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Address by the Ambassador of Italy, Gianluigi Benedetti on the occasion of the webinar “Italy-Japan approaches to neural regeneration” (Tokyo, June 8, 2022)

Dear Prof. Geuna,

Dear Speakers,

Dear Participants,

It is my pleasure to greet you all at the opening of this stimulating webinar “Italy-Japan approaches to neural regeneration”.

This is another webinar in the series organized by the Embassy of Italy using digital media, but the progressive easing of the travel restrictions allows us to be hopeful that we will soon be able to resume events in presence, welcoming Italian scientists in Japan again.

The webinar is part of a series organized by the Embassy of Italy in Tokyo through our Scientific Counsellor Prof. Enrico Traversa, under the framework of the Italian Research Day in Japan, and is co-organized with the Neuroscience Institute Cavalieri Ottolenghi (NICO) of the University of Turin.

Let me thank the team of this prestigious Italian University for their collaboration and in particular, for his invaluable help, Prof. Alessandro Vercelli, who is also President of the Italian Neuroscience Society.

This webinar is also a concrete initiative carried out under the Memorandum of Cooperation in the Field of Health and Medical Sciences between the Italian Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan. The agreement, signed in 2020, foresees exchanges between the two Countries of best practices and know how in the Medical fields.

In our views, research and innovation, both at academic and industrial level, are top priorities for developing the relationships between Japan and Italy in the next decades and we are concentrating our efforts to promote collaborations and joint projects in all areas of mutual interest, particularly in the sectors were our scientific communities share knowledge, competences and technologies of excellence.

In this perspective, neuroscience is definitely a priority sector where Japan and Italy are among world leaders.

In a previous event at the Italian Institute of Culture in Tokyo, we highlighted the work of Italian researchers operating in this field in Japan. With this webinar, we wish to continue the exploration of neuroscience, considering neural regeneration.

Injuries of the peripheral nervous system often do not spontaneously recover, and stem cell therapies are gaining attention for nerve repair therapies. Our speakers will explore this topic sharing their knowledge, studies and observations.

I am looking forward to hearing our outstanding speakers. I am sure that this initiative will greatly contribute to fostering collaborations between Italy and Japan, two Countries that strongly believe that advances in the medical field are of the utmost importance to accomplish the sustainable development goal number three: “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”.

Please, enjoy the webinar, I wish you a very productive discussion and an exciting learning experience.

I am now pleased to give the floor to Prof. Stefano Geuna, Rector of the University of Turin, who is also a neuroscientist.