I am thankful for meeting a lot of wonderful people! In my life I have met a variety of people, of different ages, genders and nationalities. In each period of my life, I have met such diverse people. Some of them were sometimes embarrassing to me, but many more were splendid encounters that I enjoyed very much. I have also had many unfortunate accidents and problems hard to cope with. However, relatively speaking, they all had a great influence on me in each period of my life. Now that I am sixty years old, I have come to realize that I, who am cheerful, active and full of curiosity, have been very fortunate since my early years, being supported and assisted by my family, friends and acquaintances. As a young boy, I knew that my family was kind to everybody around them, and so I took it for granted that I, too, should try to be kind to other people.
I am sure that everyone has something to do in life and that it is important to influence each other. It seems to me that the course of our lives is greatly determined by the way we make use of each other's influences. Nearly one year ago, I learned I was suffering from cancer and doctors told me that I would live three to six months with a probability of 30%. Thanks to new medical devices and encouraging words from the hospital staff, friends all over the world, and of course from my family, I was able to leave the hospital after a ten-month hospitalization. Most likely, God or Buddha ("a power from the universe") is telling me, exceptionally, "Live a little longer and enjoy life!"
I feel as if I've always been trying to create beauty, acting in an outgoing and powerful manner. After being released from the hospital, however, I would like to treat warm-heartedly those people around me, paying special attention to a little effort, a bit of sincerity, and a small amount of courage and vigor. Everybody always fails. We have no other choice but to face our failures with efforts and sincerity.
I regret to say that it is not likely we will achieve world peace depending merely on some marvellous religion or a few super heroes. However, I'd like to dream that "warm friendship and mutual assistance", though they are small, will gradually spread all over the world. I believe that their foundation lies in our own "smiles and smiling faces." I do want to give my smile to you all in return for the warm smiles that I received from you while I was in hospital. What I treasure most is wonderful human relationships.