Kyushu University Holds Ceremony to Commemorate Completion of Ito Campus
Almost 30 years ago, in 1991, Kyushu University decided to relocate to Ito Campus, where it would integrate the Ropponmatsu and Hakozaki campuses and the Haru-machi University Farm. The moving process finally began in 2005.
Now, in 2018, with our relocation complete, Ito Campus is one of the largest university campuses in the country at 32.5km long and 32.5km wide, covering an area of over 272 hectares. To commemorate the completion of this monumental project, the Ito Campus Completion Ceremony was held at Shiiki Hall on Saturday, September 29.
The ceremony was attended by around 1,000 individuals, including members of the National Diet; the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and affiliated organizations; individuals from diplomatic establishments abroad; representatives from local government; university officials; members of the local business community; Kyushu University alumni; and stakeholders involved in building the campus.
The ceremony began with a congratulatory performance by the Kyushu University Philharmonic Orchestra. President Kubo then gave a speech to thank and congratulate everyone who supported the university throughout its relocation and went on to announce the Ito Campus Declaration, in which he expressed gratitude for the past and commitment to the future as Kyushu University begins its journey into a new era at Ito Campus.
Following his speech, Parliamentary Secretary Ms. Noriko Miyagawa gave a few words on behalf of MEXT Minister Mr. Yoshimasa Hayashi.    Congratulatory addresses were also given by Mr. Taro Aso, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance; Dr. Seiichi Matsuo, Vice President of the Japan Association of National Universities; Mr. Soichiro Takashima, Mayor of Fukuoka City; Mr. Yutaka Aso, Chairman of the Kyushu Economic Federation; Mr. Hiroshi Ogawa, Governor of Fukuoka Prefecture; and Mr. Masayoshi Nuki, Chairman of the Fukuoka Alumni Association.
Prof. Hiroto Yasuura, Vice President of Kyushu University, then introduced Ito Campus using slides and video, explaining the campus’ state-of-the-art facilities and the precautions taken in campus design to preserve the environment.
After the ceremony, Fukuoka-born 2016 Nobel laureate Prof. Yoshinori Ohsumi, Distinguished University Professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, gave a commemorative lecture titled, “Considering the role of basic research at universities over the past fifty years.” He explained his research on autophagy, which earned him the Nobel Prize, and expressed his expectations for Kyushu University researchers and students.
After his commemorative lecture, the celebrations moved to newly opened East Zone 1, where speeches were given by Mr. Atsushi Koga, member of the House of Representatives; Dr. Shojiro Nishio, President of Osaka University; and Itoshima City Mayor Yuji Tsukigata. Guests then participated in a kagami biraki ceremony, the grand finale in a day of celebration to wish for the success of the new campus.
Multiple additional ceremonies were also held to commemorate the opening of departments that finished their relocation to Ito Campus in September, namely the Central Library, the East Zone, and the Faculty of Agriculture.
An academic festival was held at Shiiki Hall the same day, which included a talk show between students, faculty members, and alumni as well as a research fair, food fair, and guided campus tours. It was a great opportunity for the university to welcome and invite the public— including members of the local community—to come and experience what is going on at the university right now.