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Degree Conferment Ceremony 2014.3.23

Degree Conferment Ceremony 2014.3.23

Today I would like to extend my deepest congratulations to all of the graduating students of Hiroshima University. I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations on the celebration of this year’s ceremony on behalf of Hiroshima University. I also would like to congratulate the parents and relatives, and express to you my deepest gratitude for your continual support for our university. Furthermore, I would like to thank all of our honored guests for taking the time to be here with us at the degree conferment ceremony today.

Now let us look back at the main recent events: The research group of Dr. Yamanaka succeeded in developing iPS Cells. The Higgs Particle, the base of mass, was discovered and 3D printing technology has progressed greatly. Academic research has made considerable advances. On the other hand, the world is shaken by issues such as erratic democratization movements, widening gap between rich and poor, recurrent terrorism, environmental pollution, and the cold waves, earthquakes, floods and other man-made and natural calamities which occur one after another as reported each year. And the Great East Japan Earthquake which occurred on March 11, 2011 and the subsequent Fukushima nuclear accident that followed had a serious influence on our country’s society as a whole. Also in future we have to give more than a passing thought to the affected areas, to direct our attention to them and to stand together and dedicate all our strength to the resurrection of these regions.
Human society has grown in diversity and complexity. Japan and other advanced nations which are facing numerous challenges have to realize that their continuous development has had its price. I think that it’s important to reflect and review the values of the 20th Century that was derived from the process of development and realize the merit of building a system which does not depend on money and reevaluate things that require time and effort. To achieve a society where we can live in security and peace, we should not just insist on convenience and effective or highly-functional things, but also understand the importance of making space and sparing time to appreciate finer things in life, respect each other and accept diversity. On that basis, we should aim for “a spiritually affluent lifestyle and a flexible 21st Century society”.

Young people who will shape our future society need the basic skills of behaving themselves as proper members of society. In other words, as members of human society they need “the power to make their own judgments and survive.” Therefore it is necessary for them to cultivate intellectual abilities, physical capacity, emotional strength, flexible judgment, and tolerance to accept other people. You have to discipline yourself all your life and to establish a habit of studying continuously. The globalization of humanity is progressing and we are going to exhibit our activities on a global scale. I wish that all of you, who graduate from this university today and go out into the world, will take advantages of the knowledge and wisdom of your predecessors, cultivate sensitivity by experiencing our extraordinary art and culture and focus on the future, seeking for the high ideals of “contribution to humanity”.

Now take a giant step forward. I wish that each of you will grow into a strong personality, able to overcome all the obstacles you may have to face.

As you embark on a new chapter in your lives, I pray that the roads ahead lead to bright futures, filled with promise and hope. Congratulations.

March 23, 2014

 

Toshimasa Asahara
 President, Hiroshima University


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