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Fall Semester Entrance Ceremony 2012.10.1

Fall Semester Entrance Ceremony 2012.10.1

“Play a key role in future society”

The gingko and maple leaves have begun to change color and autumn is coming to the Higashi-Hiroshima Campus. Today, Hiroshima University welcomes 216 students in all: 131 students to the master’s courses and 64 to the doctoral courses of our graduate schools - and 21 students to the Biomedical & Health Science Major doctoral program. On behalf of Hiroshima University, I would like to congratulate all the new students here and sincerely welcome all of you.

Hiroshima University was established in 1874 as Hakushima School. After various transitions, eight schools including the Hiroshima University of Literature and Science were united into a single new Hiroshima University, which was established in Hiroshima City, the city that experienced the world’s first atomic-bombing. Hiroshima University has made great efforts in educating professional human resources by promoting world-leading advanced research, and has offered a significant contribution to the development of the local and global society. Hiroshima University is one of the largest and most comprehensive universities in Japan, and at present we have 11 faculties and 11 graduate schools. We take full advantage of being a comprehensive university where students can experience various disciplines. I hope that you will have a fruitful campus life studying liberal arts education, specialized education and participating in extracurricular activities.

The progress of academic research is accelerating, and brings many benefits to human society, but the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011 made us aware of the numerous issues in current human society -especially, the issues our country has to face: Insufficient disaster preparedness, complexity of energy strategy, issues of Japan’s industrial structure, a large number of growing problems in local community such as a super-aging society or rural medical depopulation and a delay in taking action to cope with the global society etc. I believe that the disaster showed us that there are urgent tasks which the entire nation must tackle and that we must swiftly go forward with future plans. The progress of academic research brings us wealth and comfort, but I think that we have also paid a high price for it. In the knowledge-based society of the 21st century, we need to make efforts to accept diversity, stand together and build a sustainable future society based on new values.

As the world becomes more and more globalized, deepening one’s knowledge, cultivating sensitivity, developing an open mind and forming a well-rounded character are important conditions for participation in a highly diverse and quickly changing society. I believe that the education at university not only offers specialized knowledge and skills, but it generates motivation and attitude to use one’s intellectual activities in order to grow as human beings and contribute to the future of humanity. At our university, we foster these kinds of capable human resources by educating them in liberal arts education and professional training and we seek to cultivate full members of society, talented manpower with dignity, who are able to contribute to the general public and the global society.

Diversity and complexity are going to increase, and there are many issues that human society in the 21st century must face. It is the mission of the university as a “Base of Knowledge Creation” to overcome these problems. We need to become aware that studying at university means noblesse oblige, major social responsibility resulting from academic honor. I hope that you will be able to face the future issues of human society, that you will keep your aspiration high and show the spirit of being put in charge of our future society by growing into mature personalities.

I hope that you will all enjoy satisfying years as students and give you my deepest congratulations.

October 1, 2012

Toshimasa Asahara
President, Hiroshima University