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President’s Message

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President of Chiba Institute of Technology
Joichi Ito

Chiba Institute of Technology: Changing the Future of Japan

The pressing need to train IT engineers, an under-appreciated profession

Chiba Institute of Technology was established in 1942 with the mission to provide industrial education equal in quality to that in Europe and the United States, and to increase the industrial capacity of the whole of Asia, not just Japan. As the oldest private technology institute in Japan, we have taken on the role of training engineers who will work at the heart of our communities. While we have continued to adapt the institute to the challenges of the day, the accelerating pace and urgency of technological change heightens the importance of our mission. As you all know, amid the rapid progress information technology has made in the areas of artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency, and web3, there is an overwhelming shortage of IT personnel in Japan. This poses a major obstacle to the progress of technical innovation and social change in Japan, and there is a pressing need to train IT personnel to meet our society’s needs.

Another major challenge is improving the status of IT engineers in Japan. Many large US companies have technical senior managers. Meanwhile, there are still very few technical minds among Japanese corporate leaders and politicians who make critical decisions on Japan’s national policy. Technical progress is severely hampered in Japan because of the technical understanding of its leadership. I believe that the role of the Chiba Institute of Technology is to consider ways to improve the status of IT engineers in Japan and their working conditions and also produce leaders who can understand new technologies and help drive corporate and national policy.

The importance of applying acquired knowledge and technical skills to the real world

I would like everyone who studies at Chiba Institute of Technology to learn technical skills that will truly transform our society. When I worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab we had a slogan, “Demo or Die.” This meant that if you could not demonstrate something, then your project or idea often ended there—or if you could not give shape to your idea and show it to others, then it had little impact. This slogan further evolved into “Deploy or Die.” This meant that simply giving shape to an idea isn’t enough – it must fulfill a purpose in the world. It is important in any field to learn the basics and build on them. However, I would like you to improve your knowledge and technical skills by asking, “How can what I have learned be useful to society?” and “How can it be applied to bring about positive change?”

Form a deep connection with society through project-based learning

I also implemented “Deploy or Die” at the CIT Center for Radical Transformation, where I am the Director. I started a web3 class, working on various projects with participation from the general public and private companies in addition to undergraduates and graduate students. The progress made in these projects through industry-academia collaboration has enabled us to study firsthand what the needs of society are, as well as where and how new technology can be beneficial

Furthermore, in 2022, we began to issue degree certificates from Chiba Institute of Technology as NFTs. These are immutable online certificates issued using open standards shared by a global community. They are designed to protect the certificate holder’s personal information while also allowing the graduate to certify the credential’s validity and their identity. This was the first issuance of NFT academic credentials at a Japanese university. It’s one simple example of deploying new technology that provokes experimentation and imagination and is easy for people to understand.

Grow and develop the intrinsic motivation budding within you

I would like to further increase the number of CIT’s global and regional projects, projects with corporations, and projects with the government in the near future, so that the institute is not only a place for students to learn. Maintaining relationships with people and organizations outside the institute will stimulate new ideas and better understanding; and I have no doubt it will also offer excellent opportunities for our students to experience real-world perspectives on what they are studying. These perspectives are essential to elevate our IT experts beyond just executing on the plans of others. I hope all of our students will develop their natural drive, focusing on fields they are interested in and perhaps discovering their passion through these projects. Chiba Institute of Technology is a place where the thrill of studying can grow in each student. Let us change the future of Japan together.


Joichi "Joi" Ito is a digital architect, venture capitalist, entrepreneur, writer, and scholar focusing on the transformation of society and technology. He works to respond to complex challenges such as education, democracy and governance, and to redesign systems of scholarship and science. He served as director of the MIT Media Lab from 2011 to 2019. He was the board chair and chief executive of Creative Commons and has served on numerous other boards, including at The New York Times Company, Sony Corporation, The Mozilla Foundation, The Open Source Initiative, ICANN, and The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). He is a co-founder, board member, and chief architect of Digital Garage, a member of The Council for Digital Society of the Digital Agency of Japan and the Web3 Study Group, and the co-chair of the Committee on Digital Transformation in the Corporate Sector at the Japan Association of Corporate Executives. In November 2021, he was appointed Director of the Henkaku Center at Chiba Institute of Technology. In January 2022, he became a Councilor at Chiba Institute of Technology, and the 14th President of Chiba Institute of Technology from July 2023.