Friends of WMU JAPAN
The world is a family, and all humankind are brothers and sisters.
OCTOBER 2002 No.1
Message from Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman, "Friends of WMU, Japan"
It has been one year since the Tokyo Forum and I believe that, since then, all of you have been active in the maritime community in each of your countries.
I have had the opportunity, as I visited The Nippon Foundation's various overseas programs, to go to some of your countries. A short time ago for example, I visited Port Klang, Malaysia to attend the donation ceremony of a buoy tender that was built with our sponsorship, to be used in the Malacca Strait. On that occasion, I was able to meet with several Sasakawa Fellows who had come from a long way away to accompany me on my visit. I was surprised to find that one of the top officials of the Port Klang Authority, where the boat will be based, was a Sasakawa Fellow. I was able to hear from all of the fellows, personally, about the way that their work with the sea is aiding in the nation-building efforts of their countries. Seeing the wide variety of areas in which WMU graduates are active, I was assured all over again that our support for the university has been quite effective.
I have been receiving many letters from you, all of which vividly illustrate your activities. This has really made me happy.
However, one of my greatest wishes for you is that you be able to share information about your activities not only with me, but with each other as well. Through the home page that "Friends of WMU, Japan" built this past spring, and now through this newsletter, that wish is coming true. I cannot congratulate you enough.
From the very start of the fellowship program, I thought that it could not be considered complete until there was a follow-up program for its graduates. Thus, I bided my time, waiting for the best moment to start it. And then, at the forum last year, I was deeply impressed with the determination that you all expressed, to create this kind of fellows' network. That determination is the reason for this newsletter, among other things.
This newsletter is not meant to be one-way broadcast from the Secretariat of the "Friends of WMU, Japan", Ship & Ocean Foundation. Instead, it is to be a means by which you can all communicate with each other with the utmost effectiveness.
For this reason, while this first edition of this newsletter has been prepared by the Secretariat, in the course of time I believe that it must become filled with your contributions and news. I deeply believe that your cooperation, and the fire in your hearts, will enable us to maintain our support for the network and for WMU.
We are all tied through the sea. Through this bond, it is surely possible for us to join with the "Friends of WMU, Japan" in friendship and mutual trust. We can become truly like brothers and sisters, like a family.
I imagine that some of you may be feeling a heavy weight as you shoulder the responsibility of carrying your country into the future. However, I am convinced that our family-like relationship will serve to lighten that load.
As I close, please let me say that I hope to meet you all in your own countries in the near future. I am also looking forward to seeing you when you come to Japan. Please take care of your health and do your best as you care for your country's and the world's sea.