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Message from the President

Photo: Professor Koichi Tadenuma President

Professor Koichi Tadenuma President

During the course of its long history, Hitotsubashi University has developed into a leading research university in Japan specializing in the social sciences. In Japan and around the world, Hitotsubashi has demonstrated its particular strength in academic research that makes practical contributions to improving society. For example, Hitotsubashi has been a leader in research on systemic reforms in public policy, the economy, and law, as well as in business management innovation. It places equal importance on basic and applied research, aiming to establish a suitable theoretical foundation that leads to effective problem resolution.

All of Hitotsubashi University’s educational programs have been meticulously prepared to cultivate each student individually, and the University has consequently prepared many promising, talented graduates for society. The faculty is not only deeply involved in cutting-edge research but also closely works with students in small-group seminars of about seven or eight students. The greatest feature of our University is the richness of its high-quality education. Students emerge from this favorable environment with the ability to identify and solve issues on the basis of their in-depth, specialized knowledge and contribute to social, economic, academic, and cultural advancement in Japan and around the world. Hitotsubashi University aims to be a worldclass education and research center in the social sciences, continuing its esteemed tradition and history while advancing toward further sophistication and internationalization of research and education.

The modern world faces challenging issues such as economic instability, wealth disparity, environmental pollution, conflicts at state and corporate levels, and aging populations. The wisdom of the social sciences is indispensable in solving these problems. In 2014, we established the Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study, and with this institute at the core, we further expand our international research networks and conduct cooperative research. At the same time, we also conduct University-wide focus-area projects such as the “New Design for Global Economic Systems” and “Medical Care, Nursing, and Social Security in Aging Societies,” which attempt to solve urgent social and economic problems. To support these strategic undertakings, our University has maintained one of Japan’s most extensive university libraries, which provides a foundation for academic research and education and also promotes international communication of research results.

Hitotsubashi University also concentrates on cultivating graduates who can flexibly respond in an increasingly globalized society. To that end, in addition to enhancing English education as a communication skill, we offer overseas research and internship opportunities that allow students to experience and understand real-world situations firsthand. These programs are preceded by thorough preliminary studies and enable our students to have direct contact and discussion with university professors and students, businesspeople, and government officials in other countries, particularly developing ones.

We also offer year-long study-abroad programs. In 2017, through the support of Hitotsubashi University’s alumni association, the Josuikai, and the Japan Student Services Organization, 109 undergraduates were awarded scholarships to participate in year-long study-abroad programs with our overseas partner universities. We are planning to increase student participation in such study-abroad programs. We also simultaneously accept many international students; in 2017, we host 793 of them from 54 countries, creating a rich international campus culture.

At Hitotsubashi University, students can specialize in virtually any area of the social sciences. Moreover, the barriers between departments are traditionally low, so students can freely take undergraduate or graduate courses outside their own department. They can also enroll in classes provided by other universities, including natural science courses, in cooperation with the Tokyo Consortium of Four Universities (which consists of Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo Institute of Technology, and Hitotsubashi University) and the Tama-Region Five National University Educational Alliance. Such arrangements engender one of Hitotsubashi University’s great features of enabling students to acquire in-depth specialized expertise along with wide-ranging knowledge of the liberal arts and sciences.

We have attained wide recognition in graduate education as well, not only in training researchers but also in preparing students for such highly specialized positions as those in business, law, and public policy. We provide a variety of education programs such as an integrated education system of the undergraduate and the Master's programs and various programs designed for training people with occupations. In 2018, we further strengthen our advanced education for training professionals by integrating three graduate schools into Hitotsubashi Business School and Hitotsubashi Law School.

Hitotsubashi University, a leading research university in Japan now, was founded as a small training school for commerce. In 1875, Arinori Mori founded the Commercial Training School, which later expanded into the Tokyo Commercial School and then the Tokyo Higher Commercial School. During the modernization process following the Meiji Restoration, this School grew into the main institution in Japan responsible for commerce-related practical education. In 1920, the school further expanded and became the Tokyo University of Commerce (the sixth national university in Japan). Since around the time, the University has extended the scope of its education and research areas to encompass not only commerce but also fields in the humanities and the social sciences, such as economics, law, sociology, and even philosophy and history, thereby developing into a comprehensive university for the social sciences. After World War II, it changed its name to Hitotsubashi University. Today, Hitotsubashi University consists of the four faculties and graduate schools of Commerce and Management, Economics, Law, and Social Sciences, along with the Graduate School of Language and Society, the Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy, the Institute of Economic Research, and two professional school programs, the School of Law and the School of International Public Policy.

In 2015, Hitotsubashi University marked its 140th anniversary. Its history has been marked by a continuous dedication to expanding the scope of its research and education and deepening the content of its instruction. Going forward, we will further strengthen Hitotsubashi’s distinctive character as a university that takes great care to nurture each student individually while leading the way in cutting-edge research and fulfilling our role as a leading research and education center in a globalized society.

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