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Spouse of Japanese Prime Minister visits the Asian Library

On Wednesday January 9th, Ms. Akie Abe, spouse of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, visited the Asian Library at Leiden University. She was welcomed by Vice Rector Magnificus Hester Bijl on behalf of the University.

Ms. Abe was given a tour through the Asian Library by the Director of Leiden University Libraries Kurt De Belder. Aside from the facilities for students and researchers, several reference works from the reading room were viewed by the guests. The Asian Library was opened in 2017 amidst widespread public attention by Queen Maxima, and is used extensively by students and researchers.

Ivo Smits, Professor Arts and Cultures of Japan (left), Ms Akie Abe, spouse of Japanese Prime Minister, Vice Rector Magnificus Hester Bijl and Kurt De Belder, Director of Leiden University Libraries.

Special Collections

Following the tour, various items from the special collections of the Asian Library were exhibited by Nadia Kreeft, Curator of Japanese and Korean books & Manuscripts, and Ivo Smits, Professor of Arts and Cultures of Japan. The recently discovered Japanese love-letter from Sonogi to Von Siebold was viewed with great interest by Ms. Abe.  

Ms. Abe received a copy of the richly illustrated book Voyage of Discovery. Exploring Collections of the Asian Library at Leiden University  from Vice Rector Magnificus Hester Bijl. Ms. Abe gifted several books and manga for the library collection.

Conversation with students

At the end of the program, Ms. Abe talked with students from Japanese Studies. The program is internationally renowned for offering students an extensive education in the most important aspects of modern and pre-modern Japan.

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