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“How Should We Inherit Urban Cultural Resources in East Asia?”: International Symposium Held in Tokyo
There has been a long tradition of communication and cooperation between China and Japan in the field of architecture. On a visit to Japan in February 1988, the China Contemporary Architecture Delegation, headed by Mr. WANG Tan, Professor of architecture at Tsinghua University, signed the Agreement on Cooperation in Investigation on Contemporary Architecture in China with a Japanese counterpart. Since October 1991, experts from both China and Japan have worked together to study contemporary architecture in 16 Chinese cities (regions), completing 2,612 investigation sheets. This is the largest study on Chinese architecture since the study on traditional Chinese architecture conducted by the Society for Study of Chinese Architecture in the 1930s.

From Jun. 3 to 4, 2009, at the 20th anniversary of the General Review on Chinese Contemporary Architecture: Tianjin, the first publication of the Sino-Japanese architecture study, the International Symposium titled “How Should We Inherit Urban Cultural Resources in East Asia?” was held at the University of Tokyo (see photos below). The symposium was jointly held by the Modern Asian Architecture Network (MAAN), the Contemporary Architectural History Academic Committee of the Architectural Society of China, the Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo, and the School of Architecture at Tsinghua University, in collaboration with the Architectural Institute of Japan, and featured scholars from across East Asia.

During the opening ceremony, two important advocates of the Sino-Japanese architectural study, Prof. Fujimori Terunobu from the University of Tokyo and Prof. ZHANG Fuhe from Tsinghua University, reviewed the history of Sino-Japanese cooperation on the study of architecture since its beginnings more than 20 years ago and the exchange and development of architectural study between the two countries since then on. Over two days, the scholars from China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Russia, and other countries and regions carried out an extensive talks on the current trends and future development of studies on contemporary architectural history in East Asia. 23 speeches and heated discussions covered various issues including the study and protection of contemporary architecture, contemporary architects and experts in restoration, the inheritance of contemporary architectural techniques, the sustainable development of cities, and the protection and reutilization of industrial sites. The success of this international symposium provided scholars of contemporary architecture from East Asia with an opportunity for cross-cultural dialogue and exchanges.

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