It has been 99 years since our institution was originally founded as Kawasaki Merchant Marine School in 1917. And, it has also been 13 years since the establishment of the Faculty of Maritime Sciences, Kobe University through the integration with Kobe University of Mercantile Marine in 2003. We are preparing the celebration of our 100 year foundation anniversary, which will be held in 2017.
Now we head into the second century of our rich history as a faculty and a graduate school of Kobe University, which is aiming to become one of the top 100 universities in the world. Over the last 98 years, our faculty has been renowned as a center for cultivating valuable human resources. We must continue to develop many highly skilled experts and researchers who will become leaders in the maritime industry and society. We also must continue to strive for increased excellence in order to contribute to the development of the global maritime society. This is how the Graduate School of Maritime Sciences will plot our smooth transition into the second century of our storied history.
Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and territorial waters are the 6th largest in the world, and 99.7 % of our trade in Japan is moved by the maritime industry. The ocean is as vital to us as the air we breathe, yet many people take this simple truth for granted, and are unaware of the importance of the maritime industry.
In order to grow our current lifestyle and prosperity, the young people who make up the Graduate School of Maritime Sciences and the Faculty of Maritime Sciences should reflect with pride on the great responsibility that they hold as the future leaders of the maritime industry and contributors to society.
Welcome to the Graduate School of Maritime Sciences and the Faculty of Maritime Sciences, a contributing partner to the global maritime society.