HOMEAsahi Now!2018年

2018 New Year's Greetings from the President 

2018年01月01日

Katsuyuki Ohtomo, President of Asahi University

In the evolving international environment

I wish you a happy new year.

 To paraphrase an old saying: the only constant in life is change, and last year saw two firsts that shifted the world in new directions. We watched for the first time a non-politician become President of the United States, and we witnessed for the first time a member country of the European Union declare its intention to exit from that political and economic union. Both events heralded major changes in the political scene and a resurgence of the debate of the notion and impact of populism. But not all of the world’s politics was in a state of change. In the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping led the once-in-five-year national congress of the Communist Party of China, affirming his and his party’s ideology, and affirming China’s influence and responsibilities as a global power.
 There were other rocks that stood firm amid the waters of political change. We commemorated the 45th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China. In fact, Gifu city, where our university is located, and Hangzhou city in east China made a pledge a decade prior to the normalization never to fight a war again between Japan and China. In commemoration of the 55th anniversary of this pledge between the two cities, the Gifu Japan-China Friendship Youth Delegation to China was organized as an international exchange project of Gifu city. We are proud and honored that some of our students, teachers and university staff could join this delegation and visit China in September last year. And we continued our commemoration in November with the Asahi University and Gifu Shimbun Youth Delegation to China, a highlight of which was the participation of some of our students and staff in the 2017 Hangzhou Marathon. And what an amazing location for a marathon, in a city famous for its many historic sites and scenic beauty, and renowned for its development and modernity and hosting the G20 Summit in 2016. In such a wonderful and dynamic environment, I believe that the students were inspired, motivated and moved by the remarkable speed of China’s economic development, not solely, by especially when the students visited the headquarters of Alibaba and learned about the cashless society being born from the new technology called Fintec (financial technology).
 The School of Dentistry of Asahi University has been promoting the mutual exchange of students and university staff with our partnering institutions all over the world. Asahi University has had academic exchanges with the School of Stomatology of Peking University for over 30 years. This program of receiving students and university staff from the Peking University was awarded certification as a Japan-Asia Youth SAKURA Exchange Program in Science again in 2017 from the Japan Science and Technology Agency. In addition, the acceptance of dental nurses from Peking University, also designated as a Japan-Asia Youth SAKURA Exchange Program in Science in 2016, further strengthened the relationship between the two universities. In 2017, two of our professors of the School of Dental Hygiene were invited to Peking University as guest lecturers in October, and we newly signed an academic exchange agreement on the training of dental hygienists among three schools. At the same time and true to our philosophy, we are committed to bettering the local and world society, and so continue to encourage our professors and researchers to study abroad. We strongly believe that the shared experiences and results of studies and research conducted at the world’s top universities such as UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles), Tufts University, University of Pennsylvania and UCSF (University of California, San Francisco) will aid and further the research and academic instruction back in Japan, which can then be shared back with the world.
 In the field of accounting, a close partnership with local high schools has resulted in the development of a comprehensive and well-structured educational environment that provides the students with 3 years of preparatory study at high school and 4 years of specialized learning at university. Since we started this program 6 years ago, 21 students in total have passed the extremely demanding certified public accountant examination. Senior students who have passed the examination before graduation give guidance and support to junior students, thus creating a virtuous cycle of learning, achievement and mentoring that I believe has established a new tradition of Asahi University.
 Based on the philosophy of the university’s foundation - to foster individuals who contribute positively to the future of the global society - Asahi University will continue providing students opportunities to acquire knowledge, discuss and share their informed and reasoned views on domestic and international issues amid a fast-changing world, so that students can develop their ability to form and express their own opinions. At the same time, in order to contribute to the society as a hub of knowledge, we will continue providing information to the local community at every occasion.
 I would like to ask for your continued support this year and I wish you all a healthy and productive 2018.