Josai University Educational Corporation


Hiromasa Yonekura Gives Commemorative Mikio Mizuta “Global Lecture” Series Keynote in Honor of Josai University Educational Corporation’s 50th Anniversary

On October 1, 2015, Josai University Educational Corporation (Chancellor Noriko Mizuta) commemorated the 50th anniversary of the university’s founding with a keynote address by Hiromasa Yonekura, adviser to the university’s board of directors as well as Chairman of Sumitomo Chemical and an adviser to the Japan Business Federation. Hiromasa Yonekura was invited to the Tokyo Kioicho Campus Building 1, where he spoke about “reviving and reforming the Japanese economy through people, and continuing to advance Japan’s position in the world.” In commemoration of the event, the university also awarded Hiromasa Yonekura an honorary doctorate.

In part, the university has organized the Commemorative Mikio Mizuta “Global Lecture” Series in an effort to contribute to the cultivation of global human resources by gathering together people with domestic and international influence, people with outstanding achievements in research, and so on. Mr. Yonekura was the fifth to speak for the series, following the former Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir bin Mohamad on May 21st, Harvard University Professor Emeritus Ezra F. Vogel on June 13th, Nobel Prize in Physics Laureate Makoto Kobayashi on July 9th, and Studio Ghibli Managing Director and Producer Toshio Suzuki on July 10th.

Mr. Yonekura was born in 1937 in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture. He began working for Sumitomo Chemical Manufacturing (currently Sumitomo Chemical) in 1960. In 1965, he completed his doctoral program in economics at Duke University in the U.S. Mr. Yonekura became president of Sumitomo Chemical in 2000. Then in 2009, he stepped down as president to take position as chairman of the board of directors. For four years starting in 2010, he also served as the 12th chairman of the Japanese Business Federation.

Chancellor Mizuta’s remarks preceding the conferment of the honorary doctorate

Chancellor Mizuta’s remarks preceding the conferment of the honorary doctorate

Before presenting the honorary doctorate, Chancellor Mizuta mentioned Josai University’s participation in a Japan-China joint Ph.D. program, an academic exchange agreement with the University of Limerick in Ireland, as well as its involvement in the founding of the Hungary Culture Center inside the Embassy of Hungary. “Josai University puts a large amount of effort into global education, and you have provided irreplaceable support. With all our gratitude, we offer you this honorary doctorate.”

Mr. Yonekura with his honorary doctorate (second from the right)

Mr. Yonekura with his honorary doctorate
(second from the right)

Keynote Speaker Mr. Yonekura

Keynote Speaker
Mr. Yonekura

Mr. Yonekura opened his address by saying, “It is truly a great honor to be receiving this honorary doctorate.” He went on to remember Mikio Mizuta, referring to the university’s founder as the hard-working Minister of International Trade and Industry during the 1950s transition to a domestic petrochemical industry. “I would like to express my deep respect and appreciation for Mizuta’s great achievements.” As he continued, he pointed out, “If we are to realize the recovery of Japan’s economy and its sustainable development, we need to speed up our innovation and bring in some of the enthusiasm from overseas.” He emphasized the necessity of cultivating human resources, saying, “In our struggle to lift up the country, the key to whether or not it will lead to a genuine revival of the Japanese economy lies in the power of our people.” Mr. Yonekura finished his speech with a direct appeal to the approximately 250 Josai students in attendance. “Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like you to remember your willpower, never fear failure, challenge all that you can, and work toward improving yourselves.”

Mr. Yonekura provided thoughtful responses to students’ questions

Mr. Yonekura provided thoughtful responses to students’ questions

Both Josai students and study abroad students had questions, such as “What are the issues facing innovation in Japan?” and “What are the possibilities for cooperation between Japan and China when dealing with environmental issues?” Mr. Yonekura answered every question carefully. Afterwards at the reception, he spent time with international students, greeting each of them personally and offering them his business card.

Mr. Yonekura’s kind exchange with international students

Mr. Yonekura’s kind exchange with international students

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