On March 8, 2012, former Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by National Central University, Taiwan, one of the partner institutions of Chuo University. During a political life spanning 50 years, he emphasized education and environmental protection. His contributions to helping preserve the world's environment represent the same hopes and principles set forth by National Central, which is why they presented him with the Honorary Doctorate. Kaifu said that through transcending national, religious and racial divisions, humankind could cooperate with a single purpose to protect the global environment. He added that he sincerely appreciated receiving an Honorary Doctorate from National Central, with which he shared the same ideals.
Toshiki Kaifu receives an Honorary Doctorate Certificate from Professor Gin-Rong Liu, representing the President of the National Central University, Taiwan.
During the presentation ceremony, Professor Gin-Rong Liu, representing the President of National Central, expressed gratitude to Chuo for the forming of a collaborative agreement and for the Yuko no Sakura (Cherry Blossom of Friendship) planted on March 2011 with the cooperation of the Chuo University Alumni Japan-China Friendship Association. Professor Liu also outlined Mr. Kaifu's distinguished service in the fields of education and environmental protection. Following this, the former Chancellor and President of Chuo, Kazuyuki Nagai, said: "Today, I'm filled with a sense of kindness and this is shared by the whole of Chuo University. I feel as if the awarding of the Honorary Doctorate for the respected and revered former Prime Minister Kaifu is an award for our entire University." He then spoke about the Jitatsu Gakkai, which is the debate club to which Kaifu belonged while at Chuo, and praised Kaifu's distinguished service, including his involvement in establishing the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) during his long life in politics. Nagai closed by saying that National Central University and Chuo University not only had the same name, but also held the same founding principles, attaching importance to the practical application of learning, and that the two universities were like twin siblings.
Next, congratulatory addresses were given by the former President of National Central and current Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Academic Sinica, Dr. Chao-Han Liu, followed by Mr. Yo-Hsin Chien, former Head of Foreign Affairs and current Registrar of the Taiwan Sustainable Energy Research Foundation. Another honored guest, Mr. SHui-Te Hsu, former representative of Taiwan in Japan, shared that he first met Kaifu while in Japan, and how Kaifu, who was at that time Prime Minister of Japan had welcomed him very warmly. He said that Kaifu loved Taiwan, and while in Diet, had accompanied younger assembly members on visits to Taiwan a total of 13 times. Mr. Hsu also said that Kaifu had been a tremendous help in building Taiwanese-Japanese relations and Taiwan's diplomacy with other nations.
Congratulatory greeting by former Chancellor and President Kazuyuki Nagai
After the honorary doctorate award ceremony, Kaifu spoke humorously, sharing words of appreciation and looking back at his own life as a politician. During his speech, he advised the National Central students crowded into the hall that young people, in their pursuit for ideals, influence a nation's future. He asked the students to make one Japanese friend, and build a great friendship as he had done with Mr. SHui-Te Hsu. Then, in a speaking on the theme of Aiming for a sustainable world, he concluded as follows: "I ask everyone to understand more about environmental issues and to strive for environmental preservation, beginning in your immediate vicinity. I believe this is the key point in aiming for a sustainable world."