Commencement Speech at Chiba University Commencement 2018
On behalf of the faculty and staff of Chiba University, I congratulate all of you who have just received doctoral, master's, professional, or baccalaureate degrees for your significant educational and scholastic achievements. I also would like to extend my warm congratulations to your family and friends who have been supporting you.
Today is the start of a new journey of your life. And I believe you will be leading our society in the near future. However, this society you are sailing into has been changing dramatically.
On the global level, international competitions are heating up due to economic development of emerging nations. There has been a rise of populist politicians and political parties who prioritize interests of their own countries, and they shake the foundations of democracy. Our global society is also facing health hazards due to issues as environmental pollution, the impact of global warming on natural disasters, and an increase of refugees resulting from conflicts.
Japan is confronted with a whole list of pressing tasks such as unprecedented demographic challenges, aggravation of economic and fiscal circumstances, needs of regional revitalization, energy issues, and preparedness towards natural disasters.
Another emerging concern is the impact of Artificial Intelligence on human beings. Artificial Intelligence, abbreviated as AI, has been advancing at an accelerated pace. Intelligence is defined as intellectual ability to quickly find answers to "a question with correct answer", and human intelligence cannot win AI which can store a lot of information by machine learning. In specific fields, AI already possesses much higher intelligence and abilities than human beings, and such development will create new academic fields or occupations. So, I personally think that areas where AI has difficulty dealing with, will gain much attention. For example, areas that require creativity and imagination, or areas which are centered on human relationships.
Therefore, leaders of this indefinite society are required to have the ability to understand cultures, social systems, customs, or histories of each country of the world, and also to have abundant "Ningen-ryoku", literal translation in English, "Human Power". There is no officially-recognized English translation for the word, Ningen-ryoku. Ningen-ryoku is defined as "comprehensive ability to constitute and operate society and to thrive as an independent human being". Those who have high Ningen-ryoku are well-balanced intelligence capacity, social and interpersonal relationship ability, and self-control.
The most important Ningen-ryoku factor for leaders of this society is a kind of "Intelligence", translation in Japanese, "Chisei", an ability to think creatively. You can brush up this "Chisei/Intelligence" by making efforts to find the best solution you could ever think of at the time when you face "a question without correct answer". I sincerely hope that you continue improving your Chisei/Intelligence with unceasing efforts, and that you maximize your Ningen-ryoku with your well-honed Chisei/Intelligence to create a new world.
In closing my remarks, I offer you a "Farewell Present" in the form of two words that I cherish. They are "Sincerity" and "Thoughtfulness", translation in Japanese, "Seijitsu" and "Omoiyari". As an active leader of society, I want you to be "sincere" in everything you do and to everybody you meet.
Next to "Sincerity" comes "Thoughtfulness". The higher your social position, the more important it becomes for you to care about others. "Sincerity" and "Thoughtfulness" will be a prime mover to gain "Trust" from those around you. Then, you can take a big step toward realizing your dreams and aspirations.
Finally, I wish each of you to be a leader in your chosen field, and to create a bright society with confidence and pride built on the expertise and education you gained in Chiba University.
Again, congratulations for your fantastic achievements, and good luck on your bright future!
Be sincere in everything and be thoughtful of others. Be sincere and be thoughtful. Thank you.
September 28th, 2018
President, Chiba University