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Fall Semester Degree Conferment Ceremony 2012.9.25

Fall Semester Degree Conferment Ceremony 2012.9.25

“Keep your aspirations high”

Today it is my great honor to present degrees to 231 students from Hiroshima University. Congratulations to each and every one of you. The diligent hard work each of you has given to receive this degree is something that I deeply respect.

The progress of academic research is accelerating and bringing many benefits to human society. At the same time, we are also confronted with severe problems such as food and energy shortage and the depletion of resources.  Environmental destruction and pollution became highlighted, and we have to take urgent action to tackle these important issues. Furthermore, the surge of democracy drive in the Middle East and the repetitively occurring terrorism has increased the disastrous situation of society. The progress of academic research brought us wealth and comfort, but on the other hand we may have to pay a high price. It could be taken that the high price of last year’s Great East Japan Earthquake demonstrated our failure to coexist with nature. In the 21st century it is important that humankind stands together and works hard to solve its problems.

The history of universities as a “base of knowledge creation” is 1300 years old in Europe, 400 years old in North-America and 130 years old in Japan. Above all, the role of universities is becoming more and more important for achieving our goal of building of a sustainable future society, by seeking stronger ties with society. For building a true knowledge-based society in the 21st century it is important to take full advantage of human society’s longtime cultivated “wisdom” and to closely link universities with the nation, the local community and the Japanese people working actively to solve the issues of humanity and to aim the creation of an enriching future society. Our goal should be to realize a society permitting a fulfilling and enriching life, where each individual’s situation is respected and everyone supports one another. I hope that your outstanding academic achievements will lay the development foundation for future academic research, and eventually contribute in diverse ways to build the spiritually affluent future human society that is the goal of humankind.

I hope that all of you who are going out into the world keep your aspirations high, and grow further by increasing your experience in society. I pray that those who accomplished a high level of academic research while studying at Hiroshima University are aware of their position as members of the local and the global community, and become manpower capable of both supporting, and playing a significant role in local and global society.

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

September 25th, 2012

Toshimasa Asahara
President, Hiroshima University