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Tokyo Tech reaches semi-finals at World Universities Debating Championships

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April 15, 2016

For the first time in its history, Tokyo Tech's debate team progressed through the preliminary heats and reached the semi-finals of the World Universities Debating Championships (WUDC) — the world's largest debating tournament — held in Thessaloniki, Greece from December 28, 2015 to January 3, 2016.

Each year, roughly 400 debate teams battle it out at WUDC. This year, Titech ESS (English Speaking Society) sent two teams to represent the Institute in the English as a Foreign Language category. The semi-finalist team consisted of:

  • Masahiro Hayashi3rd year, Mechanical Engineering and Science
  • Shintaro Kaiho3rd year, International Development Engineering
Shintaro Kaiho
Masahiro Hayashi

Kaiho (left) and Hayashi speaking after progressing to the semis (photos courtesy of Isao Ayabe)

What Is British Parliamentary style debate?

British Parliamentary (BP) style debate, one of the official formats at WUDC, is a contest of argumentation where four teams of two are each assigned either the affirmative or negative in advance. Fifteen minutes after the topic is announced, members of the teams are required to deliver seven-minute speeches in turn to support their sides of the argument. Judges listens to all the speeches and decide the winners of the debate.

Panel of 8 judges and 50 audience members listening to the semi-final (photo courtesy of Daisuke Ujiie)
Panel of 8 judges and 50 audience members listening to the semi-final (photo courtesy of Daisuke Ujiie)

Preliminary heat speeches (left) and Tokyo Tech's Daisuke Ujiie (seated far right) participating as one of the judges (photo courtesy of WUDC 2016)
Preliminary heat speeches (left) and Tokyo Tech's Daisuke Ujiie (seated far right) participating as one of the judges (photo courtesy of WUDC 2016)

Preliminary heat speeches (left) and Tokyo Tech's Daisuke Ujiie (seated far right) participating as one of the judges (photo courtesy of WUDC 2016)

Comments from WUDC 2013 participant and current mentor

Yusuke Yonezawa4th year, International Development Engineering

My juniors achieved historic results at the world's biggest and most prestigious international debating tournament. It's very difficult for non-native speakers to perform well at this tournament as many participants are native speakers of English. I have watched them develop their debating skills for three years and I am very proud of them. I hope Titech ESS continues to expand its influence on the world stage.

From left: Heishiro Kanagawa, Yusuke Yonezawa, Shintaro Kaiho, and Masahiro Hayashi at WUDC Opening Ceremony (photo courtesy of Daisuke Ujiie)
From left: Heishiro Kanagawa, Yusuke Yonezawa, Shintaro Kaiho, and Masahiro Hayashi at WUDC Opening Ceremony (photo courtesy of Daisuke Ujiie)

About Titech ESS

Titech ESS is an officially recognized club whose main activities include practice, training, and participation in tournaments of debate in the BP, Asian, and American parliamentary styles. The club consists of 21 members, 16 of whom are men and 5 women. Regular practice is held from 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday.

Main achievements in 2015

  • Semi-finalists at North East Asian Open 2015
  • EFL grand finalists at Malaysia Debate Open 2015
  • Champion, Ryoso Cup 2015

Contact

Titech ESS

Email titechdebate2016@gmail.com

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