Doctoral Degree Conferment Ceremony 2015.1.20
Today, the beginning of 2015, it is my great honor to present degrees to 20 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.
I believe that the academic degree that you have earned and its academic values, along with all the valuable experiences you have built up through completing your dissertations, will become the academic and spiritual basis 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, and will be a great contribution to the construction of a hopeful future society.
The rapid development of academic research has accelerated the progress of globalization in human society, which is growing more and more complicated and diverse. Environmental changes surrounding human society are too fast to predict, and there are many new issues we have to overcome. The recent terror attacks in France and growing threat of terrorism in Europeare unacceptable for the human society and there is no doubt that those problems have to be resolved. We are forced on recognizing the true essence of a sustainable society. Furthermore there is a whole range of other issues human society has to tackle such as shrinking natural resources, environment pollution, frequency of natural disasters and a widening gap between the rich and the poor. As far as the future of the Japanese society is concerned, we have to cope with an unprecedented super aging society and a rapidly falling birth rate.
Changes in the social environment are unstoppable and even accelerating. These are the conditions in which you go out into the society.
Academic research has made considerable advances and humankind benefits from those achievements. We have enjoyed economic development, material wealth and convenience. However, prioritizing those things has caused distortions: overheated social competition, materialist greed and utilitarianism are widespread, and noble spirit is fading away. The 21st Century forces us to reconsider our conventional values and to build a sustainable society on the new fundamental values appropriate to a knowledge-based society in an increasingly globalized world. There may be regional differences, but a ripe human society reminds us that “a contented mind is a perpetual feast”. I wish you to cultivate sensitivity by experiencing our extraordinary art and culture and to build a sustainable society with spiritual richness as a common value. It is our mission to pass on wisdom, knowledge and experience from our ancestors to the younger generations whilst deepening cross-cultural understanding and creating a society with respect for the individual and acceptance of diversity. I think that we have to take a step forward towards an even stronger “mutually-supportive society”.
I sincerely hope that all of you who have learned and accomplished a high level of academic research at Hiroshima University will be dedicated to lifelong learning 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.
President, Hiroshima University