Congratulations on Graduating! (2016 Academic Year Graduation Ceremony and Diploma Presentation Ceremony Celebrated on March 24th)
March 31, 2017
On Friday 24 th March 2017, the 2016 graduation ceremony took place in the Prometheus Hall of the AGORA Global building.
63 students from the Faculty of Foreign Studies and 347 students from the School of Language and Culture Studies in the first session held in the morning, as well as 250 students from the School of International and Area Studies, 116 master's and doctoral program students, and 7 students from the Graduate School of Global Studies and Cultural Area Studies in the second session held in the afternoon graduated and received their diplomas.
FY 2016 Graduation Congratulatory Message from TUFS President TATEISHI Hirotaka
FY 2016 Graduation, Sessions 1 and 2
March 24, 2017
Congratulatory Message from TUFS President TATEISHI Hirotaka
As president of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the new graduates of the Faculty of Foreign Studies, the School of Language and Culture Studies, and the School of International and Area Studies. Many of you will be launching your careers from April first, while others of you have chosen to continue on to graduate study. My congratulations also extend to those of you who have acquired your Master's and PhD degrees and will be moving on to new adventures.
While some of you in the Faculty of Foreign Studies, the School of Language and Culture Studies, and the School of International and Area Studies have had to go through an extra year because of taking time off to study abroad, most of you, I believe, began your four years of undergraduate study in April 2013. Do you remember what I said to you then?
At the 2013 entrance ceremony, I talked about how our liberal arts classes were just as important as our more specialized classes, and how we have incorporated them into our Global Liberal Arts Program (GLIP). Do you feel our education has helped you to develop a panoramic world view? And have you acquired global knowledge encompassing the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and applied sciences? Are you able now to analyze the complex workings of global society and make appropriate judgments? I am hopeful that our global liberal arts education and the professional knowledge you have acquired through your respective areas of study have equipped you to go out into the world as true global citizens.
Globalization is accelerating the flow of people, things, and information around the world, but at the same time it is weakening traditional local economies and causing extreme social and economic gaps everywhere. Last April, we had the honor to be visited by José Mujica, the former president of Uruguay. At that time he astutely noted that explosive gains in financial capital have transformed our currency-centered lives and more and more people are at the mercy of international markets. Wealth is becoming increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few. In the United States, the top 3 percent of the wealthy class own more than half of the nation's assets. In Japan, too, the top 2 percent of households own 20 percent of the nation's wealth. The United States, which used to champion globalization, has become so embroiled in its own internal affairs that it has little interest anymore in people other than its own citizens. There is a growing climate of "my country first!"
Of course, we should value or own country, our own traditions and culture. But if we are to be true global citizens, we need to think of people in other countries and show respect for their cultures and traditions.
Last year, the awarding of the Nobel Prize in literature to Bob Dylan was a reminder of the power of song and poetry. For me, personally, I have been most affected by the lyrics of a song by a Japanese rock group called The Yellow Monkey. Their lyrics appeared in a full-page Asahi Shimbun newspaper advertisement on December 31, 2016.
Roughly translated, the lyrics are:
"An airplane crashes overseas.
The newscaster says with glee, 'No Japanese aboard. No Japanese. No Japanese.'
What am I to think?
What am I to say?
On nights like this, I want to see you so badly, so badly, so badly.
I wait for tomorrow."
These lyrics appeared in JAM/Tactics, a single album released in 1996, more than 20 years ago. The full-page ad of lyrics closed with the comment: "Unfortunately, these lyrics still apply to this country."
Now, please try to visualize what the Tokyo University of Foreign Languages will be like in 2023. That will be the year marking 150 years since our founding in 1873. Hopefully, by this time, thanks to the generous financial and physical support of our alumni, we will have become a truly global university, an interntional hub for education in which Japanese students and exchange students from other countries overcome cultural differences to learn together in friendly competition. The university faculty and staff will work hard to achieve this end, and we hope that as new alumni, you will not cease to give us support.
Again, congratulations, and my best wishes for your future endeavors. Thank you.
(*) Source: Asahi Shinbun, 31 st December 2016, page 22 (full page advertisement)