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Message from the President

Makoto Gonokami, Ph.D.

In the midst of rapid globalization, the presence of problems that should be tackled by humankind as a whole, including the depletion of natural resources, damage to the environment, world financial insecurity and poverty, is becoming ever more apparent. Handling such global-scale issues requires that a wide range of people share their knowledge and subsequently utilize their shared knowledge to cooperate and take action. Cultivating the talented individuals who will take the lead in this sharing and utilization of knowledge is the most important duty of the University of Tokyo. In this regard, we must never cease to face challenges with courage, wisdom and a sense of responsibility.

The driving force in developing these knowledge professionals is, needless to say, learning that is among the most outstanding in the world. I would particularly like for students who have their hearts set on learning, as well as young researchers, to experience the excitement and joy of knowledge at the forefront of research. I want them to use that experience as a source of intellectual nourishment that reinforces within them the willingness to develop themselves significantly. I believe that to have the University of Tokyo serve as a place for these experiences would not only meet the expectations of the public who have entrusted the University with their support but also contribute to human society as a whole.

Since its foundation, the University of Tokyo has served as an academic base for fusing Western with Eastern cultures, developing academic disciplines unique in the world and conveying knowledge gained from them to the international community. Carrying on this tradition while at the same time planning for the future, I will create a “global base for knowledge collaboration,” which will connect the quest for knowledge with the utilization of knowledge and attract a diverse array of people from around the world. At this base, I would like to develop new academic disciplines that go beyond national, cultural and generational boundaries and transcend the existing areas of study known as the humanities and the sciences. Moreover, I want to promote activities that will facilitate cooperation between organizations in industry, government and academia. In order to realize these plans, the University will first establish Graduate Schools that proactively engage in the pioneering of new academic disciplines that are interdisciplinary in nature and combine both excellence and international-mindedness.

We will press forward with academics that contribute to the peace and welfare of all society and humankind, as stated in the University of Tokyo Charter. To do so, in these modern times when the face of society is changing at an accelerated rate, it is necessary to equip ourselves with the flexibility to respond to the demands of these times. While adhering steadfastly to what should be preserved as tradition, system-wide reform is imperative. As I firmly establish the progress on the undergraduate educational reforms that has heretofore been carried out, I will also work towards a fundamental reevaluation of our Graduate Schools, which play a main role in the training of knowledge professionals and the creation of new value. At the same time, the implementation of a personnel management system that reflects gender equality, employs more young people while making the best use of their abilities, and that supports both mobility and stability is a task of the highest importance to me. In order to make progress on these reforms, we must raise society’s level of trust in science and academia. The foundation of this trust is built on the thorough enforcement of research ethics and standards as well as the strengthening of functions that facilitate collaboration between industry and academia, both of which are urgent tasks that we now face.

By progressing with these kinds of reforms, I am determined to make the University of Tokyo a university that is regarded as indispensable to the Japanese people and to the entire world; a University of Tokyo that is loved by all.

The University of Tokyo