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UTokyo President’s Log

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

June 2023

UTokyo PLog #2023-UT-10

Date & Time: June 27, 2023 
Location: Nuclear Professional School, Graduate School of Engineering
Latitude/Longitude:  36°27'48.4"N / 140°35'58.1"E Open in Google Maps別ウィンドウで開く

I visited the Nuclear Professional School campus located in the village of Tokai in Ibaraki Prefecture (about 115 kilometers northeast of Tokyo), where I took a tour and conducted a management review of the nuclear facility belonging to the Graduate School of Engineering.


The management review, as stipulated by law and regulations, is carried out perodically to evaluate the quality management system to ensure appropriate safety control of nuclear facilities.
While touring the facility, I was briefed on its operation management system and future activity plans.


UTokyo will continue to take measures to ensure appropriate safety control and effective quality management of our nuclear facilities.



UTokyo PLog #2023-UT-09

Date & Time: June 9, 2023 
Location: MM Hall, 21KOMCEE West, Komaba I Campus
Latitude/Longitude:  35°39'39.5"N / 139°41'09.5"E Open in Google Maps別ウィンドウで開く

I participated in UTokyo Sustainability Talks 2023, an event organized by UTokyo Sustainable Network, a student group involved in environmental and sustainability-related activities.


I heard the speakers talk about their intriguing initiatives related to the promotion of green transformation. I am very proud of the UTokyo members working proactively to promote green transformation.


At a social gathering following the talks, I had a good time talking to students about daily student life.



May 2023

UTokyo PLog #2023-E-08

Date & Time: May 31, 2023 
Location: Yasuda Auditorium, Hongo Campus
Latitude/Longitude:  35°42'48.3"N / 139°45'44.2"E Open in Google Maps別ウィンドウで開く

UTokyo and the Financial Services Agency signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement with the aim of amassing advanced academic and practical knowledge on financial markets and financial regulation.

We held a press conference on the occasion of the signing of the agreement, which is the first of its kind between the government agency and our university.


The tie-up would allow various efforts that would draw on the interchange between the FSA’s vast trove of current and relevant data and UTokyo’s knowledge transcending academic boundaries, to be carried out smoothly. As a univeristy with a global reach to serve the public, we seek to contribute to building a better society by collaborating with the FSA to inquire and probe, and carefully ascertaining effects and impacts on society.



UTokyo PLog #2023-UT-08

Date & Time: May 22, 2023 
Location: HASEKO KUMA HALL, Faculty of Engineering Bldg. 11, Hongo Campus
Latitude/Longitude:  35°42'48.7"N / 139°45'34.4"E Open in Google Maps別ウィンドウで開く

We welcomed Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of the World Trade Organization to the Hongo Campus for a public policy seminar, in which I also took part.


After the keynote speech by Director-General Okonjo-Iweala, I joined a panel discussion where we exchanged opinions on the challenges and opportunities of global trade and the role universities can play.

In the Q&A session that followed, we fielded questions from undergraduate and graduate students on a range of topics relating to international trade, including decoupling and de-risking, “re-globalization,” the global commons and national security, leading to a lively discussion.



UTokyo PLog #2023-E-07

Date & Time: May 21, 2023 
Location: Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture

From left, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna, UTokyo President Teruo Fujii, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel, University of Chicago President Paul Alivisatos and Hartmut Neven, vice president of Google Quantum AI.

UTokyo has agreed to two partnerships for advancing research on quantum technology, one with the University of Chicago and IBM and the other with UChicago and Google. The signing ceremony for the partnerships was held on the occasion of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, alongside the signing of a memorandum of cooperation in the field of education between the U.S. and Japan.

Leaders of UChicago, IBM and UTokyo hold up the signed agreement of their groundbreaking partnership to advance quantum technology.
Photo credit: The U.S. Embassy in Japan
UChicago, Google and UTokyo executives hold up their agreement formalizing a global partnership in quantum science among the three parties.
Photo credit: The U.S. Embassy in Japan
U.S. President Joe Biden, left, and President Fujii shake hands.
Photo credit: The White House

A photo session was held with U.S. President Joe Biden and the partnership members to commemorate this event.

This partnership between the U.S. and Japan, and among industry and university partners, is historic for both countries.

Participants of partnerships signed among U.S. and Japanese tech companies and universities on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima join U.S. President Biden, center, for a group photo. President Fujii is fourth from the right.
Photo credit: The White House


UTokyo PLog #2023-G-10

Date & Time: May 18, 2023 
Location: Mori Art Museum
Latitude/Longitude:  35°39'37.7"N / 139°43'45.4"E Open in Google Maps別ウィンドウで開く

I received an invitation to the Japan–UK Business Reception held on the occasion of the visit by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to Japan.

Prime Minister Sunak expressed his hopes for the strategic relationship formed between UTokyo and Imperial College London.



UTokyo PLog #2023-UT-07

Date & Time: May 18, 2023 
Location: Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences Bldg.
Latitude/Longitude:  35°42'37.1"N / 139°45'46.6"E Open in Google Maps別ウィンドウで開く

We welcomed Ms. Akshata Murty, who had come to Japan with her husband, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, to the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences. She joined a “Women in STEM” discussion session together with female doctoral students.


After listening closely to the students’ stories about how they had chosen their fields of study, Ms. Murty spoke about the Femtech movement and encouraged them in their future careers. It was a rewarding time for both the students and for me.



UTokyo PLog #2023-E-06

Date & Time: May 18, 2023 
Location: Tetsumon Memorial Hall, 14th floor, Faculty of Medicine Experimental Research
Latitude/Longitude:  35°42'34.8"N / 139°45'44.7"E Open in Google Maps別ウィンドウで開く

The University of Tokyo and Imperial College London signed a letter of intent to promote the development of cleantech innovations that will lead to the creation of a sustainable society. The partnership builds on major industry-research centers in climate repair and energy systems that both partners have with Hitachi, Ltd.

Professor Hugh Brady, President of ICL; Mr. Toshiaki Higashihara, Executive Chairman of Hitachi; and Mr. Itaru Nishizawa, Chief Technology Officer of Hitachi, attended the signing ceremony. Ms. Natalie Black, UK Asia Pacific Trade Commissioner, also came to the ceremony and expressed her strong hopes for our collaboration.



UTokyo PLog #2023-UT-06

Date & Time: May 12, 2023 
Location: Komaba Research Campus
Latitude/Longitude:  35°39'42.8"N / 139°40'41.6"E Open in Google Maps別ウィンドウで開く

We welcomed French Minister of Higher Education and Research Sylvie Retailleau to UTokyo’s Institute of Industrial Science (IIS), during her visit to Japan to attend the G7 science and technology ministers’ meeting.

I personally have a long-standing association with France, having served as a co-director of the Laboratory for Integrated Micro-Mechatronic Systems (LIMMS), an international research laboratory operated jointly by CNRS, France’s national center for scientific research, and IIS, and located on UTokyo’s Komaba Research Campus.


We had a fruitful discussion on a range of topics, including student and researcher exchanges and collaboration with various French institutions.



UTokyo PLog #2023-E-05

Date & Time: May 10, 2023 
Latitude/Longitude:  35°39'30.4"N / 139°42'07.8"E Open in Google Maps別ウィンドウで開く

I attended the screening of Cyber Everything, a documentary film exploring the impact of the “cyber” domain on the modern human condition, which has been transformed by cutting-edge developments in technology.


Following the screening, I joined a roundtable discussion centered around the topic of art and its social and philosphical significance, which included the film’s producer and New York University professor, Shimon Dotan; University of Bonn Professor Markus Gabriel; film producer Netaya Anbar; Tokyo University of the Arts President Katsuhiko Hibino; and Professor Takahiro Nakajima, director of UTokyo’s Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia.



UTokyo PLog #2023-G-09

Date & Time: May 5, 2023 
Location: The Kavli Foundation
Latitude/Longitude:  33°59'04.2"N / 118°24'00.2"W Open in Google Maps別ウィンドウで開く

I visited the headquarters of the Kavli Foundation in Los Angeles. The foundation was established with a vision to advance science for the benefit of humanity and funds 20 research institutes worldwide, including the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU) within UTokyo.


I met with President Cynthia M. Friend during my visit, and we discussed initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion, and opportunities to hold joint events, among other topics.



UTokyo PLog #2023-G-08

Date & Time: May 5, 2023 
Location: California Institute of Technology
Latitude/Longitude:  34°08'15.6"N / 118°07'31.0"W Open in Google Maps別ウィンドウで開く

I visited the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and toured various facilites on the campus of the private science and engineering institute in Pasadena, California.


I met with Caltech’s President Thomas F. Rosenbaum and we discussed various topics, including diversity and inclusion and initiatives to promote science and academics.


I also met with the institute’s provost, Professor David Tirrell, and the directors of Caltech’s various research centers, with whom I discussed the impact of the COVID pandemic on student learning, as well as sustainability and other topics.



UTokyo PLog #2023-G-07

Date & Time: May 4, 2023 
Location: Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex, Northeastern University
Latitude/Longitude:  42°20'15.8"N / 71°05'13.1"W Open in Google Maps別ウィンドウで開く

I visited the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex at Northeastern University, a private institution of higher learning in Boston, and toured the cutting-edge facility’s labs involved in the life sciences, robotics, information and communication, and other areas.


I met with Northeastern University’s President Joseph E. Aoun and we discussed the potential for international collaboration to tackle climate change.



UTokyo PLog #2023-G-06

Date & Time: May 2, 2023 
Location: Havana Room, CIC (Cambridge Innovation Center) Cambridge
Latitude/Longitude:  42°21'46.5"N / 71°05'02.2"W Open in Google Maps別ウィンドウで開く

I gave a talk on UTokyo’s startup ecosystem and university-industry collaboration, at a workshop at CIC Cambridge in Cambridge, Massachusetts, sponsored by the Greater Tokyo Biocommunity (GTB) — an industry-academia-government network for bioindustry in the Tokyo metropolitan area — Tokyo Medical and Dental University, UTokyo Innovation Platform Co., Ltd. and UTokyo.


Following my talk, CIC founder Timothy Rowe and I had a fireside chat on a variety of topics, ranging from UTokyo’s initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion, to my affection for the guitar, which I took up as a student.



UTokyo PLog #2023-G-05

Date & Time: May 1, 2023 
Location: Killian Court, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Latitude/Longitude:  42°21'31.5"N / 71°05'29.4"W Open in Google Maps別ウィンドウで開く

I attended the inauguration ceremony of Sally Kornbluth as the 18th president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Ahead of the ceremony, I also joined a procession in full academic dress of presidents and delegates from the worldwide academic community.


I had the opportunity to meet with President Kornbluth on a later date and we discussed possiblities for new areas of collaboration between our two institutions in the future, among other topics.



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