Epochal Tsukuba and Congress Center are two new phrases to add to the list of original English being added to our vocabulary. Both refer to the new convention center that has just opened in Tsukuba. Opening ceremonies were held June 1, with the U.S. ambassador to Japan and the Ibaraki Prefecture governor in attendance.
The new complex is quite impressive and is definitely worth a self-guided tour. If you go in the daytime when there is nothing going on, you can generally walk just about anywhere in the building.
As for the official English name of Tsukuba International Congress Center, it seems that Americans assume that this must be a British term, while those from the U.K. apparently assume it is an Americanism. Some people I asked said they had heard the term used in Africa, but other than that, no one seems to know where the term congress center came from.
Epochal Tsukuba goes right along with previous names for buildings in Tsukuba such a Capio Hall and Ars Library (ars, by the way, is Latin for art and not a certain English word some have mistakenly taken it to be and then made the butt of jokes!).
Among the main events planned for the complex are: The Japan Primary Care Society on June 26-27, with 2500 expected; The World English International Conference on July 28-31, with about 500 expected; The Tsukuba Science Festival on Oct. 9-10, with 1000 expected; The Science Forum with Nobel Prize Winners on Nov. 20-21, with 1000 expected; and The Year 2000 Acid Rain International Conference to be held Dec. 10-16, with 1200 expected.
The telephone number of the new complex is 0298-61-1206, with email received at office[at]epocal.or.jp
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