25 September 2015, CYU Library
Address by Shinya Murase
Thank you, Mr. Vice President Lin and Dean Wu, for your kindest words, by which I am just overwhelmed. When I first heard of this ceremony, I did not think it necessary, because my donation is indeed a very modest one, and it is not worth a particular commemoration. Dean Wu was exaggerating the value of the books. Nonetheless, I am deeply grateful for the CYU’s recognition, which I certainly do not deserve.
One day in February this year, I was looking at those books in the study of my small house in Tokyo, and started wondering what I should do with them. After a thought, I decided to donate all my books in English, some 2000 volumes, to CYU. As you may know, we are all concerned in Tokyo about a big earthquake that we may have in the near future. According to the record of the past 2000 years, we are supposed be hit by a huge earthquake once in every one hundred years in the Tokyo area. The last big one occurred in 1923, and so, we can have an earthquake at any time now. If it comes, I am sure that my old wooden house, full of books, will be the first one to be crashed. So, I was very happy that the CYU has kindly agreed to accept my books.
I have been teaching here at CYU since last September. Professor Qin Yihe was instrumental in inviting me here. Some years ago, she translated my book on International Lawmaking into Chinese. The original Japanese version is about 750 pages, and I heard that she made it a rule to translate 5 pages a day, and it took more than one year to translate the whole book. I can well imagine that it must have been a tremendous amount of work, and I am truly grateful for her efforts.
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Vice President Lin, Dean Wu, former Vice Dean Sun and the current Vice Dean Wang and many other CYU professors who have been extremely supportive to me over the past two years. I am particularly grateful to Dr. Chen Xiaohua, with whom I have been working closely in the contexts of the topic, Protection of the Atmosphere, for which I serve as Special Rapporteur of the UN International Law Commission. We also coach the Jessup Moot Court students, which is a lot of fun. I sometimes criticize Dr. Chen, as she appears to be too strict to students. I know she is critical of me, because I am too lenient to them. Working together, however, I think we are striking a proper balance.
I have been truly impressed by the students at CYU whom I have come to know in my classes. They are extremely intelligent and hard-working and so eager to learn international law. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to teach at CYU. It is indeed a privilege to be surrounded by these bright young people, considering that I am now 72 years old, though I always pretend to be 42, before students.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Vice President Lin, Dean Wu and other CYU leaders for the support that you have given to international law students of this university. It was gratifying to see the Jessup students were sent to Washington DC to participate in the international rounds, and also two graduate students to The Hague Academy of International Law. The latter two students stopped over at Geneva for a few days to observe the session of the International Law Commission. I had the pleasure to introduce these students to my fellow members of the Commission, all of whom were quite impressed by the high intellectual standard and courteous, friendly attitude of these students. I was really proud of them. I hope that the practice of sending students abroad will be continued as a tradition of this university for a long time.
For these and many other reasons, I am the one who should thank you wholeheartedly, and NOT the other way around.
Thank you again for your kindness.