This year marks the 30-year anniversary of the establishment of the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) and the 50-year anniversary of Ikoma city. My sincere congratulations to all entering NAIST in such a commemorative year.

 Today, I would like to share two messages with you.

 The first one is on being both global and local. Previously I spent three years working at the Japanese embassy in the US, and now, I am working on local community issues as the mayor of Ikoma. I hope the research you do here will have a global impact and, at the same time, provide practical solutions to the challenges of the local community.

 The second is a request for awareness of history, culture, and traditions in addition to leading technology when engaging in cutting-edge research. When you take a step out of the NAIST facilities, you will find yourself in the middle of nature's abundance with rolling hills providing home to close-knit communities and discover a culture that dates back to more than 500 years of traditional Japanese tea ceremony whisk-making. I sincerely hope that as you pursue your research, you will also take the time to learn about the traditions and cultural resources available to you on and off campus. I trust that doing so will enrich your research pursuits.

 Finally, at our city hall, we offer services related to health care, child-rearing, education, and other aspects of everyday life to help you and your family have a happy and fulfilling life. We have multilingual staff in our offices, but you can also have the NAIST staff contact us on your behalf. If there are any issues in your daily life, please feel free to contact Ikoma City Hall anytime.

 I wish you all the best for a fulfilling research career. Congratulations from the bottom of my heart.


Ikoma City,
Nara Prefecture