The Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (Sylff) Leaders Workshop

Oita, Japan

President Haruaki Deguchi of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU), The Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (Sylff) graduated fellows, ladies and gentlemen.

As we come to the close of this workshop, I would like to first extend my deepest gratitude to President Deguchi and the members of APU for your contribution in hosting this very successful Spring Session of the Sylff Leaders Workshop 2018-2019.

To my fellow Sylff alumni. This Oita Workshop has brought together 20 experts of the Sylff network to address existing global food problems from various angles. I would like to say how gratifying it is for me to know that this workshop has been another effective driving force to strengthen our Sylff network to come to grips with global issues.

The Sylff program was established to nurture leaders with “public-mindedness”, despite the differences in nationalities, languages, ethnicity, religion and political systems to solve global challenges. Here, I would like to particularly stress the word “public mindedness”.

Three decades have passed since we started our journey together. Our economy and social issues are changing with demographic shifts and technological advances, both for the better and for the worse. Ocean issues, poverty alleviation, and food security that you had taken up for this workshop, only to name a few, are critical issues that the world faces today and no single country or organization can solve alone.

Now is the time that the world needs public-minded leaders, who understand existing global challenges and take committed action to tackle them with knowledge, wisdom and experience.

So my dear Fellows. Now is the time that the world needs you the most.

You might face new challenges as you undertake your current work, or you might come across a huge barrier that you as individuals will not be able to overcome.

But remember. You are never alone.

We will continue to thrive with the 16,000 graduates of the Sylff program. Each fellow, as are the participants of this workshop, is your friend and colleague who will always be there for you. That is the power of the Sylff network. I would like all of you to continue to strengthen this network, maximize its capacity, so that together we can make positive changes for the world.