the publication ceremony of the book written about (deceased) Mr. Abdul Razak, was held. Mr. Abdul Razak was a former student from Southeast Asia who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and the book written in Malay with the title “Razak Sensei” depicts his life and his experience of a- bombing. Hiroshima University was represented by Vice Executive Dr. Taiji Hotta.

In 1944, Mr. Razak was a government sponsored overseas student from Southeast Asia, and in April of 1945 entered the Hiroshima University of Literature and Science, one of the predecessors of Hiroshima University. However, although on August 6 of that year, he was able to narrowly escape with his life from the atomic bomb, he was forced to cut his studies short and return home to his country.

After he went back to Malaysia, he made a huge contribution to the development of Japanese language education. Especially in the context of the Malaysian Look East Policy of the 1980s (*1), he played an important role as key person primarily responsible for Japanese language education. He also endeavored to strengthen the ties of friendship between Malaysia and Japan and conveyed his a-bombing experience to the Malaysian people, contributing to the promotion of peace activities. It is for these reasons that our university decided to award Mr. Razak with an honorary doctorate degree in 2013 (*2). To our great regret, he passed away in July of the same year.

The publication ceremony was held on August 6, coinciding with the anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. At the beginning of the ceremony, a film featuring the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony and re-enacting the former Southeast Asian students’ experience of a-bombing was screened. Afterwards, there were speeches held by Prof. Dr. Zakaria Kasa, President of Sultan Idris Education University, where Mr. Razak studied and taught, by Dr. Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, the oldest son of Mr. Razak and former president of University of Science Malaysia and by Ms. Hiroko Taniguchi, Deputy Consul-General, Consulate-General of Japan, Penang. Then, the governor of the state of Penang, Mr. Abdul Rahman, an alumnus of Sultan Idris Education University, performed the unveiling ceremony of the book “Razak Sensei”.

At the end, a panel discussion was held by experts involved in the publication of the book, and they were talking about the message which Mr. Razak was eager to convey through his educational activities. The panelists mentioned that Mr. Razak wished the Malaysian people to know traditional Japanese values such as the spirit of diligence and sense of humility, in the form of mutual cooperation which he experienced in daily life and at the time of a-bombing. He also wished to show the horror of war and the importance of praying for peace.

This publication ceremony was broadcasted by television stations all over Malaysia. Also HU Vice Executive Dr. Hotta was interviewed and talked about his memories of the time when he worked together with Mr. Razak 33 years ago for propelling the Malaysian Look East Policy.

This year is the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima a-bombing and we expect that the publication of this book helps to convey Mr. Razak’s experiences of being witness to the horrors of atomic bombs to the Malaysian people and to deepen the friendship between Japan and Malaysia.

(*1)Look East Policy. This policy was based on the idea of propelling economic growth by learning from the Japanese and Korean work ethic and management philosophy. It started in 1982 and about 15,000 international students and trainees have been sent to Japan.

(*2)In addition to Mr. Abdul Razak, also Mr. Pengiran Yusof, the former Prime Minister of Brunei, and Mr. Hasan Rahaya, a former member of the Indonesian parliament, were awarded the honorary doctorate degree. In March of this year, HU published the book “Documentary of the Honorary Doctorate Award to Southeast Asian Special Students who Survived the Atomic Bomb”.

The governor of the state of Penang (in the middle) at the

unveiling ceremony

Panelists discussing

Former president of University of Science Malaysia

Dr. Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, the oldest son of Mr. Razak

The newly published book “Razak Sensei” (left) and

the “Documentary of the Honorary Doctorate Award

to Southeast Asian Special Students who Survived the

Atomic Bomb”, which was published in March of this

year by HU (right)


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