2021 Academic Year Graduation and Diploma Presentation Ceremony

September 24, 2021

The 2021 academic year graduation and diploma presentation ceremony was held on Friday, September 24, 2021. A total of 59 students graduated, including 37 undergraduate students (16 from the School of Language and Culture Studies and 21 from the School of International and Area Studies), 14 students in the Master’s Program and 8 students in the Doctoral Program of the Graduate School of Global Studies.

At the ceremony, which was held taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, President HAYASHI Kayoko presented diplomas to the students and made a graduation speech. This was followed by congratulatory speeches by YAMAGUCHI Hiroyuki, Manager of the School of Language and Culture Studies, and SUZUKI Yoshikazu, Dean of the Graduate School of Global Studies.

Below is the full text of President HAYASHI’s speech.

Congratulations to all of you.

First of all, I would like to congratulate our 37 undergraduate graduates. It is very difficult to find the right words to congratulate you as I am sure your last year and half at TUFS was not what you expected due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I am also sure you all have experienced disappointment. Some of you may have had to give up your plans of studying abroad, but I am hopeful. you also found the time to reflect on yourselves during this pandemic. All of you made an unusual choice by deciding to graduate in September rather than the “normal” graduation time of March. You are all now about to start a new chapter in your life after taking time to make your choices. We hope from the bottom of our hearts that your new chapter is full of prosperity. Cherish what you have learned and the friends you have made here at TUFS. Believe in yourself and keep going on the path you have chosen.

The world you are about to step into after today is still grappling with Covid-19. The pandemic covid has had a deep and damaging impact on our society. Nevertheless, we have all endeavored to overcome the damage. This is called resilience. This word was used many times during the Tokyo Paralympic Games so many of you may remember it. Resilience was explained as “the power to accept and live through difficult times” and as having an “unbreakable heart.” When I think about the meaning of unbreakable, I do not think it means a heart made of steal. I think it refers to a heart that does not break even when it feels like it or one that is able to put itself together even after it breaks.

We hope you can enter society with this type of heart. Much like this pandemic, unprecedented things happen all the time. In order to overcome any hardship, you need to understand the issues, make a plan to overcome them, imagine what might happen next, and be persistent enough to keep going. You also need to believe in yourself. I hope you were able to gain these skills through your time here at TUFS, even just a little. Go your way with flexibility. Keep in mind that we will always be rooting for you.

Next, I would like to congratulate the 22 students who have completed their postgraduate studies. In particular, as the titles of the theses you have just heard indicate, you have all contributed to various fields in the humanities, including linguistics, literature, arts and regional studies. Well done. You may think that the questions you aimed to answer through your theses are yours alone. However, I think those are questions that all society has. Therefore, I hope you share your findings and continue your research to make further progress in the world of academia.

Now, I'd like to congratulate all of you who have successfully completed our Master’s course of Peace and Conflict Studies.

It can be extremely difficult to take a degree in just a few years when you are far away from your home country. Especially, because of the prolonged pandemic, you have been faced with much more difficulties in completing your theses, as well as in your ordinary lives.

Today, I am very glad to see you all looking healthy, happy and satisfied.

Hopefully, your studies at our university will give you a steady foundation for your further development. The world is waiting for your contributions to peace and conflict studies, because, as you know, the world today needs them more than ever.

Lastly, I hope that the ties between you and TUFS will continue no matter where you will be. We will not forget you and I hope you will not forget us!

Thank you very much and congratulations!

September 24, 2021

Tokyo University of Foreign Studies President HAYASHI Kayoko