Good afternoon, everyone.
The Tokyo Tech community is pleased to welcome students, parents, family members, staff, and friends to the 2022 Fall Entrance Ceremony for doctoral program students. We are here to celebrate 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.
Today, 160 doctoral program students from 23 countries and regions begin their Tokyo Tech journeys. I would like to warmly welcome you all, and thank you for adding another special page to the 141-year history of the Institute.
As you begin this new stage in your lives, you may be experiencing a range of emotions —anticipation, excitement, and perhaps, apprehension. The rapidly evolving world around us continues to accelerate, generating an abundance of new information that we must navigate so we can attempt to solve the far-reaching challenges that increasingly affect us all. Some of you here are just starting your studies at Tokyo Tech, while others are already delving deeper into your specializations. Regardless of your starting block, I encourage you first to identify and master the fundamentals. Construct your own solid base of knowledge from which you can begin creating your own path actively. You are, of course, not alone on your journey. From today, you are part of a diverse, inclusive community that will support you throughout your studies and research. And, Tokyo Tech's extracurricular clubs and activities remain as prevalent as ever, offering you and your peers additional fellowship, encouragement, and motivation.
The Institute is confident about creating a brighter future with you — the newest members of Tokyo Tech — but as a long-established, unified community of thinkers and leaders, we can also draw inspiration and strength from our past. In just a few short years, the world has experienced great turmoil, dramatic change, and an urgent need to adapt — factors which have initiated a distinct call to restore humanity, unity, and compassion across the globe. In response to this call, the Institute's current contributions to a more sustainable, inclusive, resilient world are not completely unlike the efforts to create a more human-centered society by former Tokyo Tech President Koroku Wada in the 1940s. Wada, a leading figure in education reform who specialized in naval architecture and aeronautics, believed that engineers of the new era would benefit most from a balance between technical training and broader studies in the humanities and social sciences. At a time of great upheaval, Wada resolutely led efforts to revamp education at Tokyo Tech, and succeeded in doing so in 1946, abolishing formalism and eliminating departmental borders. His goal was to provide engineers with higher ideals, broader perspectives, deeper awareness, and enhanced intellectual and moral development. While the world has changed significantly since Wada's endeavors, the Tokyo Tech of today can reflect on his struggles and successes as it strives to diversify the paths available to you — the scientists, engineers, thinkers, and leaders of tomorrow.
I highlight this story from the past to underline a core value that has always been at the heart of Tokyo Tech — a strong dedication to adapt, innovate, and create a better future. During these turbulent times, I also encourage you to embrace this approach, and to engage actively with the community members around you. To ensure that you have a safe, motivating environment to do so, the Institute is constantly developing new opportunities for fruitful off- and on-campus exchanges, for example by enhancing its facilities. Hisao and Hiroko Taki Plaza, a large international exchange hub, opened last 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," now connects directly to Taki Plaza to provide better access between these two hubs. And on Suzukakedai Campus, fully renovated library facilities reopened in 2021, 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. As you seek your path towards new accomplishments, the alumni association is also here to support you. We encourage you to begin creating lasting 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: I encourage you to embrace any challenges that come your way. I encourage you to become creators of a better future!
Congratulations, and welcome to Tokyo Tech!
September 28, 2022
President, Tokyo Tech