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Japanese Debate Association members participate in forum at HPU

Japanese National Debate TeamBROWNWOOD – April 9, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Student Speaker Bureau Speech and Debate Team recently held discussion sessions with Japanese students Kanaru Sato and Takuya Higuchi, the 2018 Japanese National Team from the Japan Debate Association.

The campus events, which focused on the importance of dialogue as a means of understanding intercultural and international differences, were hosted by the Student Speaker Bureau as a part of the National Communication Association’s Committee on International Discussion and Debate.

“The exchange of culture and opinions is a good opportunity for us and the institutions we are touring,” said Higuchi. “Through this exchange, we can learn more about our own culture as well as other cultures.”

Sato and Higuchi spoke with HPU students about the criminal justice system of Japan, cultural differences between the United States and Japan, and the value of and strategies for academic debate.

“Hosting these two Japanese students was an excellent opportunity for HPU students to engage with international students on a one-on-one basis,” said Dr. Julie Welker, professor and chair of HPU’s Department of Communication.

The visiting debate team members stopped at HPU during a two-week tour of seven U.S. colleges and universities. Other academic institutions on the tour were Weber State University, Randolph-Macon College, Duquesne University, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Southern California and California State University.

“It has been interesting to visit some of the states in the U.S. and see their unique cultures,” said Higuchi.

Applications are being accepted for the fall 2018 semester at Howard Payne University. HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at


Cutline: Takuya Higuchi (left) and Kanaru Sato (right) field questions from HPU students.