Office of the President

A message from the President

Looking Into "Issues of Living"

Junko Hibiya, President

International Christian University is Japan's first liberal arts college. It was founded in 1953 based on Christian principles, with the aim of "cultivating capable individuals, educated as internationally minded citizens, who will serve both God and people and who will contribute to lasting peace." At the first matriculation ceremony, held on April 29th of the same year, each student was introduced and, in order to realize the aim and philosophy of the university, students vowed to lead lives that adhered to the principles of the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights."

A cornerstone that sets ICU apart from other universities is the respect paid to each person as a unique individual. This is epitomized by the fact that all students are called individually, by name, at the April and September matriculation ceremonies and at the March and June commencement ceremonies. This tradition has been faithfully upheld since the founding of the university.

ICU offers a fully bilingual education in Japanese and English. The liberal arts education, provided by its undergraduate college, allows students to pursue an in-depth study in any of approximately 30 majors. At the same time, this education highlights the dynamic possibilities that can emerge as students experience areas that transcend and connect academic disciplines. Powered by a commitment to liberal arts education, ICU also offers graduate programs designed to deepen scholarly research. Students work independently, and the role of faculty and staff is to support a process by which students discover their own potential. How this is achieved is through a system of classes with a low student-teacher ratio, classes that prioritize participation and, finally, through the faculty advisory system, office hours and tutorials.

The ICU campus is a place where students, faculty and staff of diverse backgrounds can study and work, in unison and, in such an ambience, there is greater perception and understanding of individual difference. This leads to enhanced self-awareness and the possibility of interpersonal relations.

Another unique aspect of ICU is its tradition of emphasizing interaction throughout the campus community. In addition to the main building where lectures are held, the science building, the library and gymnasium, this verdant 620,000-square-meter campus is also home to student dormitories and faculty and staff residences. Unmistakably, this makes for an environment where students can interact fluently with faculty and staff outside the classroom. This campus, without parallel, was provided to ICU in the wake of the destruction from World War II, through the generous donations of a great many people who supported the university's founding principles.

Hachiro Yuasa (1890-1981), who served as the frst president of ICU, believed Proverbs 29:18 from the King James Bible, "Where there is no vision, the people perish" to be "an important expression in considering our reason for existence and in the realization of an organization's philosophy." President Yuasa asked, "We each of us are given only one opportunity in life. Therefore, with what vision are we going to live that life? Is that not the foremost question with which we proceed through life?" (pp. 34-35, "Visions to the Young," ICU Alumni Association, 1981).

We confront the work of each living day, with a sincere heart, responding to the prayers of the countless people who have sown the seeds of their commitment to ICU over the past 60 years.


Junko Hibiya, President of International Christian University
Born: 22 October 1957


1980 Sophia University, B.A., French Studies, 1980
1982 Sophia University, M.A., Linguistics, 1982
1988 University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D., Linguistics, 1988

Teaching Positions Held

1987-1992 Assistant Professor, International Center, Keio University
1992-2002 Associate Professor, International Center, Keio University
1994 Visiting Associate Professor, Program in Asian Studies, Dartmouth College
2002-2004 Associate Professor, Division of Languages, International Christian University
2004-2005 Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Visiting Professor, East Asia Languages and Cultures, Columbia University
2005-2007 Professor, Division of Languages, International Christian University
2008-present Professor, Division of Arts and Sciences, International Christian University

Administrative Offices Held at International Christian University

2002-2004 Director, Summer Courses in Japanese
2004-2005 Director, Japanese Language Programs
2005-2006 Chair, Division of Languages
2006-2012 Director, Office of Academic Reform
2008-2012 Vice President for Academic Affairs
2012-present President

Membership with Academic Societies

Linguistic Society of Japan, Japanese Association of Sociolinguistic Sciences, Society for Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language

Other Positions Held

2012-present Councilor of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
2014-present Member of the Science Council of Japan (Linguistics/Literature)
2015-present Member of the Central Council for Education

President's Vision for Education

In my presidential inauguration address, I expressed my vision and aspirations for ICU: that the university embodies a place where each person's potential is brought to fruition, a university where each person discovers his or her calling, and a university that continues to mature as it pursues its ideals. In order to realize these three visions, I will execute the following plan.

To be a university where each person's potential is brought to fruition;

  1. Evaluation and improvement of academic reform
  2. Improvement of the physical environment for learning, appropriate for ICU's liberal arts education and the provision of security
  3. Inspection and improvement of admissions
  4. Hiring of the faculty who appreciate the mission of ICU as well as their professional development

To be a university where each person discovers his or her calling;

  1. Improvement of communication among the members of the ICU community
  2. Construction of diverse study abroad programs

To be a university that continues to mature as it pursues its ideals

  1. Substantiation of the "Student Pledge"
  2. Strengthening of our financial basis

Administrator Profiles

Vice President for Academic Affairs


Dr. Morimoto received a B.A. from ICU, Th.M. from Tokyo Union Theological Seminary, and Ph.D. in systematic theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. He joined the ICU faculty Humanities Division as associate professor in 1997. After serving as a professor, he was appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2012. He also serves as trustee in the Japan Society of Christian Studies and the Japanese Association for American Studies.

Vice President for International Academic Exchange


Dr.Williams took his BA in Japanese Studies at the University of Oxford and received his Ph.D. in Japanese Literature from the University of California, Berkeley in 1991. He was on the faculty of the University of Leeds from 1988-2017, but between 2011 and 2014, he was seconded to Akita International University, Japan, where he served as Vice President for Academic Affairs. He served as President of the British Association for Japanese Studies between 2008-11. His research has focused on the writings of a series of post-war Japanese Christian authors, most notably those of Endō Shūsaku.

Email: williams[@]

Dean of the College of Liberal Arts

CLA.IWAKIRI Shoichiro_190313-1.jpg

IWAKIRI, Shoichiro

Mr. Iwakiri graduated from the Faculty of Letters, the University of Tokyo (area of specialization: French Language and Literature) and received an MA in Literature from the University of Tokyo. He completed the coursework requirements for his doctoral program at the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, the University of Tokyo. In 1994, he became an assistant in the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology and Faculty of Letters, the University of Tokyo. In 1996, he joined International Christian University as an assistant professor, becoming professor in 2007. He has served as Assistant Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Director of the Admissions Center. His specialty is modern and contemporary French poetry, and his research mainly focuses on the poet Baudelaire. His interests also include drama translation theory and practice.

Dean of the Graduate School


Dr. Kaizoji graduated from Waseda University's School of Commerce and received his PhD from Tokyo Institute of Technology. He also earned units at The University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Economics. He began working at International Christian University as Assistant Professor in 1994, becoming Professor in 2015 and Dean of the Graduate School in 2016. During this period, he was Visiting Professor at University of Kiel and ETH Zurich. A council member of the Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, he specializes in macroeconomics, monetary economics, the economic bubble, and the burst of the economic bubble.

Dean of Students

KATO, Etsuko

Dr. Kato graduated from Keio University with a BA in Linguistic in 1988 and an MA in Linguistics in 1992. In 2001, she received a PhD in Linguistic and Semiotic Anthropology from the University of Toronto and became a postdoctoral researcher at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Kato was appointed Associate Professor at International Christian University in 2002 and Professor in 2015. She served twice as Director of the Center for Gender Studies and assumed the post of Dean of Students in April 2018. Dr. Kato anthropologically researches gender, nationalism, and migration of the Japanese people.

Director, University Secretariat


Ms. Hatakeyama received a B.A. from Aoyama Gakuin University, M.A. in library and information science from Keio University. After serving as the acting director of library at ICU for 8 years, she was appointed the director in 2014. Since October 2016, she holds the post of Director, University Secretariat.

Speeches and Articles

This page features a list of the President's messages, addresses, speeches, and appearances in the press.

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