Ever since assuming the leadership of the University of Tokyo, I’ve wanted to share my thoughts and activities as president with members of the university, as well as the larger community outside our institution. With my research field being connected to the ocean, I’d always kept a log during my time conducting surveys and being out at sea. Now, having embarked on my journey as UTokyo’s skipper, I would like to share with all of you my record of this latest voyage, through the UTokyo President’s Log.
Teruo Fujii, 31st President of the University of Tokyo
UTokyo PLog #2022-E-02
Date & Time: October 22, 2022
Location: Showa Women’s University
Latitude/Longitude: 35°38'40.3"N / 139°40'36.5"E Open in Google Maps
I spoke at the “Girls be ambitious!: Set your sights on the sciences” symposium at Showa Women’s University in Tokyo. Bearing in mind the status quo, leading experts from various fields joined in the discussion on how we can enable women to shine in all areas, through the lens of acquiring skills and knowledge in the sciences.
UTokyo PLog #2022-UT-03
Date & Time: October 15, 2022
Location: Hongo Campus
Latitude/Longitude: 35°42'48.3"N / 139°45'44.2"E Open in Google Maps
I participated in the 21st Homecoming Day festivities. Alumni and their families, fans of UTokyo, and people from neighboring communities gather on campus on this day. I delivered an address at four events, including the Graduation Anniversary Ceremony for alumni celebrating their 10th, 20th, 30th, 40th or 50th class reunion.
I met a couple life-size likenesses (cutouts) of myself by the UTokyo Foundation booth.
UTokyo PLog #2022-G-03
Date & Time: October 12, 2022
Location: Helen & Martin Kimmel Center for University Life, NYU, New York
Latitude/Longitude: 40°43'47.8"N / 73°59'52.2"W Open in Google Maps
I participated in the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit 2022 at New York University. Many leaders in higher education gathered from around the world to attend the event, which had moved online for the last few meetings due to COVID concerns and was held in person for the first time since 2018.
I sat as a panelist on the parallel session “Shaping the trajectory of consumer demand for institutions,” where I spoke about the environment surrounding Japanese universities and the initiatives undertaken by UTokyo.
UTokyo PLog #2022-UT-02
Date & Time: October 7, 2022
Location: UTokyo Yaesu Academic Commons
Latitude/Longitude: 35°40'45.9"N / 139°46'08.2"E Open in Google Maps
I attended the opening ceremony of the second term of the Smart City School, a program of the Graduate School of Frontier Sciences. The day also marked the launch of UTokyo Yaesu Academic Commons, a new satellite center opened on the 4th floor of Tokyo Midtown Yaesu, a new business and commercial building complex in the heart of the city, next to Tokyo Station.
In order to nurture leaders of smart cities, the program’s intensive curriculum offers participants the opportunity to learn the essence of smart cities and acquire the thinking and knowledge necessary to become agents of digital transformation (DX), through lectures and discussions led by UTokyo faculty, hands-on introduction to advanced technology at cutting-edge research sites and on-site visits to case studies at the forefront of smart city advancement.
Following the Smart City School initiative, UTokyo plans to offer other programs for working people. We hope the students of the Yaesu Academic Commons will utilize the skills they acquired to solve problems and shape the agenda, to steer society toward prosperity, while bearing in mind the well-being of all. UTokyo will endeavor to involve ourselves further to work together in realizing such a future.
UTokyo PLog #2022-G-02
Date & Time: October 2-3, 2022
Location: Kyoto International Conference Center
Latitude/Longitude: 35°03'43.0"N / 135°46'59.1"E Open in Google Maps
I participated in the Science and Technology in Society forum (STS forum) 2022 annual meeting held at the Kyoto International Conference Center. It was the organization’s first on site event since the COVID outbreak. Leaders of corporations, university and educational institutions, and governments from around the world gathered to discuss social issues and the problems facing science and technology today.
I served as chair of the University Presidents’ Meeting comprising university presidents from across the globe. We divided into groups and discussed the role universities should play at a time when the world is facing various crises, from pandemic to war, and shared our views on various perspectives.
I also chaired a plenary session, joined by Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) Minister Keiko Nagaoka and other expert panelists from Japan and abroad, to discuss breaking silos in research and share our views on how interdisciplinary research can be conducted effectively. Our discourse was followed by a Q&A session with the audience. Opinions representing multiple viewpoints were exchanged, reaffirming the importance of interdisciplinary perspectives in research.
UTokyo PLog #2022-E-01
Date & Time: September 28, 2022
Location: Research Bldg. (S Block), Komaba Research Campus
Latitude/Longitude: 35°39'37.3"N / 139°40'37.7"E Open in Google Maps
It has been a year since we announced UTokyo Compass, a statement of the guiding principles of the University of Tokyo. Under the title “Into a Sea of Diversity: Creating the Future through Dialogue,” it describes the ideals to which our university should aspire and the direction we should take.
To discuss our progress and future direction through reflection on the past year, we invited members of the media for an informal gathering to engage in dialogue — a key tenet of UTokyo Compass.
The meeting proved very fruitful with opinions exchanged on a wide range of topics, from the university's diversity and inclusion and green transformation (GX) initiatives, to the link between junior high and high school students' studies and university education, international exchange activities of students and researchers, and the leadup to UTokyo’s 150th anniversary in 2027.
UTokyo PLog #2022-G-01
Date & Time: September 12, 2022
Location: Equitable Building, New York
Latitude/Longitude: 40°42'30.4"N / 74°00'38.6"W Open in Google Maps
UTokyo is a member of a consortium led by Northeastern University in Boston, which has joined a global competition to build the Center for Climate Solutions, a research and education hub on Governors Island in New York, aimed at combating and proposing solutions to climate change.
Fellow team members gathered to prepare for the afternoon presentation.
I took part with other team members in our presentation to officials of New York City, which manages the island, and the Governors Island Trust. (President Joseph E. Aoun of Northeastern University and I pose for a picture here.) I pray our team makes it through to the competition’s final round.
UTokyo PLog #2022-UT-01
Date & Time: September 10, 2022
Location: Ito Hall
Latitude/Longitude: 35°42'36.6"N / 139°45'37.5"E Open in Google Maps
Sept. 10, 2022. Attended graduation ceremony of UTokyo EMP’s most recent class (Round 26). The University of Tokyo Executive Management Program (UTokyo EMP) was established in 2008 as an educational curriculum for working professionals, to nurture them to become pioneering leaders with the capability of shaping the agenda for the next generation. The program draws on UTokyo’s extensive academic resources and its students comprise highly motivated, talented individuals from not only large corporations, but also small and midsize companies, startups, government agencies and professional service firms, among other entities.
This year, I was very happy to be able to hand out the certificates in person to each student completing the program. During the past two academic years, 2020 and 2021 (EMP Rounds 22-25), I was only able to hand the certificate to the student representative, due to COVID restrictions.
UTokyo EMP alumni now number over 600, including the 15 students who recently completed the program. We will continue to enhance the program and cultivate individuals who will contribute to our world’s future.