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Fall Semester Entrance Ceremony 2011.10.3

Fall Semester Entrance Ceremony 2011.10.3

On this day, here at the celebration of the year 2011 Fall Semester entrance ceremony, I would like to sincerely welcome all the newly entering students to Hiroshima University. It is my hope that your new life at Hiroshima University will be fulfilling and steadfast.

Hiroshima University was established in 1874 as Hakushima School, but after various transitions, the former 8 schools were united into a single new Hiroshima University, which was established on May 31, 1949.  Its main campus was in Higashi-Senda, Hiroshima City, an area that was completely devastated by the atomic bomb.
Hiroshima University completed a unified move to Higashi-Hiroshima in 1995, and has developed into a multidisciplinary research university comprised of 11 faculties and 12 graduate schools.

The Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11th and the accompanying tsunami disaster and nuclear plant accident harmed not only Japan, but also had a great influence on other countries. The enormous damage caused by this calamity, showed us the magnitude of nature and the limits and weakness of mankind, which depends on the blessings of nature. In the end, I believe that the nuclear plant accident destroyed the myth of security; a serious mistake, that resulted from our over-reliance on technology. Further, this natural disaster made us aware of problems such as rapidly progressing depopulation, societal aging and the dangers of overconcentration. On the other hand, the mutual support of the earthquake victims and the wholehearted help they received from all over the country and even from overseas reminded us of the importance of human kinship, a value which was getting lost during Japan’s rapid economic development after World War II. I believe that in the 21st century we have to review our attitude of being totally committed to the economy, and build a Japanese society based on new values.

Everywhere in the world the progression of scientific technology brings great benefits, at the same time, they also are the root of many new issues such as environmental pollution, energy and food crises, terrorism and more.  Whether one likes it or not, human society will face continuing international exchange and globalization. Society will be even more diversified and complicated, and I believe that in the future the role of universities as institutes of higher education shall become even more crucial in solving the issues which confront humanity.

Hiroshima University is engaged in cultural and professional education in order to cultivate manpower rich in humanity, knowledge and wisdom, and is ready to contribute to society. Our university aims to become a base of worldwide leading education and research. These efforts are necessary to fulfill a National University’s duty of education, research and social contribution. One of our main goals is to guarantee the high quality of cultural education to create even better educated human resources active on the global level.

One could say that a truly meaningful life is one in which your abilities are fully realized, and that when we begin to see that the goals and efforts we have put forth for ourselves are connected to the future, that is we can truly feel that our lives have meaning. It is my greatest hope that you, who are entering Hiroshima University today as new students, will endeavor hard in your studies, keeping steadfast goals in mind, without fear of failure, without getting beaten by breakdowns and mistakes, and that your efforts will lead you to a more meaningful life in the future.

Today we welcome 181 new students, whom all face the dream of building a society which is filled with hope in the future. Let us walk as one, students and faculty together, toward this goal.

October 3rd, 2011

Toshimasa Asahara
President, Hiroshima University