Good afternoon, everyone.
The Tokyo Tech community is pleased to welcome students, parents, family members, staff, and friends to the 2021 Fall Entrance Ceremony for doctoral program students. We are here to celebrate together all the new students joining us today. You have worked hard to come this far under difficult circumstances, and you should be proud of your achievements. Let us also acknowledge your guardians and families, and express our gratitude for the time and effort they have dedicated to your lives.
199 doctoral program students from 26 countries and regions begin their Tokyo Tech journeys today. I am sure all of you have been waiting eagerly for this day to come, and finally, it is here. Congratulations, and thank you for adding another special page to the 140-year history of the Institute.
You may be experiencing a range of emotions as you begin this new stage in your lives. The global pandemic has further accelerated change in an already rapidly evolving world, and you may be wondering how you can make your mark. Regardless of whether you are just starting your studies here or delving deeper into your specializations, I encourage you to identify and master the fundamentals required to create impact amid this swift change. From today, you are part of a diverse, inclusive community that will support you throughout your Tokyo Tech journey. The Institute has prepared an effective learning and research environment that prioritizes wellbeing during this new normal we are experiencing. Our student-centered online platform is operating smoothly and is being developed continuously. Research facilities are used only while adhering to comprehensive safety regulations. These and other efforts to ensure access to a multitude of on and off-campus activities are being made so that you — the newest members of the Tokyo Tech community — can pursue your passions starting from today.
This pursuit of passions reminds me of a truly remarkable Tokyo Tech graduate, someone who may have influenced your lives too — the late Satoru Iwata. While studying at the Institute's Department of Computer Science, Iwata would hone his programming skills day and night. His friends knew him for writing programs faster and more accurately than anyone else. Iwata graduated from Tokyo Tech in 1982, but by then, he had already joined HAL Laboratory, a game software company where he was a major contributor to a number of successful game creations. Iwata joined Nintendo in 2000, where he became president of the company two years later. Under his passionate leadership, Nintendo developed various entertaining products that opened up the world of gaming to millions around the globe. In his own unique way, Iwata was dedicated to creating a better future throughout his life.
This kind of dedication to create a better future is also at the heart of Tokyo Tech. To ensure that you have a suitable environment to create, Tokyo Tech continues to evolve in order to meet the needs of our students, for example by enhancing its facilities. Hisao and Hiroko Taki Plaza, a large international exchange hub, was completed this year on Ookayama Campus to further diversity and inclusion in our community. I invite you to make use of this facility, donated to us by one of our alumni. The Ookayama Campus Library, also known as "the cheesecake," celebrated its 10th anniversary in July and now connects directly to Taki Plaza. On Suzukakedai Campus, fully renovated library facilities also reopened in July, offering students based there an improved learning environment.
In addition to these campus improvements, the Laboratory for Design of Social Innovation in Global Networks, or DLab, offers a platform that connects the students, faculty, and staff of Tokyo Tech with the public to create a better future. DLab, which aims to go beyond the conventional reach of science and technology, welcomes all new students to join their activities, and to create and innovate as Team Tokyo Tech.
Whatever you decide to do during your time here, you can be certain of two things: Firstly, that the Institute will provide you with opportunities to create openly while working together to solve the toughest of challenges. And secondly, that the dedicated faculty, staff, and students of Tokyo Tech are here to support you.
I want to draw your attention to the centennial flags and the Tokyo Tech Seal behind me. These flags were presented to the Institute by the Tokyo Tech Alumni Association, or Kuramae Kogyokai, to commemorate Tokyo Tech's 100th anniversary. One represents the search for truth and reason, the other signifies advancement of technology. Forty years on, as the Institute kicks off another exciting decade of action, the alumni association is also here to support you. We encourage you to begin creating fruitful connections during your time at the Institute.
All the challenges and opportunities that you will face in the next several years are encapsulated in the Tokyo Tech Seal, the swallow by the window. This seal symbolizes the Institute as a hub of technical innovation from which the windows of the world open up to its members. You are now peering in this window, perhaps seeking new experiences, knowledge, and guidance. I am confident that we will provide these to you. So don't hold back. Take charge of your academic journey from today and make full use of what the Institute has to offer.
New students of Tokyo Tech: I encourage you to embrace any challenges that come your way. I encourage you to become creators of a better future!
Once again, congratulations.
September 30, 2021
President, Tokyo Tech