Governor of Oita Prefecture
Mr. HIROSE Katsusada
Congratulations to all of you who are beginning your studies at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely welcome all of you, whether you came from within Japan or from another country or region, and all of your family members to this Entrance Ceremony.
APU is an international university that was founded in 2000 on the basic ideals of Freedom, Peace and Humanity, International Mutual Understanding, and the Future Shape of the Asia Pacific region. It has since obtained accreditation as a world-class provider of business education among other accolades and continues to spearhead the globalization of higher education in Japan. Oita Prefecture is proud to be the home of this hub of intellectual activity. APU is also open to the community. By assisting with the teaching of intercultural understanding and English at elementary and junior high schools throughout the prefecture and participating in local events, APU has been a strong partner in the internationalization and revitalization of Oita Prefecture.
You have enrolled in a global university that is firmly rooted in the community, and I am certain that you will make lasting friendships and learn many things as you study on APU’s multicultural campus, a place that attracts students from around 90 countries and regions and where you are always exposed to the latest trends in the world. The diversity of learning opportunities and the encounters you have at APU will help you grow as a person and develop the skills you need to carve out your future.
I hope you will take an interest in what Oita has to offer, from its abundant natural beauty and history to its culture and unique local foods, as you proactively interact and deepen your ties with the people of the prefecture. I also hope that Oita will become your second home and that, one day, you will serve as bridges between people and regions as well as between Oita and the wider world.
In closing, I would like to wish you all the best of luck, and I pray for the continued prosperity of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University.
Mayor of Beppu City
Mr. NAGANO Yasuhiro
On behalf of the citizens of Beppu, I would like to congratulate you on your admission to Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University.
Twenty-one years have passed since APU was opened in 2000 with the mission of “cultivating global leaders who can contribute to creating the future of the Asia Pacific region.” During this time, APU has produced a wealth of talent who are active throughout the world and has contributed tremendously to promoting international exchange and civic activities in the region.
Now, however, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Beppu, APU, and the rest of the world continue to face difficult challenges. I would like to express my heartfelt sympathy to all the students and parents who were unable to come to Japan due to the pandemic or who lost various opportunities due to financial hardship. We at City Hall are taking every measure to prevent the spread of infections so that you can begin your lives as students in Beppu as soon as possible.
The format of learning and the view of what is “normal” have changed drastically. Amid this backdrop, how we act as people and as a society in this world is being called into question. Unlike past wars and economic crises, this pandemic and the problems it has caused have revealed the importance of good leadership and scientific viewpoints, and the difficulty of identifying accurate information.
Learning at APU is meaningful not because you can encounter a diverse array of values and become fluent in a foreign language, but because you can develop yourself into an individual equipped with a universal perspective who can survive in a difficult environment while gaining exposure to the diversity of the world.
With the sharp decline in the number of tourists coming to Beppu, the city faces a dire situation, and we are searching for ways to overcome these difficulties by conceiving and implementing original ideas. I hope you will share your ideas with us as we work together to rebuild Beppu into a vibrant city that attracts people from all over the world.
In closing, let me express my hope for the continued success of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University and for the health and happiness of its students and stakeholders.
Chancellor, The Ritsumeikan Trust
Let me begin by congratulating all those entering APU today. On behalf of The Ritsumeikan Trust, I extend a heartfelt welcome and compliments to each and every one of you.
We resolved to hold this spring’s entrance ceremony both in-person and online, in order to cater for the diverse needs of attendees as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the world. I would like to express my warmest thanks to all those who worked to make this event possible.
Since its establishment in 2000, APU has played a leading role in the globalization of Japan’s university sector, under the ideals of “Freedom, Peace, and Humanity,” “International Mutual Understanding,” and “the Future Shape of the Asia Pacific Region.” One-half of the student body hails from 90 different countries and regions outside Japan. And now that many APU alumni are already playing active roles as global leaders around the world., the university’s new challenges are laid out in the APU2030 Vision. The vision for APU in 2030 is that “APU Graduates will pursue freedom and peace with a deep respect for human dignity. By acting for the sake of both individuals and society, they can change the world.” Holding up this ideal, the university is now pursuing further globalization.
One focus of our efforts are the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. Formulated by the United Nations in 2015, the SDGs are a set of globally-shared challenges across seventeen different areas including peace, health, climate, diversity, and energy, which are to be solved by the year 2030. The principles of the SDGs embody the ideal of promoting “peace, democracy and sustainable development in Japan and throughout the world” as stated in The Ritsumeikan Charter. The era that lies ahead will demand “glocal” approaches, with people holding a globally shared awareness of problems like SDGs and working locally to achieve solutions. One way of putting such approaches into practice is to launch one’s own startup. APU supports student entrepreneurs through the APU Startup Program known as the Deguchi School. Across the whole of the Ritsumeikan Academy, we also operate the Ritsumeikan Social Entrepreneurship Support Platform RIMIX as one of the activities of the Ritsumeikan SDGs Promotion Headquarters. RIMIX supports those establishing ventures directed to the resolution of societal problems, and there have already been cases of APU students participating in the actual launch of new ventures. Entrepreneurship could be said to be a way of putting into practice students’ ideas on how they can engage with wider society. By all means consider taking up the entrepreneurship challenge yourselves.
Encounters are a kind of miracle. I am genuinely delighted to have met each and every one of you in this university, and I wish you all the best for the future.
Regardless of the circumstances, we are committed to providing you with all the support possible so you can design your life as an APU student without losing track of your goals. I hope that through your studies at APU, you will empower yourselves to open up new possibilities for your own lives and for the future.
Congratulations to you all.