Harvard University, Junior
Engineering Physics and Computer Science
2022 FUTI Global Leadership Award Recipient
UTokyo International Research Center for Neurointelligence (IRCN)
Looking back on this research, I am extremely pleased with how things turned out, and had one of the best internship experiences I have ever had. Not only was the research fun and engaging, but also challenging in a way that pushed me to think creatively and apply my past knowledge and experience in a completely new way. It is refreshing to think about how this research truly was unique and original, which I did not expect to accomplish at this early stage in my educational career. … After embarking on such an incredible journey at the University of Tokyo, I most certainly see myself returning there in the future to pursue similarly enriching research and to engage with some of the most brilliant minds in the world of engineering and robotics.
Dear Supporters of Friends of UTokyo, Inc. (FUTI):
I hope this message finds you well. The New York area is embracing very nice fall weather.
The Covid-19 virus pandemic drastically changed all aspects of our lives worldwide. Thanks to the highly efficacious vaccines, we have been observing a transition from pandemic to endemic. Nevertheless, we may have to deal with evolving variants of this virus for a long time. Also, the brutal Russian military invasion to Ukraine in early spring this year is threatening world peace based on democracy. The pandemic, military conflicts, and economic sanctions against Russia are affecting supply chains causing worrisome inflation, followed by aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve in the US. Climate change is causing various natural disasters, while the world is dealing with the pandemic, war and economic problems. The Covid-19 pandemic and economic problems naturally strengthened nationalism worldwide, which is against globalization. The rise of nationalism is threatening democracy and the role of the United Nations on global issues, including climate change and world peace.
Time and time again, one thing that has become clear is the critical importance of leadership in politics, business, science, technology, sociology, etc., to properly deal with this unprecedented huge crisis on a world scale. Also, it is evident that rapid and coordinated information sharing and international collaborations are the only way to solve such a crisis. In this regard, the cultivation of well-informed and capable next-generation leaders is extremely important for us, which is FUTI’s mission.
It has been more than 14 years since the inception of FUTI. We are full of gratitude to all the generous contributions we receive every year in support of our primary mission, the FUTI Scholarship programs. Alumni organizations such as the Akamonkai and Ichokai provide various opportunities in New York and around the world for UTokyo alumni. Also, the newly renovated UTokyo NY Office is a very important overseas franchise of the University of Tokyo. FUTI has been closely working with these organizations to reach out and nurture our younger-generation UTokyo students and alumni in order to cultivate future global leaders. For FUTI’s organization and various activities, please refer to the 2021 Annual Report.
Despite having to make significant adjustments to FUTI’s Study Abroad programs due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our activities have continued through online symposia, seminars, panel discussions, webinars, and alumni gatherings through the rapid and proactive implementation of Zoom. Now, we are returning to the full operation of our programs in a new normal arrangement with in-person and hybrid formats in 2023.
As Vice-President and CFO, Yuichiro Kuwama, mentions, individual donations are becoming increasingly important. I would like to call upon each and every friend and patron who endorse FUTI’s mission for continued support in order for us to sustain and enrich FUTI’s Programs through 2023 and beyond.
Please visit friendsofutokyo.org/donate for online and postal donations. In the donation form, you are encouraged to specify to which program your donation will be applied.
Iwao Ojima, President
A Message from the CFO
As the Covid-19 pandemic slows down, Friends of UTokyo’s study abroad programs and international student exchanges are picking up steam. I am delighted to report that donations have remained steady this previous fiscal year and am deeply grateful. Donations we have been receiving over the past several years from the Ito Foundation U.S.A. have been reduced by roughly half its peak due to various reasons. The newly initiated donations from the UTokyo New York Office and the longstanding support from Shintech Inc have helped the bottom line, but the total donation amount unfortunately is on a downtrend. A boost in donations from alumni and the public remains increasingly important.
To accept large gifts, we must stay qualified as a public charity. Maintaining this status requires that the total amount of individual gifts be at least a third of all donations. Currently, we must apply for special permission as the ratio stands at slightly less than a third. At the present situation, even if we are offered a large donation, we regrettably cannot accept the entire amount since it would lower the ratio of public donations. Donations from individuals are a powerful foundation for Friends of UTokyo and we are continually seeking more supporters. I urge more and more supporters to consider contributing to our cause.
Donations may be made easily by visiting friendsofutokyo.org/donate, and donating with a credit card or by mailing a check. For those wishing to wire transfer their donation, please email donation [at] friendsofutokyo.org for further information.
Vice President and CFO, Friends of UTokyo