Congratulatory Message from the President to Students Enrolled in April 2020

Last Update : 2020-04-27 10:52

This page is not a machine translation.

Congratulatory Message from the President to Students Enrolled in April 2020



I would like to congratulate all of you enrolled in the Schools, the Advanced Training Course for Maritime Science and Technology and the Graduate School of

Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT) and also the students of the University's Advanced Onboard Training Course for Mercantile Marine who have already been receiving onboard training or are currently preparing for onboard training.

I would also like to congratulate your supporters including your families who have given so much support to you.

This year is the Year of the Rat, which is the first sign of the 12 animal signs of the zodiac and is said to imply a state in which a new life is being born in a seed. Indeed, this year is a year in which you are making a great start and I think you are excited at the beginning of your campus life.

First of all, I apologize for the cancellation of the enrollment ceremony for this academic year. Because of the continued spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we were unable to hold the ceremony, for which I feel truly sorry. However, we decided to cancel it giving first priority to the health and safety of all of you and all those related to you, and I hope you can understand this decision.

Looking back, when I entered Tokyo University of Fisheries, one of the predecessors of TUMSAT 51 years ago in 1969, there was no enrollment ceremony held for us new students due to the student protests on the campus , and at that time the university was literally on lockdown. The situation differs between that time and today, but the fact that this coincidence has occurred now, in the last year of my term as President, makes me feel a sense of closeness with you. Even now I regret that the ceremony was not held at that time and I therefore feel very sorry for making you have a similar experience.

Although the ceremony itself was cancelled, I wanted to express our heartfelt congratulations on your enrollment, together with all our faculty members. I have therefore decided to give the following message to you on behalf of TUMSAT through this website of the University, on which you will also find a congratulatory message from Koichi Muto, who is a member of the University's Administrative Council and a video message from Sakana-kun, a visiting associate professor at TUMSAT and a recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University. I hope you will also view their messages.

TUMSAT was established in October 2003 by the merger of two universities: Tokyo University of Mercantile Marine and Tokyo University of Fisheries, both of which were traditional schools founded more than 130 years ago.

Tokyo University of Mercantile Marine was established by Yataro Iwasaki, founder of the Mitsubishi Zaibatsu group as Mitsubishi Nautical School. Subsequently this private school became a national school and was renamed "Tokyo Nautical School" and then "Tokyo Nautical College." In 1957, the school became Tokyo University of Mercantile Marine, and this year marks the 145th anniversary of the foundation of the school.

Tokyo University of Fisheries was initially established as Suisan Denshu-jo (Fisheries Training School) by the Japan Fisheries Association and then became "Suisan Koshu-jo (Imperial Fisheries Institute)" of the Agriculture and Trade Ministry. Subsequently in 1949 the institute was transformed into Tokyo University of Fisheries through the university reform undertaken in 1949. This year marks the 132nd anniversary of the foundation of the school.

TUMSAT has succeeded the traditions of these two universities and also their unique features and characteristics, and as Japan's only university dedicated to oceanography and related studies, the University is conducting education and research based on its motto, "Voices from the Ocean," endeavoring to play a central role for the development of Japan as a maritime nation.

Now let me brief you a bit on "Vision 2027--Seeking New Frontiers in Marine Science and Technology," which TUMSAT announced in 2015. We formulated this vision with the aim of sharing our medium- to long-term policies for the University to become a center for education and research in the marine science and technology fields, which will become increasing important for Japan as a maritime nation; evolve into a university with a strong reputation in Japan and overseas for its standards and originality, and become a leading player in the search for new frontiers in marine science and technology with a strong commitment to developing human resources who can create new industries for the future in these fields. As a result of annually examining the results of the activities conducted in line with this vision over the past three years, we have confirmed that we have implemented many of the items set out in the vision as planned but have also found that there are some duplications regarding the items and some points to be improved. Moreover, in order to make responses to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030 and the Third Basic Plan on Ocean Policy determined by the Cabinet in 2018, we formulated the action plan for "Vision 2027 Version 2" last year to make further progress toward the vision, for which it is critical for us to receive proactive support from the faculty, students and alumni and also receive kind support from the supporters of students.

Also, our program to foster the development of AI professionals for marine industries was adopted as a Doctoral Program for World-leading Innovative & Smart Education (WISE Program) last year. Under this program we will foster education and research in an extensive manner by using AI in a range of marine fields including maritime and fisheries fields and specifically on themes including developing autonomous ships required by the marine industry, making oceanographic observations by using artificial satellites and Argo float data, analyzing genome information of aquatic life, evaluating and managing marine resources, and building the next-generation smart fisheries industry. We will start the program as a five-year program of the Graduate School this April and will establish a "course on data science for the marine industries (temporary name)" in academic year 2026. This program is in line with the policies set in Vision 2027: Promote "high-quality education that meets international standards" and "original, world-leading educational programs in marine science and technology" and "Develop human resources to support top-class research in the future." In the program we aim to make full use of our strengths so that we can contribute to the further development of the marine industries, including the maritime and fisheries industries, in 10 to 20 years' time.

Moreover, this academic year, we will establish a research institute for aquatic reproduction technologies with a view to applying the technology to culture and proliferate germ stem cells of fish species, the cryopreservation technology and the ontogenetic development technology based on the use of surrogate parents for the mass production of fish seeds targeting a range of expensive and high-quality fish species. Through this institute, we will also protect and preserve endangered fish species, and work to contribute to the creation of new industries. It will be the first research institute for TUMSAT and represents one of the initiatives implemented by the University by making use of its strengths.

I strongly believe that the program implemented as a WISE Program and the establishment of the research institute will surely contribute to further development of TUMSAT.

Now let me introduce a famous saying of Masao Horiba, the entrepreneur who developed the Horiba pH Meter, whom I think you know of if you have ever used a pH meter in a chemical experiment. He was said to be a pioneer in terms of student ventures. The late Mr. Horiba said as follows: "A stake that sticks out gets hammered down but a stake that sticks out a lot will not be hammered down. A stake that does not or will not stick out might stay there in comfort but will eventually get rotten." This saying is often quoted to give an encouraging message to someone who is facing difficult interpersonal relations but can be cited also in many other situations. When you study or conduct research, I want you to "stick out a lot" to become No. 1 in the field. As I said, TUMSAT is implementing several initiatives by making use of its strengths and I hope that you will individually acquire strong points at the University and make use of them to take further steps forward.

Finally, let me introduce the TUMSAT Fellowship Association, which we founded in April 2018. It is composed of "all TUMSAT members": the University's students, graduate students, alumni, alumni associations, circles and faculty members as well as international students studying on a short-term basis at the University and supporters of students including their parents. Through this association, we will enhance the system to support the University, build new collaboration and cooperation systems, promote globalization, and foster cooperation with local communities and between the government, academia and industries including the financial industry. We will thereby pave the way to "seek new frontiers in marine science and technology" with members of the association. Membership is free of charge, and I would like you to register with the association and log in to its online system by referring to the University's website and brochure on the association.

Please learn steadily and proactively at TUMSAT in line with the University's philosophy and human resource development goals and through the educational programs implemented by the University to achieve its educational and research targets. By doing so, I believe that you will develop yourself into human resources who have spiritual strength and self-confidence backed by your own developed abilities and will be able to overcome difficulties faced in the 21st century. At the University, please make good friends with lots of people and obtain the knowledge required in society so that you can take on challenges with great foresight and power of imagination and demonstrate your abilities in the future.

Now let us row out to sea to "seek new frontiers in marine science and technology"! 


April 7, 2020
Dr. Toshio Takeuchi 
Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology

Congratulatory Message to Students Enrolled in Academic Year 2020

(Koichi Muto,Member of the Administrative Council)

I would like to give my congratulations to you all, including those who have realized their long-cherished desire of studying at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT) as well as those who have proceeded to the Advanced Training Course for Maritime Science and Technology, the Advanced Onboard Training Course for Mercantile Marine, and the Graduate School of the University. I would also like to congratulate your families. I feel very sorry that the enrollment ceremony was canceled, but it is truly necessary for us to proactively take preventive measures against the spread of the novel coronavirus, which is now a global issue, thereby protecting your health. Let us hope for the earliest return of the world to its normal status and behave appropriately to this end.

I serve as a member of the University's Administrative Council and also as a special advisor to Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. I used to be the president and chairman of this maritime shipping company.

Based on the experience that I built up in my past career, I would like to talk about what I expect of you and what I want you to keep in mind from social and economic viewpoints.

Once in the past, Japan was widely admired as a country to emulate, as evidenced by the publication of "Japan as Number One" in 1979, because of its robust economy, but before you were born, the country had entered the age called the "Lost 30 years" or the period of stagnant economic growth. As a result, Japan dropped to 26th place in the world in terms of per-capita GDP while it had once been in fourth place in the ranking, and accordingly, it has fallen behind other developed countries and its global profile is diminished.

This is due to the decreased population, drop in the birthrate, aging and other structural problems faced by the country and also because of its failure to keep up with the world in terms of the trends of globalization and digitization and in the reform of the country and companies.

In response, the national government and companies have upheld "Society 5.0" as a concept to revitalize Japan and are making efforts toward this goal. Based on the concept, the country will build a system that fuses cyber and digital space with physical and real things in an advanced manner to solve social issues while achieving economic growth toward the creation of a new society in the future. On the international front, the United Nations is leading the initiatives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which comprise 17 goals for the creation of a more sustainable future. These goals include the elimination of hunger, poverty and inequalities, protection of the global environment, and establishment of infrastructure for industries and technological innovations. The SDGs are thus designed for the solution of global issues and Japan's "Society 5.0" concept is aligned with the SDGs.

The world is moving amid this sweeping trend, and TUMSAT cannot remain unaffected by the trend. Rather, more than being affected, the University is greatly expected to make contributions to the achievement of the aforementioned goals.

Needless to say, TUMSAT specializes in oceanography and related studies and is known as a globally unique university with high expertise built based on its motto, "Voices from the Ocean." I am sure that many of you have selected the University with a strong desire to conduct studies in the field, and there are few who happened to choose it without any specific reasons. Oceans indeed provide infinite possibilities in the pursuit of happiness by humankind toward the future.

The sea is a physical thing and is indispensable for the existence of humankind. If the area of its Exclusive Economic Zones is included, Japan has the sixth largest ocean area in the world, and the effective use of the sea is expected to provide the country with a foundation for its future growth.

In order to develop this vast frontier and become an innovative maritime nation, the Japanese government enacted the Basic Act on Ocean Policy and has been implementing measures based on this law.

Surrounded by the sea, the livelihoods of Japanese people and the economic growth of the country have long been supported by the blessings of the sea. Entering this century, the importance of the sea has been further increasing and attracting much attention globally. For example, the development and use of ocean resources are being fostered by each country, and the exploitation of mineral resources, such as rare metals and rare earth minerals from the bottom of the sea has started on a full scale, in addition to the development of oil and natural gas reserves deep under the seabed. Moreover, offshore wind power generation and the development of renewable energy using waves, ocean currents and tides are being promoted across the world. Also, in the fishing field, large-scale aquaculture and research to secure foodstuffs without fully depending on the blessings of nature are being widely conducted.

The utilization of the sea is being promoted even in the Arctic Ocean, but toward the future, ocean development should be conducted by giving due consideration to the protection of the sea, for which it is necessary to advance research to make effective use of the sea in an environment-friendly manner.

Recently the world has tended to pay too much attention to the digital field, and the progress of AI, big data, 5G and 6G will indeed greatly change our processes. However, the sea, which is the target of studies conducted at TUMSAT, as well as its blessings will continue to be indispensable for the survival of humankind, and the blessings are physical products such as foodstuffs and energy and the development of industries such as the logistics industry.

We cannot eat digital things or strengthen our physical abilities by e-sport. Also, e-commerce would be impossible without the providers of transportation services. It is therefore necessary to make use of both physical and digital things in combination.

And it is people that make combined use of these things and it is therefore of utmost importance to develop and secure human resources who can make such use of them. TUMSAT is at the forefront of human resource development, and it is not an exaggeration to say that the future of Japan's maritime industry depends on you, who will study at this University. As a representative of the business world, I have great expectations for and am confident about the activities conducted by the University.

You had been trained to give answers to the questions that had answers until entering the Schools of TUMSAT, but from now on you need to find problems and solve them by yourselves while learning basic knowledge at the University. "Develop resources while also protecting the global environment." To apparently contradictory targets like these, you need to find out the optimal answer by devising appropriate measures, and this is indeed the ability that is most required by society and the business world.

Those belonging to older age groups like myself should not impose heavy responsibilities on youth, but we do need the power of young people to recover from the "Lost 30 years."

For example, for the achievements made by Nobel Prize winners, the achievements were often based on the ideas that the laureates had hit upon when they were young. Moreover, many U.S. companies ranked in the top class in terms of market value were founded and have been developed into what they are today by students or young people in their 20s based on their creative ideas, and these include Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, which are now collectively called "GAFA." In the field of sports as well, younger generations are demonstrating outstanding abilities. Young people have a great driving force, and Japanese companies are trying to change their corporate structures to make better use of this force.

Young people are also expected to display their abilities not only in Japan but also across the globe. Japan is in need of a greater number of young global human resources.

Before ending my message, I would like to give you some advice. You can find your lifelong friends in your school days. Friends from your school days, with whom you can talk about anything with no conflicts of interest are really precious, as you will face a range of difficult interpersonal relationships when working in society. Please therefore try to make friends with lots of people and lead a meaningful campus life at the University. I also expect that you will keep good relationships with these friends for many years in the future.

Now let me conclude my congratulatory message by hoping that you will develop your abilities at TUMSAT to work on a global scale in the future. Congratulations!


【Video】To New Students of Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT)(Sakana-kun, recipient of an honorary doctorate from TUMSAT and visiting associate professor at the University)


We have received this congratulatory illustration from Sakana-kun! (Click to enlarge the image.)

We will introduce this illustration to new students also by posting the image on the bulletin boards at the Shinagawa and Etchujima Campuses when classes start at the campuses (slated for May).

There is a quiz on fish given in the illustration. Please enlarge the image to see the quiz.

Back to Index