Congratulatory messages for graduates of March 2020
Last Update : 2020-04-20 14:33
Congratulatory messages for graduates of March 2020
(Undergraduate Schools, Advanced Training Course for Maritime Science and Technology, and Graduate School)
Congratulations on your graduation! May I also congratulate your parents and all of the people who have provided you with support and guidance at all times.
First of all, I must apologize for the fact that we were compelled to cancel the commencement ceremony for this academic year to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As the commencement ceremony is an important milestone in your life, we did consider holding a scaled-down or shortened version of it. However, as we thought about how to prevent the spread of the infection in and outside Japan and how to allow our students to start their new life with a sense of security in April, we decided to call off the ceremony. We greatly appreciate the understanding of students and all persons concerned.
Although the ceremony was cancelled, we are publishing my address, on behalf of TUMSAT, as well as a congratulatory message from Dr. Tabata, chairman of Rakusuikai, on our website.
In each of the last few years, many disasters have occurred. Last year, Typhoon Faxai struck in September, primarily hitting the Boso Peninsula in Chiba Prefecture. Subsequently, in October, Typhoon Hagibis struck an extensive area stretching from the Kanto and Koshinetsu regions to the Tohoku region, and Typhoon Bualoi combined with a low-pressure system to produce record heavy rainfall, devastating areas that had already been affected by earlier disasters. I heard that our students and their families did not suffer significant damage, but worry that their relatives might have suffered. I would like to express my heartfelt sympathy to those affected.
Now, I would like to once again congratulate you on your graduation. You have engaged in studies in the marine, maritime, fisheries, and other related fields at our university. To those who have graduated from an undergraduate school, have you learned as much as you wanted? To those who have completed the advanced training course, has the long-term on-board training helped you to become more mature? To those who have completed a graduate school course, have you released the findings of your original study to the world? And to all graduating students, have you made good friends? I hope you all feel happy to have studied at TUMSAT.
Let me share a little of what I wrote for the TUMSAT student magazine, Takumi.
Dr. Akira Yoshino, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry last year, developed lithium-ion batteries. As they are repeatedly rechargeable, lightweight and high-power, these batteries in recent years have been used for electric vehicles, bringing us closer to achieving a society that is not dependent on fossil fuels.
Meanwhile, TUMSAT built Raicho I, the world's first quick-charging battery-powered electric boat in the spring of 2010. Using the lithium-ion batteries developed by Dr. Yoshino and his colleagues and a propulsion motor, the boat is a low-noise, low-vibration, high-power, fast-charging vessel with no exhaust or CO2 emissions during navigation. Raicho I was developed through the tremendous efforts of teachers at the School of Marine Technology and a lot of time went into putting it to practical use. The timeline is as follows. An experimental private-sector boat for sightseeing was built in 2014. Five years later, in 2019, it began to be used for commercial purposes, starting with a proposal from the town of Mihama in Fukui Prefecture to use it as a sightseeing vessel. Ten years had passed since construction began.
As this case demonstrates, new development and commercialization requires a lot of time. Some of you may have played a part in such research and development, not necessarily up to commercialization. You will have to make far-sighted, steady efforts in your future research in the workforce or academia. Please keep in mind the need to help manufacturing in the future.
Let me send you off with a farewell gift in the form of words of wisdom from Yataro Iwasaki, who established the Mitsubishi Nautical School, the predecessor of the TUMSAT School of Marine Technology: "Even if you watch the bottom of the river all day, you will not catch any fish. Even if a whole school of fish happen to swim by, you will not catch any with your bare hands, being unprepared. Fish will come when they choose, not at your invitation. Therefore, if you want to catch fish, you must always prepare a net. The same applies to catching opportunities in life."
When you aspire to accomplishing anything after you join the workforce or start conducting research at an institution of higher learning, I would invite you to occasionally remember his words, and always be prepared to seize a chance when it comes.
With a view to the future development of the marine AI industry, TUMSAT started the Doctoral Program for World-leading Innovative & Smart Education (WISE Program) last year, and, as the core of the program, established the Marine AI Development and Evaluation Center (MAIDEC), which will start to accept graduate students this April. The program will extensively carry out comprehensive AI-based education and research in the marine, maritime and fishery industries, such as the development of autonomous navigation ships as demanded by the marine industry, oceanographic observation based on artificial satellites and Argo float data, genome information analysis of aquatic life, evaluation and management of fishery resources, and creation of a next-generation smart fisheries industry. From academic year 2022, the program will accept working professionals in its doctoral course. Further, in academic year 2026, a five-year doctoral course in marine industry data science (tentative name) will be set up.
If you are placed in charge of AI-related areas in the future, please enroll in our graduate school to acquire more skills and improve yourself. In doing so, you may embody the concept of so-called "recurrent education."
Also as part of recurrent education, our Master's Course on Safety Management in the Food Supply Chain offers a vocational capability development program, providing classes primarily at night and on Saturdays and Sundays. With the recent designation by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare as a specialized practical training course, preferential treatment is now available. You should definitely take advantage of it if you undertake the program.
Lastly, I would encourage all of you to rely on your teachers, who provided guidance as you wrote your thesis, and your alumni organizations, Kaiyokai and Rakusuikai, anytime you have concerns or find yourself at a standstill. Alumni are your fellow travelers and are willing to help you anytime. If you have not joined an alumni organization, please take this opportunity to do so.
I hope you will be far-sighted and always prepared, and will play an active role in Japan and around the globe. Please try to overcome the various difficulties associated with COVID-19 and live a wonderful life. I wish all of you many blessings.
March 25, 2020
Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology
My name is Tabata, the chairman of Rakusuikai. On behalf of the alumni organization, I would like to congratulate you all in person, but to my deep regret this year's commencement ceremony was unavoidably cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You have my sympathy.
Today, I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to all of you who are graduating from TUMSAT completed the required undergraduate or graduate courses.
May I offer my congratulations also to your family, who have long waited for this day with a great happiness.
Nine years have already passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake. Let me express my heartfelt sympathy to TUMSAT alumni who have had or still having hard time in restoring fisheries or other business suffered from the disaster.
Now, some of you will go to work while some will go on to graduate school to continue your studies. Graduating from university is at the same time the starting of the next chapter in your life toward new goal. Under dramatic progressing of the globalization and informatization, the 21st-century society in which all of you will play a role is facing various challenges, such as climate change, energy, food, and environmental issues. Especially in Japan, we have issues of declining birthrate and demographic aging and so on.
Under the circumstance, demands for innovation to solve these issues have been increasing one after another. It is not an exaggeration to say that we are entering a phase of major change.
Meanwhile, you are entering super smart society that uses ICT and IoT to collect big data and makes decisions with the help of AI, a society that powerfully promotes what we say Society 5.0 toward its achievement.
The United Nations has set the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, comprising 17 comprehensive goals and 169 targets, that the entire world achieves by 2030.
It declares universal, major goals for us such as Goal 13 referring to climate action, which requires to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, and Goal 14 referring to conservation and sustainable use of marine resources.
In regard of the Japan's Third Basic Plan on Ocean Policy, the promotion of the industrial use of the oceans and development of human resources in marine sector have been set out as one of its major measures. TUMSAT is taking advanced initiatives in response to various needs in the changing times.
As one of such initiatives, TUMSAT's program named "the Doctoral Program for World-leading Innovative & Smart Education (WISE Program) for the development of AI professionals in the marine industry", was successfully adopted in a scholarship project funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and it will start in April 2020. Aiming to develop workers who will contribute to creating new industries, the doctoral program will provide working professionals with a fantastic opportunity to further improve their expertise with recurrent education and so on.
At the time I graduated from TUMSAT, the Basic Act for Environmental Pollution Control was enacted. Pollution and environmental issues were then emerging across Japan. There was great demand for applying the wisdom of specialized engineers to address issues starting with marine pollution.
Since graduating from TUMSAT, I, as an environmental consultant, have consistently worked on meeting the demands of the society by using the knowledge I acquired from undergraduate and graduate studies.
Today, Japan must overcome the three crises of global warming, resource waste, and ecosystem destruction, and must comprehensively achieve a low-carbon & recycling-based economy and society in harmony with nature, which together comprise a sustainable society.
Internationally, the Paris Agreement set the "2-degree Celsius goal", a long-term universal goal to keep global temperature rise from the level of pre-industrial era below 2 degrees Celsius. To that end, Japan has committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26% by 2030 and by 80% by 2050.
To achieve these goals, we need a major shift in policy regarding social and economic systems and new technological innovation.
Imagine what the world will be by 2030 and by 2050.
It appears that we are living in a very harsh world. Looking at it from another perspective, however, these times may provide terrific opportunities to young people like you. I, with confident would say that the young energy will become a powerful driving force in these fields and that the knowledge acquired at TUMSAT will be counted on by the society, and you will dramatically grow toward the fruitful future.
As a senior alumnus, I would like to give you the next three advices.
One. Time flies like an arrow. Time passes so quickly. I want each of you to set your own goal, identify issues, and keep self-development to solve them. Recurrent education may be an option. Create innovation and take actions in the changing times.
Two. Implement Plan-Do-Check-Act cycles, or PDCA cycles, and strive to get a perfect score in work. An uncut gem does not sparkle. Once you start working, no mistake is allowed. Following the mind of this proverb, I always say, "Is it right? Check the work and take action." Please keep the words in mind and accomplish perfect works.
Three. In social life, I want you to become a person who communicates well, that is, someone who reports, contacts, and consults. Here is another proverb "He who asks a question is a fool for a minute; he who does not remains a fool forever." Exchanging information via email is important, but I would suggest you to first discuss things face-to-face or over phone. It will give you an opportunity to become aware of new things. In the process, you will create new friendships and earn trust, which will naturally facilitate your work and studies.
Lastly, Rakusuikai, which I serve as chairman, will celebrate its centenary next year. Since its incorporation in 1921, the organization has contributed to the advancement and development of the fisheries industry. The alumni newsletter, Rakusuikai-shi, was first published in 1891.
Meanwhile, Kaiyokai was incorporated in 1920, and has since contributed to the development of maritime studies. Both organizations have supported student life at TUMSAT and contributed to the development of the respective industries. I would ask you to have confidence and pride, further deepen your sense of connection to your alma mater, and from now-on, please support TUMSAT and junior alumni as member of the alumni organization. Whenever you have a problem or concern, please feel free to visit Rakusuikai and/or Kaiyokai. I am sure you will find a good solution.
I sincerely congratulate you for embarking on a new chapter in your life. I wish your health and continued success in the society or in the academic world.
I would like to conclude by quoting the words of Yozan Uesugi, one of the distinguished lords who reigned in the middle of the Edo Period: "If you try, you can accomplish; never will you accomplish unless you try. This is true for of all things. Not accomplishing is the result of not trying." These words of wisdom are my personal motto.
Congratulations again and thank you all.
March 25, 2020