Howard students, Christian, Kristeph, Daniel, Jayien, Gabrielle, Jude and Donald, welcome to Niigata Prefecture, welcome to Shibata city/ Seiro Town, and welcome to Keiwa College.
Niigata is very famous for her brand rice in Japan, The name of the brand rice is Koshi Hikari, Koshi is an ancient name for Niigata, and Hikari means the light; that is, the light of Niigata,
Niigata is known as a “Snow Country” throughout Japan by Nobel Prize author Kawabata’s novel “Snow Country”. Snow melting water makes tasteful brand rice and Sake, rice wine. There are one hundred Sake rice wine breweries and one hundred hot springs in Niigata Prefecture.
Keiwa College is a four-year Christian liberal arts college. We have only one faculty at Keiwa, the Faculty of Humanities, which has 3 departments: the Department of English Culture & Communication, the Department of International Affairs, and the Department of Community and Social Welfare. The number of students is about 600 and the number of foreign students is about 40 this year. They are from China, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and Italy.
I read a column in a Japanese leading newspaper, Asahi Shimbun (Morning Sun Newspaper), a few weeks ago that President Barack Obama visited Howard University and made an impressive Commencement Speech. President Obama also visited Hiroshima 10 days ago and made a very impressive Hiroshima Speech, which makes a counterpart of his Prague Speech in 2009, and he wrote down the following massage in the visitors’ memorial notebook at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
“We have known the agony of war. Let us now find the courage together, to spread peace, and pursue a world without nuclear weapon.”
Where ever you may go, and whatever you may do in the future, let us spread peace in the world, let us try to be peace makers among the different people, and let us try to be peace makers in the sense of grassroots.
Enjoy your stay in Niigata Prefecture, enjoy your stay in Shibata City/Seiro Town, and enjoy your JCLP program at Keiwa College. Thank you very much.