Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. The Tokyo Tech community is delighted to welcome students, parents, relatives, staff, and friends to the 2018 Spring Graduation Ceremony for master’s and doctoral program students. I would like to congratulate sincerely all of our graduates today. Let us also express our respect to your families, who have given so much to support you on your journey so far.
On this special day, we celebrate the graduation of 1,568 students with master's degrees, 27 students with professional master's degrees, and 185 students with doctoral degrees. Today, the exceptional capabilities, creative ideas, and unique personalities of all of you add another permanent entry to the 138-year story of Tokyo Tech, a designated national university chosen to lead Japan and the world into the future.
Graduates. Look around you. Go ahead, look around! I am sure you see fellow students whom you worked with to solve a tough problem together. You probably see students who opened your eyes to a viewpoint that you had previously overlooked. Maybe you see someone who helped you adapt to some unexpected or unpleasant change. While today is a celebration of your personal accomplishments, it is also a time to remember the collaborations you engaged in during your time at Tokyo Tech. It is a time to acknowledge the stories you penned and the diverse characters who played a part in those stories. As you move into the next stage of your life and boldly take on new challenges, I strongly encourage you to continue embracing those around you. With the skills and knowledge you possess, you have the power to create real impact, especially when collaborating with others. You have the power to disrupt. You have the power to challenge the status quo.
Many people say that you and I live in tumultuous times, that we are sailing uncharted seas, particularly with the rapid development of science and technology. Let me share with you a story in relation to this claim. In the early 1990s, when I was engaged in leading research on electronic devices as a young researcher, my students and I tried to connect a personal computer to the internet for the first time. It may have been 1993. One of the early websites we visited was that of the White House in Washington D.C., which had uploaded audio files of the president’s cat meowing. Yes! We could listen to the White House cat meowing. We were fascinated. “If this is possible, what else is possible?” we wondered. That was 26 years ago. How things have changed. Few of us could have imagined the developments in the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, big data, and other technologies that have become a reality in 2019. The point is from that magical moment when we went online, those with the knowledge, skills, and courage to create a better future embraced the unknown. They confidently took action, captained their ships directly into those uncharted seas, and brought us safely to where we are now.
Today, this is what I wish from all of you. As graduates of Tokyo Tech, forge ahead into the uncharted seas. You now have the abilities and tools to navigate your ship in any way you see fit. The next chapter in your story is still a blank set of pages. Think about how you want to fill those pages, how you want your story to continue. You may feel that soon, Tokyo Tech is no longer part of that story. However, as alumni of the Institute, you — and your families — will always remain members of the Tokyo Tech community. The faculty, staff, alumni, and students of Tokyo Tech will eagerly follow how your stories unfold. Make us proud. Wear the badge of Tokyo Tech proudly.
To finish off, I want to draw your attention to Tokyo Tech’s seal, the swallow by the window, which you can see behind me. 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 standing at this window. Like the Institute you are graduating from today, remain confident in your abilities, tenacious in the face of obstacles, and devoted to your own story as you take flight.
Thank you very much, and again, congratulations.
March 26, 2019
President, Tokyo Tech