TOWARDS A GREATER UNDERSTANDING OF JAPAN AND A LASTING WORLD PEACE
I see the condition of the world today as consisting of conflict between the different national egoism. The Club of Rome has identified three crises that endanger the future of mankind: lack of energy, lack of food supplies, and burgeoning world population. Unless mankind learns to overcome these crises, there will be no lasting peace. The truth of the statement is undeniable, but in the conflict of national egoism that surround us today, the road to peace is still a long one. Therefore we are called upon to do more than stand aside from the current of history.
In order for Japan to coexist peacefully with the other nations of the world, and to facilitate the tasks that await our young people in the 21st century, we are now trying to prepare a forum for Japan’s international activities. In this way, I believe, we will be able to open up a path to the future that will preserve our nation and mankind.
Following the tragic experience of the Second World War, Japan firmly resolved to reject all attempts to enhance national prestige by force of arms and instead to follow a policy of peaceful reconstruction as an industrial nation. More than thirty years have passed since then, and it is now a fact that considerable friction has arisen between Japan and several foreign countries, especially in the fields of trade and economics.
We Japanese are now making earnest efforts to face up to this problem and are studying how to open a path to peace and prosperity on the basis of mutual understanding. My search for enduring peace and friendship among all nations of the world, and for an effective reminder of the path to which we, as a peaceful nation, are committed, led to the decision to create this Foundation.
As will be clear from the statement of the purpose of the Foundation, I hope to invite active young research workers of outstanding character, without regard to sex, race, religion, ideology or nationality, to Japan. By deepening their understanding of Japan, and establishing links of trust and friendship, I seek to make a real contribution to permanent peace throughout the world. I shall therefore welcome from the bottom of my heart applications from promising young men and women who sympathize with our aims and wish to undertake research in Japan.
At this point let me acknowledge the deep impression made upon me at the time of the establishment of this Foundation by the inspiring ideals and practice of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, which operates under the sponsorship of the Federal Republic of Germany, and the far-reaching influence it has exerted. I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude and at the same time to say that I intend to make every effort to accomplish the purpose and mission of the Foundation.
Dr. Shigeyoshi MATSUMAE (1901-1991)