Congratulatory Address from Mr. Takao Kuramochi
(Director-Genaral of Research Promotion Bureau, MEXT)

Thank you for the introduction. I am Takao Kuramochi, Director-General of Research Promotion Bureau of MEXT. Before making a brief speech, I would like to express my sincere condolences to the victims of the disaster, Great East Japan Earthquake

Today, I am here to offer my congratulations to this opening ceremony for the new building for IFReC. As is the common recognition among us, the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI), launched by MEXT in FY2007, is to build high-profile research centers that attract the global flow of outstanding researchers in the world, under the current circumstances where competition for securing the world's finest brains is intensifing.

I am really glad to hear that Professor.Akira, Director as well as a principle investigator of IFReC, receives the 2011 Gairdner International Award, which is recognized as among the most prestigious awards in biomedical science. Additionally, with exellent activities of Professor.Akira and fellows, Osaka University has showed its strength in immunology by making No.1 in the latest citation impact ranking of Thomson Reuters. I would like to hope IFReC' s continuous success in years ahead.

Now, the long-awaited new building is completed. I'm sure that the new building will help accelerate further fusion of various fields such as immunology, imaging, and bioinfomatics, under the idea of "under one roof", and will contribute to comprehensive understanding of immunology-system. I hope we will see IFReC eventually function as the highly-visible research center, create research outcomes, and drive innovation in medical treatment for immune diseases. MEXT will continue to support the efforts to create top-level research centers with utmost efforts.

The concept of WPI expects consistent support from host institutions. I would like to thank the deep understanding and continuous support of Professor.Washida, President of Osaka University, and I believe that the incoming president, Professor.Hirano, will work together with us, too, towards accomplishing the WPI mission with a strong will and commitment.

Finally, I would like to reiterate my congratulations, and wish for the further success of President Washida and the faculty and staff of Osaka University, and everyone gathered here today.

Thank you very much.