Award Ceremony

Award Ceremony for Sasakawa Fellows 2018

Sasakawa Awards 2018 - A New Beginning
Saturday 3 November 2018

On Saturday, November 3, the Sasakawa Fellows of 2018 went to their Award ceremony, hosted by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF), which was held at the Sasakawa auditorium. At this same event last year, we were definitely excited at jumping in an unknown world with our new classmates, ready to learn about the overall maritime field, having a chance to meet many people from different backgrounds and spending wonderful, daily school life. Now we see that, indeed, what we expected last year came true. Looking back at those days, we realize that we have shared invaluable and precious time. WMU hass equipped us to contribute to safe, environmentally sound, energy efficient and secure shipping on clean oceans. Through our studies and communal life at WMU, we have
not only gained great knowledge, but also the precious experience of meeting people with different views and ideas, and discussing future issues. We now have confidence that we will be able to contribute to the effective implementation of the goals and objectives of IMO as well the UN-SDGs in our countries.

WMU Presidents, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry welcomed us and gave an opening speech that highlighted our efforts throughout the year. The president thanked The Nippon Foundation and SPF for
supporting the university and for their ongoing commitment to the expansion of WMU and its mission. In addressing the graduates, she encouraged us to take advantage of the global network of WMU Alumni and to remember it as a resource for future collaboration, no matter what we studied at WMU.

Mr. Mitsuyuki Unno, Executive Director of The Nippon Foundation, offered us congratulations, and referred to the importance of professional expertise. Mr. Unno remarked that in the near future, Artificial
Intelligence could possibly replace our jobs, and we need to be mindful of our roles. Inspired by this statement, we reviewed our work and thought of what additional value we can create. Following the statement, Mr. Unno gave each of us certificates, and we took photos together, which we were honored to receive. (Please refer to the attached sheet.)

At the end of the memorable ceremony, attendees were kindly invited to join a reception party at the WMU Bistro for a wonderful buffet, prepared by Mr. Nikola Korak and his team. Whenever we were at the university, they always provided us with tasty and healthy meals and drinks throughout our school life. We were so grateful for their amazing contributions. Of course, at this reception, we enjoyed everything even more, especially since we were joined by the new students who have just come and started their studies this year. It was exciting to share the experience of WMU with them and give them some advice about what to expect. And also, it was fun to discuss future plans with our professors.

Finally, Mr. Michael Asiamah from Ghana expressed our sincere gratitude to The Nippon Foundation, SPF and WMU faculty and staff. His specialization was Maritime Safety and Environmental Association, and he played an outstanding leading role both in
group studies and classes with his glowing personality. We all felt happy to hear his remarks about how proud we should all feel at this moment and to keep in touch through the network.

Graduating from WMU is an interim goal for all of us, one step in the process of achieving our major goal. As maritime leaders and experts of tomorrow, we will move forward in collaboration. What we learned at WMU will stay with us and guide us. And of course, our relationships among Sasakawa Fellows will be very valuable in the future.

On behalf of the Sasakawa Fellows 2018, I would like to say thank you for such a great opportunity to Dr. Sasakawa, Mr. Unno, and the entire SPF staff. 

Naohiro Saito
(Japan, Class of 2018)