It is fitting that the University of Limerick should honour, posthumously, Kagayaki Miyazaki, the late Chairman of the prominent global multinational company - the Asahi Chemical Industry Company Limited. In his lifetime, Mr Miyazaki espoused and gave life to those values which the University cherishes - national, international and global development; the harnessing of science and technology for economic, commercial, and social progress; and the education of youth for these ends.
Kagayaki Miyazaki was born in 1909 in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, and his life - from an early age - was devoted to development in its best and broadest perspectives, to international trade and commerce, and to the harnessing of technology and innovation for productive use.
He interspersed these demanding objectives with public service, and was duly recognised by his native country, Japan.
Kagayaki Miyazaki led the Asahi Chemical Industry Company Limited for over thirty years, and for almost thirty years before that had been a potent force in shaping Asahi Chemical's destiny. Having graduated in English Law in 1934 from the University of Tokyo (then Tokyo Imperial University) he joined Asahi Bemberg - later to be Asahi Chemical. In 1947 he was elected to the Asahi Chemical Board of Directors. He became Managing Director in 1947 and Senior Managing Director in 1958. He was elected President in 1961. He led Asahi Chemical as President from 1961 to 1985, and as Chairman of the Board from 1985 until his death in April 1992. During his lifetime, he therefore presided over the destiny of Asahi Chemical from the time it was a domestic fibres manufacturer in a depressed and uncertain industry to its present position as a comprehensive industrial corporation with domestic and global operations ranging from chemicals and fibres to pharmaceuticals and electronics.
Kagayaki Miyazaki was a man of leadership...of firm commitment...and also of service - always harnessing his vision to the realities which surrounded him, and thereby creating greatness. We, in Ireland, have seen these qualities at first hand in the establishment, development, and growth of Asahi (Ireland) Limited.
In is not surprising that a man of these qualities and vision was called into public service by his country and by his industry. He was named to the Tariff Rates Deliberative Council of the Japanese Ministry of Finance in 1970; he was appointed to the Provisional Commission for Administrative Reform at its inception in 1981, and to the Provisional Council for the Promotion of Administrative Reform at its inception in 1987. He was for many years a member of MITI's Textiles Industry Council, a standing director of the Federation of Economic Organisations, and a representative member of the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce. He was Chairman of the Tokyo Textile Federation since 1980.
Kagayaki Miyazaki was decorated at the highest national levels in Japan in recognition of his contributions to the development of his nation's business, its industry, and its economy. He received two major national awards...in 1971, the Blue Ribbon Medal, and in 1982 the First Order of Sacred Treasure.
A man of vision, of service, of dedication to an ideal over a lifetime, a persistently creative individual...it is fitting that the University of Limerick should honour this man, his memory, and his lifetime's work by conferring on him, posthumously, an Honorary Doctorate of Laws.