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New Year Greeting from the Representative Director and Chair of the Board

2021.01.01
I wish you very happy holidays and much success in the New Year.

Last year we all experienced severe restrictions on social activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chuo University, too, was forced to make significant changes in our research and education activities. Among these changes, the online classes implemented to secure learning for students must have been a great burden for both students and faculty members. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all concerned. Unfortunately, we still have to continue online classes this year, but by gradually bringing back face-to-face classes, we will work to find the right balance between the two approaches. Based on our experiences, I am looking forward to seeing how university education will show progressive change in the post-Corona world.      

There is not yet a way to stop the raging COVID-19, and there have been cases of infection among our students. Despite all the efforts made to avoid the 3Cs (closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings), a significant number of students were infected in the athletic-team dormitories. Against this background, the qualifying run for the Hakone Ekiden was held without spectators and the Chuo University team successfully finished in second place. It looks like the Hakone Ekiden race, which will take place over the New Year holidays, will also be without spectators, but I sincerely hope the Chuo Ekiden team will give their best efforts toward an excellent performance.  
 
2021 will be the sixth year since Chuo University released its ten-year development plan, Chuo Vision 2025. In 2019, we were able to successfully open the Faculty of Global Management and the Faculty of Global Informatics. We also opened The Global Gateway Chuo and the International Residence Chuo on the Tama Campus last year, but unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, few international students were able to come to Japan and hence the two facilities have not yet been fully utilized. I hope we will be able to see some improvement to this situation this year. In addition, the Faculty Commons (tentative name) will be completed in April and will be equipped with various facilities for students, allowing ICT collaboration with the downtown campuses, which is eagerly awaited.

The plan to relocate the Faculty of Law in downtown Tokyo will proceed, on the new campus in Bunkyo-ku, close to Myogadani Marunouchi Line Station. Construction has been underway since last autumn. Collaboration among the existing campuses in downtown Tokyo is expected to proceed, and our future plans include replacing the Surugadai Centennial Hall with a high-rise that will become the new home of the Chuo Law School and the Chuo Business School, while securing enough space for the Alumni Association and related offices to ensure that Chuo alumni have a new activity hub in Tokyo. The site has already been cleared and construction is expected to start soon. On a different note, this year Japan will host the Summer Olympic Games which have been postponed for one year, and Chuo aims to have at least 20 athletes participate in the games.

In addition to these highlights of the progress we are making with our development plan, I believe our everyday efforts to improve the level and the quality of our research and education, as well as initiatives to facilitate Industry-Academia-Government cooperation and to foster university-alumni cooperation, are key to our success in further strengthening our global presence. I will make every effort to contribute to this endeavor, and I ask all faculty, staff, and alumni across Japan and abroad for your cooperation and support.

Above all, I hope the COVID-19 pandemic will be brought under control this year and the New Year brings you all great fulfillment and much success.
 

Masahiko Omura
Representative Director, Chair of the Board
Chuo University
January 1, 2021