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January 5, 1972

 Okinawa University and International University, private universities located in Okinawa, have decided to merge and establish a new university, based on agreement between the parties. As private universities, both naturally possess unique philosophies of establishment in accordance with their founders. They also have concepts for executing those philosophies, and their own irreplaceable histories and traditions of value. However, while the unique rationales of both Okinawa University and International University to exist as private universities and their traditions will be respected, from today the decision has been made to reexamine the issue of being “ a private university in Okinawa” from an even broader perspective.

 Prior to WWII, not a single university or technical college was established in Okinawa. After the war, the two private universities were created amid an unusual social environment of military administration by a different race—as it were, the universities were built from nothing through strenuous efforts. No matter the extent to which both universities have contributed to local society, or how they are viewed for having fulfilled their roles, there is a need to establish a university that will be the top educational institution in Okinawa, and the insight and endeavors of the founders in earnestly responding to the need for institutions of higher learning, especially the hope for private universities, deserves to be afforded the highest praise.

 However, since establishment it has become clear that smoothly managing a private university while constantly maintaining the highest standards of education and research is far from an easy task. A glance at the considerable debt, personnel composition, and facilities of the two universities clearly reveals the difficulty of facing a series of hardships, both moral and material.

 These problems, though, are not merely the result of careless management or lack of effort in filling faculty posts and upgrading facilities. Post-war Okinawa has led a troubled history fettered with numerous burdens, and private universities in Okinawa have had to follow the same path. Our current problems are of the same nature as those of post-war Okinawa society, which has reached the critical limit of the autonomous efforts of its citizens.

 Consequently, our problems are of a fundamentally different nature than problems that might be pointed out in light of the Standards for the Establishment of Universities based on Japanese law, which has been much speculated about with the reversion of Okinawa to Japan, or of complaints that we fail to measure up to universities on the mainland. It would be inappropriate to attempt to grasp our problems only by applying these so-called establishment standards. Nevertheless, we can by no means ignore our problems, regardless of their cause. As for the above-mentioned critical limit, we have been vigilantly mindful of our problems as we conduct the daily tasks of research and education and have unwaveringly been determined to conquer them, but the accumulated years of effort have now reached an impasse.

 Recognizing this awareness and perspective, concerned parties from both universities have reached the mutual understanding that they share the same problems and the same means for overcoming them, and have decided to cooperate in reformulating the role of the private university in Okinawa.

 Accordingly, Okinawa University and International University firmly believe that the so-called identities of the two universities, which have been fostered separately in Okinawa, can be partially preserved in a new integrated identity while mutually respecting the intents and purposes of each founder and the traditions of each university. In fact, creating a private university in the Okinawan community that possesses such a strong sense of identity is the obligation of both parties.

 Okinawa’s return to Japan in 1972 means that private universities in Okinawa have to compete with several hundred Japanese universities, but we should steadfastly adhere to our identity as a private Okinawan university, and extend our self-assertiveness to all of Japanese society. This struggle is of the same nature as Okinawa’s fight for true freedom and political autonomy constantly called for and sought after by citizens and society over the last quarter of a century that comprises modern Okinawa history.

 In taking this position, we are appealing to the general public and earnestly hoping for its understanding and cooperation, for we know that the newly planned university cannot survive without the broad support and sympathy of the local community.

 Fortunately, all groundwork in connection with the organization and management of the new university is currently nearing completion. In addition, the Japanese government has, in compliance with the wishes of the concerned parties, firmly committed itself to providing funds for this new university that has been conceived through our hard work.

 We have hereby expressed our aspirations and the course of events leading to the establishment of a new university through the merger of Okinawa University and International University. We turn to all concerned for their encouragement and assistance.