Takashi Anzai
Chairman, Toyo University Incorporated Educational Institution

Message from the Chairman


Expectations for the Future of Students Struggling amid the Coronavirus Crisis

In our fight against the novel coronavirus, the feeling of fear seems to be diminishing, perhaps because we have gotten accustomed to the situation. We should, however, stay alert until the day when an effective vaccine becomes available to us. In order to avoid being infected with the virus or transmitting it to others, we need to wash our hands, wear a mask and maintain social distancing as the most basic of basics. Surprisingly, according to experts, a virus is not a bacterium or a cell. The diameter of a virus is one-tenth that of a bacterium or smaller. Viruses infect other organisms and self-replicate in them and are said to be on the border between organisms and non-organisms. Moreover, viruses have existed on the Earth for far longer than humankind, and about 40 percent of human DNA sequences are made up of viral and other similar DNA sequences. As such, viruses do both good and bad for humankind. Viruses are certainly not an opponent that we human beings can challenge and defeat. Maybe we therefore need to consider how to live with the coronavirus going forward.

We have been managing the University from the viewpoint of students, and we deeply regret having to close the campuses due to the coronavirus, depriving our students of opportunities to have heated discussions with their teachers and fellows on campus. However, I am not pessimistic about the future of our students. Looking back on my own school days, I was taught by teachers who had been sent onto the battlefield as student soldiers in World War II, and later I had the experience of working as a subordinate of a man who had been on board the battleship Yamato as a student soldier and returned to his hometown having narrowly escaped death. These people, who had to suspend or give up their studies due to the war, were called the “war generation.” They were engaging people with deep insight and a rich sense of humanity. They played a core role in Japan’s recovery from the war devastation and I still feel great respect for them. I associate our current students with this generation, because they are also a war generation, forced to fight against the novel coronavirus. Due to the spread of the infection, the enrollment ceremony was cancelled, students studying overseas were compelled to return to Japan, the campuses were closed and all classes began to be held online. Students seeking employment are likewise given job interviews online amid uncertainties about the future of the companies. Indeed, the virus has totally changed the world. However, please note that the days of agony, pain and thinking are not for nothing. What you are experiencing now will help you develop yourself into resilient members of a workforce who can make contributions to others. Not only in Japan but also across the world, politics, economics and the ways in which people work and live will change dramatically. The number of students who belong to the “coronavirus war generation” has reached several hundred million around the world. Sharing this difficult experience, the generation will undoubtedly cooperate and take actions together to lead the creation of the next age, and my expectations for the future of students belonging to this generation are boundless.

September 18, 2020



Joined the Bank of Japan


Executive Director, the Bank of Japan


President, The Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan, Ltd.


Adviser, Ito-Yokado Co., Ltd.


President, IY Bank Co., Ltd.currently Seven Bank, Ltd.


Trustee, Toyo University Incorporated Educational Institution


Chairman, Seven Bank, Ltd.


Senior Executive Adviser, Seven Bank, Ltd.


Chairman, Toyo University Incorporated Educational Institution