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Doctoral Degree Conferment Ceremony 2013.1.15

Doctoral Degree Conferment Ceremony 2013.1.15

Today it is my great honor to present degrees to 9 students from Hiroshima University. Congratulations to each and every one of you. I would like to offer these heartfelt congratulations on behalf of Hiroshima University.

We hope that the academic degree that you have earned and its academic values, along with all the valuable experiences you have built up, will be a bright light and an encouraging support in your lives. I am also confident that your excellent achievements will be a cornerstone of progress in academic research development, which is the foundation of the knowledge-based society in the 21st century.

Due to the progress of globalization, human society is changing significantly: The prolonged European Union's financial uncertainty, the erratic movement for democratization in the Middle East, a society with growing differences between the rich and poor, environmental destruction, energy problems, terror or ethnic disputes, the missile launch of North Korea and the mass shooting in an elementary school in Connecticut, USA. As for our country, there are various problems to face, and the highest priority issues are to recover from the Great East Japan Earthquake, as well as to settle territorial disputes and enhance the global competitiveness of Japanese enterprises. Furthermore, we need to respond to a super-aging society far beyond our experience. Human society is stepping into unknown territory and is developing continuously. I think that changes won’t stop in future. They will even accelerate, and society will become increasingly complicated and diverse. Facing these intense changes of environment, each of you must fulfill your duty given to you as a member of society, and contribute to the world.

Now in the early 21st century, globalization is developing rapidly and the human society is producing various distortions after the 20th century where we have developed giving the highest priority to our economic growth. To overcome these problems, we have to deepen cross-cultural understanding and foster tolerance to accept different cultures. We must aim for the realization of “coexistence” and strive for global peace building. We have to build a 21st century society with completely different values from those of the 20th century. People living in the 21st century world shouldn’t forget to be considerate of people around them, and should work toward building a deeply conscientious future society. And all of you will play a leading part. I wish for you to participate in society with great mettle.

I sincerely hope that all of you who have learned and accomplished a high level of academic research and earned many precious experiences at Hiroshima University will take advantage of the skills you have developed, improve your ability to make use of your knowledge, and will grow as personalities and as members of society to become promising human resources that are able to support the global and local community and to contribute to our future society.

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

January 15, 2013

Toshimasa Asahara
President, Hiroshima University