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Doctoral Degree Conferment 2009.7.21

Doctoral Degree Conferment 2009.7.21

July 21, 2009

Today it is my great honor to present degrees to 18 students from Hiroshima University. Congratulations to each and every one of you. The diligent hard work each of you had given to receive this degree is something which I deeply respect.

At the end of 2008, serious financial crisis shook the world, and in 2009, food and energy shortages, and new issues, such as environmental pollution and destruction, international conflict, and more, are clear global issues and pose a threat to the existence of humanity in the 21st Century. The rapid development of science such as communication technology brings benefits to humanity, but at the same time, it also creates many injustices. I believe that this demonstrates the great injustices brought to the whole of society by 20th Century capitalism which continued to glorify and develop the notion of “material goods” as the pinnacle of all things good. It is we who must endeavor to solve the issues which face humanity by placing value on consideration for others and building rich and meaningful connections with others, for this is the only way to contribute to building a 21st Century society full of hope and a society in which the richness of spirit is valued. We must accept the mission given to us to strive to find solutions to these issues which confront the whole of humanity.

The foundation of our country, which has so little natural resources, is scientific technology, and the cultivation of human resources to support that society. Many of the achievements which are advancing scientific technology have take place at universities, which are key higher education institutes in the Information Age of the 21st century. It is also at universities that leading human resources are cultivated. In addition to the internationalization of education and research, society asks for international understanding and cooperation, and I believe that our students’ achievements in the future shall provide the cornerstone for scientific research developments in this internationalized society.

I pray with all of my heart that you, who have conducted advanced scientific research at Hiroshima University, as members of society or as leaders in your community or in the international sphere, will contribute to international peace and play an important role in the creation of a bright future filled with hope.

Once again, congratulations on your graduation, and best of luck in the future.

Toshimasa Asahara
Hiroshima University