Congratulations on your graduation! (Graduation Ceremony in March, 2022)

March 23, 2022

Our graduation ceremony was held on March 23 (wed), 2022. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s graduation ceremony was held separately in the Prometheus Hall and Research and Lecture Building’s classroom.

458 students from the School of Language and Culture Studies, 463 students from the School of International and Area Studies, 113 master’s students and 13 doctoral students graduated and received their degrees.

University President Ceremony Address

My heartfelt congratulations to all the graduating students!

Amidst the continuing uncertainty due to the coronavirus situation, we are holding the commencement ceremony in a dispersed form at the Prometheus Hall and in the classrooms. It is disappointing that we cannot gather together in one place, but at the same time, I feel grateful for the fact that we could still have this opportunity to celebrate this special occasion with friends and teachers on site. Please savor the moment on your last day at university before you move on to your new life in April.

First, I would like to congratulate all the graduating students of the Graduate School. As is evident from the titles of the doctoral dissertations, your studies have shed insightful light on the important issues facing the world and Japan. Some of you continue to advance their careers in the academic environment, while others start working in companies. Whatever path you have chosen to proceed, I hope that you lead a life of exploration, connecting issues and concerns in the society to questions of your own.

Next, I would like to congratulate all the students completing the undergraduate programs. In fact, the number of graduates is unusally large in the 2021 academic year. In regular years the number is approximately 750, but it has grown to921 this year. Needless to say, this sharp rise has resulted from the effect of the the coronavirus pandemic on the study plans. During the first year of the pandemic in 2020, many of you, having entered university in 2018, were unable to go and study abroad in your third year, and subsequently graduated after four years of enrolment at the university.

Presumably, many of you, who entered university in 2018, had completed your short visits abroad during your first and second years, and were planning your long-term study abroad when the stay-at-home restrictions came into effect. You had to readjust your plan and choices and make decisions about your life plans. It is not difficult to imagine your disappointment, but I do hope that in the coming years, you will be able to realize in another form the dreams which you were unable to achieve at university. Those of you, who entered the university in 2017 and spent five years as an undergraduate student, were also affected by the pandemic. Many of you had to cut short of your student life abroad. However, you had a rare opportunity to witness a world struggling with the pandemic with your own eyes. I hope that you will be able to utilize this experience in your life.

Thinking about the situations and events taking place in the world now, we are reminded that there are things beyond our control. Just by looking at the tragedy currently occurring in Ukraine, I feel frustrated and saddened by the human irrationality that can never learn from history.

I imagine that many of you are feeling the agonies of the people of Ukraine who are facing the devastation of war and those of the people of Russia who are feeling powerless in stopping their government’s brutality. This crisis has shocked people who had thought that a war was a thing of the past or in a distant world. However, when we think about it, the entire world, including the distant world, is part of our world. The caring thoughts we have for the Ukrainians as well as the Russians who are against the war, are in fact the same as those we have for the people in Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang. I believe that the spirit of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies is founded on the sensitivity, as well as our knowledge and empathy, with which we care about what happens in the world.

Our university, where you studied, has many parts of the world represented in it, and here people who care about the world gathered. Today, you will all be going out into society, and I believe that our caring thoughts towards the world will extend into society through you and become a force for changing the world.

The university will always be here to support you all as you make your way forward in life. We will strive to be a university that you can be proud of whenever you look back, and we hope that you will cherish your ties with your alma mater. When you go through hard times, please remember the colorful TUFS Monument and the cute Tobitakun, and do your best.

March 23, 2022

Kayoko Hayashi
President, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies