World Maritime University 25th Anniversary: Reception

Malmö, Sweden

Your Majesty, King Gustaf, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to thank His Majesty King Gustaf for gracing us with his presence. I am honored to be here tonight to congratulate the World Maritime University on its 25th anniversary, and to offer my best wishes for the success of the 25th Anniversary Symposium.

I also wish to extend my greetings to Secretary General Mitropoulos of the International Maritime Organization, President Dr. Laubstein of WMU, the staff of the university, the Swedish government, the city of Malmo, the graduates of the university, and the supporters of WMU who are with us tonight.

The WMU deserves our deepest respect for its proud tradition and many achievements. It has nurtured many leaders of the world maritime community. It has promoted the latest research. And the contributions of its members and graduates have been global in scale.

WMU is charged with a mission to lead international maritime society. It cannot let itself become content with past achievements. It must continually aim for higher targets in order to solve the ocean’s many complicated problems. To do this, it must make the best use of its distinctive global network.

Unfortunately, I have heard from both the media and the university directors that the university is in a dilemma. It will be very unfortunate if this situation causes WMU’s supporters to lose confidence in it. However, I firmly believe that the problem will be solved by the good sense of the university’s directors and trustees.

What is the most important role of the WMU? My answer is probably the same as yours. It is to develop human resources who can lead international maritime society. I believe that we must not neglect this principal duty, no matter how stormy the seas.

For the further development of the WMU, which has already achieved great success, it is essential that everyone at the university strive fully to foster the ideal human resources. The board of directors, the executive committee, the sponsors of the university, the staff and everyone related to the university must discuss these matters openly. We must strive to attain a shared ideal of education. We must devise transparent operation policies. I sincerely hope that the WMU will continue to nurture people full of vitality. That it will promote sustainable use of the ocean. That, with the 25th anniversary as a new beginning, it will strive to solve the world’s problems.

Please allow me to take this opportunity to say that, to make this a reality, The Nippon Foundation stands ready to increase our support of the WMU, based on transparent and open discussions with all relevant parties.