April 20, 2012,13:50 +0900(JST) Graduation Ceremony
This year, I again attended graduation ceremonies held by Hitotsubashi University, my alma mater, and the Kansai University of Nursing and Health Sciences, for which I have been serving as chairperson of the support association. It is a great honor for me to be given an opportunity to deliver a speech at such ceremonies. As a senior in the working world, I made a somewhat presumptuous speech. Here is the gist of what I said.
Your bright, hopeful faces remind me of how I felt 45 years ago. I hope you will try hard to reach your full potential. Don’t be afraid of failure, but be meticulously careful and take full precautions. Never seek the easy way out. By handling a given task in a fair, sincere and conscientious manner, you will eventually win others’ trust and confidence.
Let me cite the Sumitomo Spirit of “Banji-nissei,” which means: do your sincere best, not only in business, but also in every aspect of your life. I understand it is very difficult to put this philosophy into practice, but I hope you will make your utmost efforts not only in your work, but also in your community, in society, and at home.
In closing, to celebrate the graduates’ new start, I recited part of one of my favorite poems: the third stanza of “A Psalm of Life,” written by Longfellow.
I hope they will do their sincere best in their respective workplaces and positions, as the Japanese saying goes: “People who illuminate a small corner of society are national treasures.” It is also my hope that they will eventually become leaders in their respective fields in society.