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Message from the President

Academic Year 2019 Autumn Commencement Ceremony (September 25th, 2019)

It is my honor to be here today to congratulate you on the successful completion of your studies at Kyushu University and to thank your family members who have supported you in your studies and research, the teachers who have guided you, and the many others who have been an influential part of your academic life. I am happy to report that 432 of you are being awarded degrees: 61 a bachelor’s degree, 160 a master’s degree, and 211 a doctorate. 265 of you are international students. I would like to express my deepest respect to you for your dedication to your studies and give my heartfelt congratulations on being awarded your degrees today. During the years that you have spent here, Kyushu University has changed tremendously. I would like to talk to you about these changes.

The Ito Campus relocation program was completed last September. It took thirteen years, since the autumn of 2005, when the first group from our engineering programs relocated here. Now, there are about 20,000 students, staff, and faculty members studying and working here.

Last September 29th, the Ito Campus Completion Ceremony was held, and I announced the Ito Campus Declaration, in which I express gratitude for the past and commitment to the future as Kyushu University begins its journey into a new era at Ito Campus.
1. Producing world-leading professionals and new scientific breakthroughs
2. Pioneering the frontier of future research and experimentation
3. Coexisting in harmony with our historical and natural environment

Kyushu University intends to strongly promote various activities such as education, research, social contribution, and international exchange with this campus as the core. A new era is called “Reiwa” has begun, and it is exciting to be alive at this turning point of our history. Let's build a new Kyushu University history together.

The Hospital, Ohashi, and Chikushi Campuses are undergoing redevelopment. The buildings on the Hakozaki Campus are steadily being dismantled with a view to the sale of the site.

The world has seen many changes, since you joined the university, both within Japan and overseas. I would like to look back over these events. On the international front, in 2016, the UK held a referendum on the future of its membership in the European Union and a majority voted to leave, causing widespread anxiety about the future of the global economy. In 2017, Emmanuel Macron won the French presidency. At 39, he became the youngest ever president of France. Due to repeated missile tests by North Korea, international tension has grown. In 2018, The North Korea–United States summit was held in Singapore. In 2019, a massive fire broke out at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Massive protests took place in Hong Kong over the revised "Fug Crimes Ordinance" that would allow criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China. US President Trump visited Panmunjom on the military boundary between South Korea and North Korea. Mr. Trump stepped into North Korea for about a minute a first for US president. Boris Johnson was appointed as British Prime Minister. Mr. Johnson will lead Britain as it leaves the European Union. He intends to realize the withdrawal that is due in late October.

Closer to home, in 2016 was the Kumamoto Earthquake. Not one, but two earthquakes with a seismic intensity of 7, the highest level on the Japan Meteorological Agency’s scale, struck Kyushu. I am sure that these earthquakes were a terrifying experience for all of you here today. In 2017, on July 5 and 6, torrential rains occurred in Northern Kyushu. This disaster caused extensive damage to Northern Kyushu, especially for Asakura city, Fukuoka. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest appreciation to the many Kyushu University students who participated in the volunteer efforts to assist in rebuilding after this terrible event. Kyushu University formed an “investigation, recovery, and reconstruction assistance mission” through the collaboration of our researchers and students in various fields, and provided effective assistance to the disaster area. On a happy note, Fukuoka’s Oki-island was selected as a World Cultural Heritage site. In 2018, Japan frequently suffered from natural disasters and extreme weather. Big earthquakes hit Osaka and Hokkaido, torrential rains occurred in Western Japan. In 2019, a new era named “Reiwa” began on May 1. The “G20 OSAKA SUMMIT” was held on June 28 as world leaders began discussing such themes as the global economy, innovation, and climate change. The historical Kofun area of Osaka was given World Heritage status on July 6.

This year, the Seven Universities Athletic meet was held in Fukuoka, supervised by Kyushu University. Kyushu University missed the championship and was 4th. On the 19th of October, we will hold The Academic Festival and 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Faculty of Agriculture.

To commemorate the centenary of its founding and pave the way for its next century, Kyushu University established a new slogan in 2011: Lead in the Next 100 Years, Leap to the Best 100 in the World. We have begun implementing the Kyushu University Action Plan 2015-2020. It features six key tasks.
1. Conducting research at the highest global standard and encouraging innovation
2. Fostering global talent
3. Contributing to the local and international communities through advanced medical care
4. Developing an enhanced campus that students, staff, and faculty members can be proud of
5. Organizational reform
6. A university that develops in tandem with society

We have set out specific proposals and a roadmap for each task. The plan has progressed steadily during your time here. Your great efforts are one of the main reasons we have made such tremendous strides toward meeting these goals.

This, then, is the state of the world, Japan, and Kyushu University as you all set out on a new path today. As representatives of the university, in order to create a better world, it is vital for us to acknowledge and respect each other’s differences and diversity, whether in terms of ethnic background, religion, culture, or perceptions, and to promote and maintain a variety of exchanges and interactions, especially in the fields of research and education. I believe that we also need to present a prescription for the future of society, proposing and spreading new values and cultural directions. From what I have seen of your many accomplishments during your time at Kyushu University, I have very high hopes for your future success in creating a better world.

I am sure that you will face various difficulties in the years to come. When you are confronted by problems, it is important to have a motto or mindset to encourage you. As my parting gift to you, I would like you to remember the three Cs: Challenge. Change. Creation.

Even after you graduate, Kyushu University will always be with you, supporting your efforts and cherishing our links with you through our various alumni associations and the many contacts you have made during your time here. I hope that you will be proud to be alumni of Kyushu University and that you will use what you have learned here to pursue your dreams and to blaze a trail to the future, becoming leaders who provide the impetus that will drive global society. I bid you farewell and good luck.


September 25, 2019
Chiharu Kubo
President, Kyushu University

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