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History of the Okuma Auditorium: Visitors to Waseda University

4) Thanks to my friends: 1990s and afterward

Hideki Kojima (politics in 1970)
Writer & member of the editional board of Waseda University Alumni Bulletin

Dialogue with President Clinton
U.S. President Bill Clinton
U.S. President Bill Clinton

July 7, 1993 (Heisei 5) Lecture and Dialogue Forum with President of the United States Bill Clinton was held at the Okuma Auditorium; while taking a walk around campus, he seemed interested in Tanabata decorations.

On May 15, 1989 (Heisei 1), Wahei Tatematsu delivered a lecture entitled "Eternity in the Sea." While studying at Waseda University, he won the first Waseda Bungaku Newcomers Award for his novel Jitensha (Bicycle); won also the Noma Literary Prize for New Writers for Enrai (Distant Thunder) and the Mainichi Publishing Culture Award for Doku: Fubun Shozo Tanaka (Poison: Rumors about Shozo Tanaka). On May 17, playwright Taichi Yamada delivered a lecture entitled "On Views of Reality." Graduated from Waseda University (Department of Education) and joined Shochiku. After leaving it, he became a freelance playwright. Sou Kuramoto, Mukouda Kuniko and Yamada were called "big three scenario writers." His TV series include Kishibe no Album (The Album on the Shore) and Fuzoroi no Ringo Tachi (Assorted Apples). In 1988, he won the Yamamoto Shugoro Prize for Ijin-tachi to no Natsu (A Summer with Strangers).

Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu delivered a speech at the ceremony of Homecoming Day (on October 22). "I myself am going to local regions to start "Exchange Meetings for Dialogue." Listening to Japanese people, I'll have to act out in my politics the founder Okuma's idea of "improving communication between local people and the government."

On July 7, 1993 (Heisei 5), "Lecture and Dialogue Forum" with President of the United States Bill Clinton was held. "The First White House Baby Boomer" said, "The new Pacific community will rest on a revived partnership between the United States and Japan, on progress toward more open economies and greater trade, and on support for democracy.

South Korean President Kim Young-Sam
South Korean President Kim Young-Sam

March 25, 1994 (Heisei 6)Awarded an Honorary Doctorate

On March 25, 1994 (Heisei 6), South Korean President Kim Young-Sam gave a lecture entitled "New Asia and a New Design of the World." Professor by Special Appointment at Waseda University; awarded also an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by Waseda University. "Seeking changes and reforms, both South Korea and Japan are now promoting mutually complementary partnership. This is a big opportunity for us to develop South Korea-Japan relationships at new levels."

On July 8, Donald Keene, Professor Emeritus at Columbia University, talked about "My Mentor, Prof. Ryusaku Tsunoda" (at the Library). "His vocation was teaching, not writing. His joy as a teacher lay in communicating knowledge directly and enthusiastically to his students. ... As one of his students, I feel it regrettable that Prof. Tsunoda is not known just because he did not publish anything."

President Nelson Mandela Conferred with an Honorary Doctorate

On July 4, 1995 (Heisei 7), Waseda University conferred an Honorary Doctorate on South African President Nelson Mandela, also a leader of the movement to end South African apartheid and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; served 26 years as a political prisoner of apartheid; assumed the presidency in 1994.

On May 20, 1996 (Heisei 8), writer Yo Henmi delivered a lecture entitled "Take to the Road for the Restoration of Body and Imagination." Graduated from Waseda University (School of Letters, Arts and Sciences II), he worked for Kyodo News; won the Akutagawa Prize for Jidou Kisho Sochi (The Automatic Wake-up Machine) and the Kodansha Non-Fiction Prize for Mono Kuu Hitobito (People Who Eat).

On March 27, 1997 (Heisei 9), Mahathir bin Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia, delivered a lecture entitled "Asian Future and Japan's Role: focusing on the role of young people responsible for our world in the 21st century." He started his career as a private practitioner and then entered politics. With his famous "Look East" policy as a framework for learning from successful Japanese and South Koreans, he enhanced the nation's strength.

Waseda University conferred an Honorary Doctorate on German President Roman Herzog (on April 7). In his lecture entitled "Partnership and Responsibility: Germany and Japan Facing the 21st Century," he emphasized that both nations should contribute cooperatively to the world in the 21st century.

It was on May 14 that film critic Nagaharu Yodogawa talked about "What I've Learned from Films." He attracted public attention as a commentator on Laramie, a TV series of Nihon Educational Television (now TV Asahi) and since 1966, served for 32 years until his death as commentator on TV Asahi Sunday Western Movie Theatre, on which he always signed off with his famous "Sayonara, sayonara, sayonara."

Plan of Japan of the 21st century
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi

April 15, 2002 (Heisei 14) Delivered a lecture entitled "Japan's Goals in the 21st Century" in the first class of an open course "Okuma Juku"

At the entrance ceremony on April 1, 1998 (Heisei 10), film director Shohei Imamura was honored as a Waseda University artistic contributor. Graduated from Waseda University (School of Letters, Arts and Sciences I), he joined Shochiku Ofuna Studio and transferred to the Nikkatsu Studios. His films include Buta to Gunkan (Pigs and Battleships) and Nippon Konchuki (The Insect Woman). He is the first Japanese director to win two Palme d'Or awards for Unagi (The Eel) and Narayama Bushiko (The Ballad of Narayama).

Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi delivered a speech at the ceremony of Homecoming Day (October 21), representing the invited alumni.

On November 28, Jiang Zemin, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, delivered a lecture entitled "Carve out a Future by Learning from our Histories." He initiated powerful anti-Japanese propaganda and implemented anti-Japanese education. Jiang refused to accept the Honorary Doctorate for the reason of the Twenty-One Demands (a set of demands the Japanese government under Prime Minister Okuma Shigenobu sent to the Chinese government).

Carlos Ghosn, President & CEO of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Carlos Ghosn, President & CEO of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

April 1, 2005 (Heisei 17)Awarded an Honorary Doctorate; a special lecture was delivered at the entrance ceremony

On September 29, 2001 (Heisei 13), at the Masaru Ibuka Auditorium, International Conference Center, Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri was awarded an Honorary Doctorate. She is the daughter of Indonesia's first president, Sukarno. Being at the center of citizens' and students' movement to overthrow the oppressive Suharto regime, she became the fifth president of Indonesia. "Indeed, laws are at the core of democracy but we often find difficulty in executing them properly and I myself am always worrying about 'discrepancy between ideal and reality.' I hope you, students, to cultivate deep knowledge about legal fairness." Generous applause was accorded her.

On March 27, 2002 (Heisei 14), Ryoji Noyori, professor at Nagoya University and Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry, delivered a lecture entitled "Chiral Molecular Catalyst: its Discovery and Development." A packed audience listened attentively. On April 15, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi delivered a lecture entitled "Japan's Goals in the 21st Century."

On March 20, 2003 (Heisei 15), Koichi Tanaka, Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry, delivered a lecture. "Thanks to my friends, my research efforts were appreciated. In Japan, there are a lot of good technologies but many of them are not known. Since I am not a scholar but an engineer, I publish and use even an uncertain event if it is useful and applicable. It cannot be developed further without being commercialized and made known to the world."

Reviving Okuma Auditorium