Address at the FY2021 Tokushima University Entrance Ceremony



To realize your vision!

NOJI Sumihare
President, Tokushima University

We offer our heartfelt congratulations and a warm welcome to Tokushima University to our new students and their families.
As a congratulatory word, today I would like to talk about what you need to realize your vision.
The Japanese word yume originally only had the meaning of a dream which you have in your sleep, but in modern days, it has also acquired the meaning of a vision of the future ideal self which you aim to realize.
Do you have a vision of your future ideal self?
There is a report that an unexpectedly large number of university students do not have a vision. The reason is considered to be that students have been implicitly educated to date that becoming a part of the lifetime employment system of Japan's good old days—entering a good university, being employed by a good company, and working until retirement—is the vision.
Still today, society hopes for their children to run on an already laid track and does not want them to deviate from it. Therefore, no one has needed to teach children about having a vision. But because of this, no new companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple—or GAFA—have emerged in Japan over the past 30 years.
The times have certainly changed, and maintaining the status quo would mean to be left behind. Then, what do we have to do?
First, you need to have a vision. It does not matter if it changes in the future. We often say that life is like a journey, but without a goal, we cannot decide which way we should start walking. In the same way, without a vision, you would not know what you should study tomorrow, and you would end up choosing classes that are said to offer easy credits, for example. Conversely, if you have a vision, it will be clear what you should do to realize it.
Then, what kind of a vision should you have?
An advisable approach would be to think about what you can do to make others happy. "Others?" you might think. But making others happy brings your own happiness as a result. One example is the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs.
Around the world, there are many challenges that we must solve. The SDGs consist of 17 goals and 169 targets, which the world is to strive to implement by 2030 in a united effort. I am sure that there is an SDG initiative that requires your participation, and that participating in it and achieving the goal could become your vision. If possible, aim to achieve the goal in a challenging research and development project based on daring ideas, like a moon shot. The larger the vision, the larger your happiness will be.
Tokushima University places emphasis on education and research that create a shift from "Zero to One." It also supports students who start up businesses necessary for achieving SDGs instead of thinking about finding employment in an existing company.
I would like to conclude my address, hoping that you will proactively try things you have never experienced before with no fear of failure and, while enjoying a university life that takes advantage of the favorable location of Tokushima with its abundant nature, you will accumulate the ability to realize a wonderful vision of your own.
Congratulations to you all!