Good morning, everyone.
The Tokyo Tech community is pleased to welcome students, parents, family members, staff, and friends to the 2023 Spring Entrance Ceremony for bachelor's program students. We are here to celebrate all the new students joining us today. You have worked hard to come this far under challenging 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.
On this special day, we welcome warmly the 1,134 students entering the bachelor's degree program, including the transfer students joining us from other institutions. 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 142-year history of the Institute.
New students of Tokyo Tech: While you might be experiencing a range of emotions as you begin this new stage in your lives, I want to assure you that, starting from today, you are all part of a diverse, inclusive community that is here to support you. Despite the difficult challenges that the world has faced in recent years, Tokyo Tech has remained firmly on its path of continuously enhancing learning opportunities for its students while creating new value that addresses the constantly changing global environment.
Just a few months ago, the Institute established the Center of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence to expand DS and AI training to all Tokyo Tech students, ensuring that you can utilize these skills in a rapidly accelerating digital information society, regardless of your specializations. In recent years, Tokyo Tech has consolidated its energy research efforts to form the Laboratory for Zero-Carbon Energy, which focuses on the achievement of a carbon-neutral world through research and development of non-fossil energy sources and usage systems, and incorporates its findings in a number of the Institute's courses. And Hisao & Hiroko Taki Plaza, the new exchange hub which you all passed this morning if you entered Ookayama Campus through the Main Gate, welcomes you right from the start to join any number of student-led activities or to pursue your own initiatives.
Without a doubt, however, the most exciting development is yet to come. Tokyo Tech will join forces with Tokyo Medical and Dental University to form a completely new university, tentatively named Institute of Science Tokyo, or Tokyo Kagaku Daigaku, in the near future. This integration will unite you — the budding leaders who have chosen science and technology as your path — with the brightest minds in the medical, nursing, and dental sciences, encouraging a convergence of fields that will create state-of-the-art innovations, heightened societal impact, and most importantly, increased collaborations and possibilities for all of you to explore.
This move to unify current and future experts from various fields will not only put you at the compelling crossroads of science and engineering, informatics, medicine, and dentistry. It will also open more doors into the liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences — fields which Tokyo Tech has greatly valued throughout its colorful history. Allow me to introduce three Tokyo Tech community members of the past who helped to reinforce the bridges between these fields and science and technology.
Writer, literary critic, and translator Sei Ito, who is credited with the first Japanese translation of one of the great works of modernist literature, James Joyce's Ulysses, joined Tokyo Tech as an English literature lecturer in 1949. Ito was also responsible for the Japanese rendering of Lady Chatterley's Lover, the controversial book by D.H. Lawrence, which landed the translator in hot water. Despite his struggles against censorship, Ito firmly defended freedom of expression and shared his views with Tokyo Tech students until 1964.
Educational sociologist Michio Nagai, who authored numerous acclaimed books on higher education, taught at Tokyo Tech from 1956 to 1970. While his writings provided the global community with valuable insight into the university landscape of Japan in the 1960s, Nagai's firm support for both technical and humanities-based learning also had a positive impact on the students of Tokyo Tech. After leaving the Institute, Nagai went on to be Japan's Minister of Education, Science and Culture.
Around this same period, Otoya Miyagi began revealing the study of psychology to the people of Japan through his research on social psychology, dreams, and personality. Miyagi, who studied experimental psychology, social psychology, and pathophysiology in France, taught students as a Tokyo Tech professor from 1949 to 1968.
These and many other Tokyo Tech scholars have enriched the broad perspectives adopted by our community throughout our history, and continue to impact researchers around the world today. As you begin your Tokyo Tech Visionary Project with the support of the renowned faculty at the Institute for Liberal Arts, I encourage you to explore the findings and writings of these and other Tokyo Tech members who specialized in a diverse range of fields.
I sincerely hope that all of you soon find your groove at the Institute, but at the same time, I also encourage you to maintain an openness to new ideas and approaches. One way to do this is to engage with the Laboratory for Design of Social Innovation in Global Networks, or DLab, 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 challenges and opportunities to create openly. And secondly, that the dedicated faculty, staff, and students of Tokyo Tech are here to support you. As the Institute confidently seeks to create a brighter future, we aim for a shared culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion — an environment where each one of you is valued, where each one of you is provided equal access to the riches of academia, and where each one of you is openly welcomed in all of our activities.
Finally, I want to draw your attention to the centennial flags and the Tokyo Tech Seal behind me. These flags on my left and right 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 the Institute looks towards exciting new challenges and opportunities, the alumni association is also here to engage with you as you begin to expand your networks and perspectives.
The Tokyo Tech Seal, the swallow by the window, 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. Begin your active student journey from today and take full advantage 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.
April 4, 2023
President, Tokyo Tech