I have succeeded Mr. Tei-ichi Sato in the post of director
general of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Building
on the achievements made by Mr. Sato and JSPS's other officers as
well as on the public trust they have earned, I will do all in my
power to continue to advance scientific development in Japan while
working to enhance JSPS's programs. In this effort, I request the
guidance and encouragement of all our colleagues and affiliates.
We have crossed the threshold into the 21st century.
With the advent of a "knowledge society" spurred by the
rapid advances in science and technology and underpinned by new
genera of knowledge, this century promises to be called the "knowledge
century." It is certain to be a century that sees increased
demand for both the generation and integration of knowledge. Scientific
research carried out in pursuit of truth will play an instrumental
role in such knowledge creation and restructuring.
In Japan, this is particularly the case with research
to be conducted under the government's 2nd S&T Basic Plan, which
mandates the building of a nation undergirded by scientific and
technological creativity of the world's highest standard. Accomplishing
this objective will urgently require a forging ahead with scientific
research that is both richly creative and highly diverse.
To meet such expectations, JSPS, as Japan's core science-promotion
organization, carries out a vigorous program of activities-one that
has been expanding in scale year upon year. These include performing
the project selection and grant distribution functions of the Grants-in-Aid
for Scientific Research Program, fostering researchers through the
granting of the Research Fellowships for Young Scientists Program,
and conducting other programs to promote international cooperation
and exchange. To these was added this fiscal year the project selection
function under the 21st Century COE Program. These programs were
assessed in an external review conducted in June of last year, in
which a panel of leading authorities from overseas science-promotion
agencies highly appraised their performance.
Based on its record of past achievement, JSPS will
be converted into an "independent administrative institution"
in October of this year. This transition will bring with it ever
higher expectation in JSPS to operate its programs in a more flexible,
effective and transparent manner, while demonstrating a high quality
of leadership in the promotion of scientific research within Japan.
Having assumed the post of JSPS's director general
in such a period of pivotal transition, I am committed to working
to meet the broad spectrum of researchers' needs and public expectations
in advancing scientific research, while reforming and enhancing
JSPS's programs and operations in such a way as to elevate the intellectual
presence of Japan within the international community.
To these ends, I reiterate my request for your sustained
support and cooperation.