March 27, 2019 Dr Aurelijus Zykas finishes his work as head of the Centre for Asian Studies, which he started in 2008, eleven years ago.

It was extremely interesting and challenging period of life. I hope, I succeeded to continue the activities and ideas of my predecessor, Mr. Arvydas Ališauskas, who had established Japanese Studies Centre. – Dr. Aurelijus Zykas stated, – I believe, together with our team we were able to raise Asian studies in Kaunas to some higher level. Here, in Kaunas, the vivid community of Asian studies specialists was developed, and now it is dispersed in different countries of the World. I would like to express my appreciation to all the divisions of the University and our social partners. We all worked together and achieved joint aims“.

Among the achievements of the Centre for Asian Studies during the last decade, the following should be mentioned:
• In 2007 the MA Program of East Asian Region Studies (EARS) was launched. It was taught in English, and educated more than 100 alumni who were specializing in the fields of East Asian politics and modern society;
• In 2012 the Program of East Asian Cultures and Languages (RASK) was launched, and developed to one of the biggest programs at the University, reaching almost 300 students. Some of its alumni continue their lives related to Asia, and are studying in East Asian Universities, also working in the fields of business, education and tourism;
• New research fields concentrated on East Asian public diplomacy and ethnic identity construction were established. Dr Zykas published academic papers and monograph on these topics, while some of his MA and BA students chose these topics for their research. Moreover, numerous researchers from foreign universities also joined research projects on these topics initiated by the Centre for Asian Studies;
11 international academic conferences were organized attracting scholars from several dozen countries. Conference of European Association of Japanese Resources Specialists organized in 2018 was one of the biggest among them;
• Thanks to numerous research projects supported by international foundations, the research results were published as academic papers and books. Sometimes they got new innovative forms, such as online Lithuanian-Japanese Dictionary, Japanese language textbook in Lithuanian, Documentary „Kaunas. The City of Sugihara and Japan“, etc.;
Educational events introducing Asian cultures became important part of Kaunas cultural life. Among them especially successful were such traditional events as Summer Schools, “Korea comes to Kaunas“, „Time for Asia“, Asian Week (since 2014), and Sugihara Week (since 2017);
• Library funds on Asian countries developed from several hundred to almost ten thousand books, and took its shape as Asian Books Space. This development was mainly thanks to the external funding;
• The number of VMU partner universities in East Asia grew from 5 (in 2007) to 49 (in 2018). Some of them are global leaders. VMU regularly exchanges students and scholars with these partners;
• Such divisions and affiliated institutions as Taiwan Centre (2013), Global Japan Office (2017), Hiroshima University Lithuania Centre (2017), and King Sejong Institute (2018) were established;
• Centre for Asian Studies was awarded in 2014 by the Minister of Foreign affairs of Japan for promotion of Japanese studies, and in 2018 m. by VMU Faculty of Humanities as “the Best Colleague”.