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Kiyohiro Houkin - President of Hokkaido University

Updated: Jul 8, 2023

This month we are featuring a notable academic connection between Massachusetts and Japan.

[President Houkin paying respects at the gravesite of Dr. William S. Clark]

How did the relationship between Hokkaido University and Massachusetts


Hokkaido University was founded as Sapporo Agricultural College in 1876, on the northern island of Japan. Dr. William S. Clark, then President of the Massachusetts Agricultural College (now the University of Massachusetts Amherst), was invited to Sapporo Agricultural College by the Government of Japan to serve as its first Vice President. Due to this long-standing connection since its foundation, Hokkaido University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst still share some characteristics, such as both excelling in the field of agriculture. In April 2023, President Houkin and a delegation from Hokkaido University visited the University of Massachusetts Amherst and also paid a visit to the grave of Dr. Clark in honor of his legacy.

What does Hokkaido University do in Boston?

In September 2022, Hokkaido University established an office for industry-academia

collaboration at CIC Cambridge, with the aim of creating opportunities to implement

our research results in practice and finding collaborative partners in the Boston area,

home to the world's most advanced research universities and organizations.

[Gathered under the ceremonial Japanese Elm at UMass Amherst]

What is your favorite thing about Massachusetts?

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Hokkaido University have maintained a

strong connection for almost 150 years through Dr. Clark. The climate in Massachusetts

is similar to that of Sapporo. There are many excellent universities in the state, and the

level of education and research is superior. All of these make Massachusetts a special

place for our university among the U.S. states.

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