On October 2, OIST received a generous donation from Mr. Chiken Kakazu, a former Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker and a longtime supporter of the OIST project.
“OIST is my dream come true,” said Mr. Chiken Kakazu, a former Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) member who once served as the Cabinet Office’s senior vice minister in charge of Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs. On October 2, OIST received a generous donation from Mr. Kakazu, who was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star in spring 2012. Mr. Kakazu's donation is a gesture of gratitude to the Okinawan people, who he said made his award possible. In a donation hand-over ceremony that was also attended by OIST Provost Robert Baughman and Board of Governors Chair Dr. Torsten Wiesel, the former lawmaker told President Jonathan Dorfan that the people of Okinawa have high expectations of OIST that it will become a center of intellectual capital in Japan and a star of hope for children on the island. Citing the visit program OIST has launched to invite all local high school students, the President responded by saying that he enjoys watching the excited faces of the students, and that he believes the Graduate University is already making an impact on Okinawa’s youth. Mr. Kakazu signed the Golden Book with a message that read "Hope" in Japanese. President Dorfan smiled and said, "Hope springs eternal."
A plaque will be fixed to the wall bordering the entrance to the campus. The inscription on the plaque reads: "This plaque marks the generous donation to OIST by Mr. Chiken Kakazu on October 2, 2012, as a gesture of gratitude to the Okinawan people on his award of The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star in spring 2012. The donation will be used to promote University activities."
It was the second donation by individuals to OIST since its establishment last November, and the first came from the Kakazu family on March 15 this year in memory of Mr. Kakazu’s wife Takako, who was a strong supporter of the OIST vision. Donations are recognized by plaques on the same wall, called a ‘Wall of Honor’ recognizing the generosity of individuals and organizations that have contributed to OIST.