Kazuo Oike, President of Kyoto University

I would like to celebrate the opening of the office of the Institute of Sustainability Science on behalf of Kyoto University.

We have defined the fundamental principles of Kyoto University with the preface “Kyoto University states its mission to sustain and develop its historical commitment to academic freedom and to pursue harmonious coexistence within human and ecological community on this planet”. The word ‘sustainability’ is truly an important concept related to these fundamental principles.
In the recent history of education and research of Kyoto University, there were some remarkable events, such as the introduction of independent graduate schools in the 1990s, the advance in departmentalization of the graduate school and the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the university.
It is relatively recent that the word ‘sustainability’ began to be heard at Uji campus.

The open campus day to the citizen of Uji began in 1997. In 2002, a lecture was held with the title “For the abundant future of human being”. In 2003, with the standardized theme “Information technology searching the sustainability of human being”, the open campus day was changed from Friday afternoon to the whole Saturday.
The national university was reformed to be a national university corporation in April 2004. Then, the Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere was established at Kyoto University by combing and expanding the Wood Research Institute and the Radio Science Center for Space and Atmosphere, and that was the first decision by the education foundation Kyoto University. Based on the self-examination and evaluation report of the Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere, which was compiled at the end of the academic year 2004, it is stated that “the discussion of further expansion of research fields is expected to develop into Sustainability Science”.
According to the newsletter ‘Ohbaku’ published by Institute for Chemical Research in 2005, one of the themes of a tripartite talk among Prof. Takano, Prof. Matsumoto, and Mr. Takada, the director of the institute, was “what should have an eye on education, research and university”. Anyone approves that an institute takes a key part in the education of undergraduates and graduate students, and education of a member of society, however, I believe the education system needs to be reorganized now from the viewpoint of students.

By viewing historically and circumstantially, the research institutes of Kyoto University have accomplished a large role nationwide. Kyoto University was the birthplace of a system of the joint national research institutes.
On 9 March 2005, the symposium was held with the title “To create Sustainability Science” for researchers of the university, institutes of other national universities and researchers who belong to the institute. As I have expressed there in the greeting, it was very rare to hold events by the cooperation of institutes with different purposes of research. The subtitle of the symposium was “To create Sustainability Science”, and the purpose of the symposium was to pursue the ideal contribution to the welfare of human being.
On 16 March 2006, the joint symposium of 17 research institutes and centers will be held under the sponsorship of the attached institutes and centers of Kyoto University. This first joint symposium will be held in The Shinagawa Intercity Hall from 10 am to 5 pm with “the Proposal from Kyoto Reflecting on 21st century of Japan” as its theme. The sub-theme is “how to surmount the crisis” and “how to face East Asia”.
Thus, research institutes of Kyoto University are about to forge ahead into new generations with various potentialities based on their accumulation of excellent results. I place this opening ceremony of the Institute of Sustainability Science as a big milestone.

In October 2005, Professor Matsumoto became the trustee of the office by my request, and since then he has been in charge of Uji campus including the financial affairs. As an important project of the university, I wish this office which is the center for the education and research of sustainability to be established firmly as involving the whole university. In conclusion, I wish good luck to those who participate in this project, and I would like to ask kind and strong support from everyone attending this ceremony.
I would like to express my cordial congratulations again on the opening of the office of Institute of Sustainability Science.

The 1st Newsletter “ISS“(Issue: 5 July 2006)
A note:The president retired on September 30, 2008