The Hokkaido University conferred an honorary doctorate degree to Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) Director General Dr. Joel Marciano, Jr. on 27 January 2023, in acknowledgment and appreciation of his contributions to the relationship between the two institutions. Below is DG Marciano’s acceptance speech:

My deep and profound gratitude to Hokkaido University for conferring this honorary doctorate degree. It is truly a great privilege, as I recognize the rich history, pioneering tradition, and proud accomplishments of this august institution.

I did not formally attend Hokkaido University, but that has not stopped it from becoming a ‘cradle of learning’ for me. Hokudai and its partners in Japan opened my eyes, and that of my country’s, to the small satellite revolution. The partnership has helped build a solid foundation for space technology in the Philippines, and continues to help shape its future.

“Be ambitious!”

The words of Dr. William Smith Clark endure and ring true.

In the field of space, we speak of the ambition of nations to push the boundaries of humankind’s collective understanding of our precious planet and of the universe. This has deeply inspired many young Filipinos, and it motivates us to further enhance cooperation and collaboration with other nations. As the province of humankind, we must use space to bring people together to unite for good.

I appreciate and accept this honor as a symbol of working together to create even more inspiration for succeeding generations. I hope to contribute to further strengthening existing ties between Japan and the Philippines, and to expand it into new frontiers.

We continue to have high aspirations and ambitions for the friendship and cooperation between our institutions – the Philippine Space Agency and Hokkaido University – and between our countries.

Arigatou gozaimasu. Maraming salamat po!