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Fall Semester Degree Conferment Ceremony 2014.9.25

Fall Semester Degree Conferment Ceremony 2014.9.25

Today, I wish to congratulate all graduates who are receiving a degree. On behalf of Hiroshima University, I heartily congratulate you all on the celebration of this year’s Graduation Ceremony.I believe that all of your academic, scientific and research achievements up until now will greatly contribute towards the future society of mankind.

From the 20th century onwards, the advancement of academic research has been largely transforming human society.  We all benefit from the advancement of academic research, but there are new challenges we have to overcome.Conflicts over natural resources, terrorism due to ideological clashes, straying democratic movements, territorial disputes, environmental pollution or global warming, infectious diseases, rapid natural disasters and so forth are just some of the problems mankind is facing and has to solve in order to coexist.

Our country is also faced with the peculiar challenges of a rapidly aging society and swiftly declining birthrate like never before in the history of mankind, and also with a decrease in the international competitiveness of Japanese companies.   On the other hand, the progress of academic research has been tremendous, and the development of new earth-friendly energies replacing fossil fuels and atomic power is accelerating.Further, the clinical application of iPS Cells as a therapy against age-related macular degeneration has already started and the practical use of regenerative medicine stepped on the first rung. We have high expectations for the development of science. Having spent your campus life at Hiroshima University in a social environment such as this one, all of you have gained new precious experiences and been able to leave your individual footprints in the history of our university. Your achievements will forever live on in our records.

 The globalization of humanity is progressing and society is growing into a borderless world that is becoming increasingly difficult to predict.The book “Jewish Culture” discusses the features of the Jewish people. It is well-known that there are many Nobel laureates among researchers of Jewish descent. From the time of the Babylonian captivity until the beginning of the 20th Century, the Jewish people had no country of their own. It is said that they experienced great hardships as a people without a homeland and were therefore extremely interested in learning andeducation. As people forced to live as “outsiders”, they were eager to continue lifelong learning. When I read about the history of the Jewish people I felt compelled to contemplate about the future and problems such as integration and coexistence which await us in a rapidly globalized society.

As a consequence of the fast progression of information and communication technology, human society became more complex, diverse and is undergoing rapid change. All of you, who graduate from this university today, are expected to be focused on social and environmental changes, to embrace challenges and to act as integrated members of the global society. I hope that you will all continue to seek the high ideals of contributing to human society, to be considerate of others, to have the courage to be unafraid of failure, and that you will be able to grow as strong personalities capable to overcome difficulties through good self-judgment and personal responsibility. Lastly, treasure the relationships you have built during your student days at Hiroshima University, feel proud of being a graduate from this university, and live with a strong sense of fulfillment, promoting ties between local and global society and cultivating a spirit of mutual support.

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

September 25, 2014

Toshimasa Asahara
President, Hiroshima University