About AIU

President’s Message

President, Akita International University

Picture of President Cassim

Akita International University was established here in Akita by its first president, Dr. Mineo Nakajima, with the aim to provide a new global education that had never been offered in Japan before. Thereafter, President Suzuki successfully raised the current education level to a global standard within liberal arts in the world of education in Japan. This success is the result of the AIU Community, a diverse and vibrant group of students, faculty, staff, the Akita community, and partner universities around the world.

The next step in the evolution of AIU’s education is to create new value by combining all that Akita, Tohoku, Japan, and the world has to offer. Connecting with diverse people and organizations, and various other aspects will stimulate students to grow and innovate further. For example, the combination of the “Industry in Akita x AIU's curriculum x Overseas partner universities" includes "Wind power x Sustainability x University in Denmark," "Agriculture x Programming x University in Australia," "Tourism x Marketing x University in the U.S.," and so on. The AIU Community offers a learning environment that allows for a variety of combinations and applied practices to match student interest.

Regardless of any uncertainty in the world and influence of digital technology on society in the future, there will always be a need for global leaders who can work while connecting with people from around the world. We look forward to welcoming motivated students, and work together to open up the infinite possibilities that is created by the AIU Community and AILA.


President’s Profile

1947 Born in Colombo, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
1970 B.A., Architecture, University of Sri Lanka
1974-1981 Research Fellow and Coordinator, Group Asia 80 Program, Japan Center for Area Development Research
1976 M.A., Urban Engineering, The University of Tokyo
1976-1977 Lecturer and Secretary of the Committee for Graduate School Establishment, University Sains Malaysia
1980-1984 Architect at Design Management Division, Design Department, Mitsui Construction Ltd.
1982 Withdrawal from the Doctoral Program with the Completion of Course Requirements of Urban Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
1985-1994 Senior Research Fellow (U.N. Expert) and Coordinator, United Nations Center for Regional Development
1994-2018 Professor, Ritsumeikan University
2004-2009 President, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
2004-2012 Vice Chancellor, Ritsumeikan Trust
2013-2014 Special Aide to the Chancellor, Ritsumeikan Trust
2014-2017 Member, Board of Councilors, Ritsumeikan Trust
2014-2021 Executive Trustee, Akita International University
2015-2018 Assistant Trustee, Ritsumeikan Trust
2018-2021 President, Trustee and Professor, Shizenkan University
2021-present President (Chair of the Board), Akita International University

Other prominent posts including University Council Executive Trustee of Vietnam-Japan University, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Councilors of Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology and Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka

Publications include Concepts of sustainability (Chapter.2 in An introduction to sustainability science, (Horitsu Bunka Sha, 2013)). He has also given many lectures at the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science(SLAAS)and universities in Japan and abroad and more.
In 2016, he was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure [Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon] from the Government of Japan for his contribution to the promotion of private education in Japan and his continuous efforts to promote mutual understanding between Sri Lanka and Japan.
In 2017 he received a National Honours Lifetime Award (Vidya Nidhi) for Contributions to science and technology by the Government of Sri Lanka.