Commencement Speech at Chiba University Commencement 2019
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 academic 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 the economic development of emerging countries such as China and India. There has been a rise of populist politicians and political parties who prioritize the 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. 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 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." It is nurtured by everyone's effort in the process of working as a professional in society.
If you want to be a leader in the future, please think about how you can enhance your Ningen-ryoku through your daily work. However, to improve Ningen-ryoku in daily activities, it is hard to understand what you should do. So, I will tell you what I have been trying to do for the development of my Ningen-ryoku.
It is the effort to be "Sincere" in everything you do and to everybody you meet, and to continue to stay "Fair and Selfless" in decision making. The effort leads to gaining trust from the people around you and to increasing your Ningen-ryoku. The more critical your position is, the more important it is to keep the effort. Please improve your Ningen-ryoku by making the same effort as I have done.
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 on your fantastic achievements, and good luck in your bright future!
Be Sincere. Stay Fair and Selfless. Thank you.
September 27th, 2019
President, Chiba University