18 March 2011
I would like to express my sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones in the Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Earthquake Disaster. My deepest sympathies go to those who have been overwhelmed with grief following the loss of families, relatives, and friends, to those who have been injured, and to those who have lost the source of their livelihood. At the same time, I would like to express my great respect for those who, in such a grave situation, are striving to overcome the many difficulties they face, finding strength in their own spirit or by joining hands with others to draw upon their collective courage.
I am sure that the members of staff attending to their duties and the students diligently engaged in their studies at the University of Tokyo share my sentiments. However, I fear that the vast amount of information being distributed by newspapers and television and available on the Internet may be causing people to experience exhausting mood swings from moment to moment, ranging from depression to unnaturally elevated energy levels, and this may be exaggerated by the tendency to be upset by rumors.
I ask everyone working and studying at the University of Tokyo, while carefully monitoring the situation, to transform your deep concern into supporting immediate action, such as offering relief aid and medical services, and into applying your knowledge to alleviate the severe conditions in the devastated areas. I ask you to continue with your education, studies, and research, to develop the knowledge that will provide the foundations for people to rebuild their lives and communities. The long-term impact of the earthquake on the Japanese economy and people's lives is a matter of serious concern. The key to rebuilding society can be found in the knowledge we generate and learn each day.
The measures taken by the University of Tokyo for the Great Tohoku-Kanto Earthquake Disaster will be protracted given the unpredictable aftershocks and the uncertain status of nuclear power plants in the area. In addition to the immediate measures currently underway, the University will devise a sequence of countermeasures from the medium- and long-term perspective. I hope staff members and students will verify all information being disseminated responsibly by the University, while at the same time paying careful attention to their own physical and mental well-being and acting appropriately as members of the University.
The University of Tokyo