25th Anniversary of The Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund Program at Jagiellonian University

Kraków, Republic of Poland

It is my honor and pleasure to express my heartfelt congratulations to Jagiellonian University on the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (Sylff) program.

Jagiellonian University has a long and distinguished history as one of the oldest universities in the world. Over the centuries, the university has evolved and established its place in academia by adapting to changing conditions in the world.

You have continued to develop and offer education that meets the challenges of our time. I believe this tradition lives on and thrives in the Sylff program. It is with much pride that today, we, The Nippon Foundation and The Tokyo Foundation, celebrate this long and strong partnership with Jagiellonian University.

The Sylff program was established thirty years ago. At that time, the Cold War was coming to an end, and political and economic structures were entering a transformational period. It was when values were also changing on both the social and individual levels.

With these changes, we also needed new leaders. The Sylff program was launched against this backdrop. These are leaders who understand diverse and shared values, and shed light on emerging issues that arise from changes in society. They can look at issues from broad perspectives and understand the complexity.

Thirty years have passed since the establishment of the program and the world has changed dramatically.

Europe was united. The economies of Eastern Europe grew, and Poland has achieved high economic development.

In recent years, various problems have surfaced, one after another, such as cross border ethnic and religious conflicts in many parts of the world. This uncertainty is spreading, disrupting culture and affecting daily life.

I would like to call upon the Sylff fellows to devote yourselves to research from a cross-disciplinary perspective and apply your work to the betterment of society.

In closing, I would like to commend Jagiellonian University as a university that has, from the very start of the program, continued to implement the program successfully and has already graduated many active leaders, in the spirit of our program.

And above all, I look forward to talking with you Sylff fellows whom I have wanted to meet for a long time.