Consul General Shigeru Nakamura
Professor Christopher McKee, Chair, Physics Department of the
University of California, Berkeley
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am most pleased and honored that all of
you have accepted our invitation to attend today's opening ceremony
of JSPS office here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Thank you very
much for taking valuable time out of your busy schedules to join
us on this occasion.
The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
was originally established with an imperial endowment in 1932
as a private foundation. Last year, JSPS celebrated its 70th
anniversary as an organization dedicated to the advancement of
science. Over this period, JSPS has striven to stay a step ahead
of the times in initiating and carrying out a wide range of activities.
Now, in October of this year, JSPS will become an "independent
administrative institution." Under this completely new organizational
format, JSPS will be able to play an even greater role in the
promotion of science. I consider it most significant that at this
major milestone in JSPS's transition, we are establishing this
overseas office on the West Coast of the United States.
Up until now, scientific research exchange
between JSPS and the US revolved around our office in Washington,
DC, which was established in 1990. Now, with a view to building
a network with researchers on the West Coast as well, we have
established the San Francisco office. The new office will mainly
focus its activities on California, where scientific exchange
with Japan is most active. It will provide the information on
the latest scientific developments in Japan to scientific research
institutions and individual researchers on the West Coast. At
the same time, the office will send more researchers here from
Japan, while working to further enhance scientific exchange between
the two countries.
Looking back for a moment, it was in 1853
when President Millard Fillmore dispatched Commodore Matthew C.
Perry, to Japan. This year marks the 150th anniversary
of that event. At the time, Japan had been a closed country under
the Tokugawa regime. For more than 200 years, trade had been forbidden
with other countries. While Japan was in that state of isolation,
American and Europe made great strides in the advancement of science
and technology. Japan was left far behind. Commodore Perry's coming
to Japan not only set Japan on a new course, but also paved the
way to the later relationship between the US and Japan. Just how
significant that event was goes without saying.
Well, I don't mean to compare the opening
of this new office with Commodore Perry's landing in Japan. However,
it was in California where the first Japanese scientists stepped
foot, burning with desire to learn America's advanced science
and technology. The opening of this JSPS office at the turn of
the 21st century marks a significant milestone along
the path they pioneered.
Now, I take pleasure in introducing you to
Dr. Seishi Takeda. He will be the director of JSPS's San Francisco
office. Up till now, Dr. Takeda is a professor at the High Energy
Accelerator Research Organization (or KEK) in Tsukuba, Japan.
He is a specialist in accelerator research. Despite Dr. Takeda's
busy involvement in his own research, he graciously accepted out
request to head JSPS's Washington DC office. Now, we have asked
him to become the first director of our new San Francisco office.
Next, I'd like to introduce the staff who
will support Dr. Takeda.
First there is the deputy director, Ms. Noriko
Suzuki. She comes here from Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture,
Sports, Science and Technology (or MEXT). I am sure she will make
good use of the experience she has accrued at MEXT in this new
Next is Mr. Jun Matsuo. He is dispatched to
the office from Kyushu University in Japan.
Then there is Ms. Beatrice L. Kokitko, who
will provide powerful support to the Japanese staff.
Finally, I'd like to ask for the support of
all of you with here today. We will very much appreciate your
help is assisting this JSPS office in achieving its objective
of advancing further scientific exchange between the US and Japan.