Congratulations, New Students!

April 3, 2020

Welcome Message from President Hayashi

To all new students,

Congratulations on your entry to the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. It is a great pleasure to welcome you all to the University.

Originally, we had planned to hold your entrance ceremony tomorrow, on April 4. The cherry blossoms on campus are still in bloom, and I greatly looked forward to meeting you all under them. However, due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, many of you are stuck in your own countries and unable to enter Japan. We have postponed the start of classes for the spring semester, and will be holding classes online for the time being. I am sure many of you were looking forward to your new lives on campus, learning new languages in our classrooms, making new friends and club activities, and I understand your disappointment. We at the University are also disappointed that your university lives have to begin this way.

Here at TUFS, we are trying our best to deal with this unfamiliar situation. What we are most worried about is our students’ mental wellbeing – we hope that you are not feeling alone or helpless during these troubling times. If you are feeling this way, it won’t be for much longer. From now on you will be receiving frequent messages from your professors, language teachers and upperclassmen. Even if it’s online, you will still be able to connect with your professors and classmates. Our online classes will also begin soon. Through each of our individual actions now, the day when this virus no longer remains a threat will eventually arrive. From that day onwards, your campus lives will be waiting for you.

What is it then that we should be doing and thinking about during this time? Since you can’t go out, why not try your hand at challenging some of the longer novels of Japan and the world. Perhaps there are some books you set aside during your busy entrance exam studies. Reading makes your heart jump, and opens your mind to the world around you. While this is just some general advice, we hope that you will utilize your time productively during this period.

On the other hand, I also want you to keep your eyes and ears open to the situation as it unfolds, both nationally and internationally. Right now, with the overflowing amount of information out there, it is also important to develop the ability to determine which sources are reliable. If someone decides something and acts based on that decision, the consequences of this will have an effect on society as a whole. Whether these decisions will lead to success or failure will be determined by history, but we can say that, right now, we are witnessing this transition.

I am looking forward to when these difficult days are over, and I can meet you all again on our green campus. Until then, I sincerely ask that you act responsibly for the health and safety of both yourself and the people around you.

April 3, 2020

President, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies