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Opening Remarks at the JSPS Washington Office's
Eighth Science in Japan Forum

June 6, 2003

 

Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

On the occasion of this Eighth Science in Japan Forum, held here in Washington, DC, I am both pleased and honored to be able to say a few words of greeting on behalf of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

The purpose of the forum is to introduce leading edge research trends being advanced in Japan. While thus enhancing our American colleagues understanding of Japan, the forum also serves to promote greater scientific cooperation and exchange between Japan and the US.

Owing to your kind support and cooperation, we are able to hold this eighth forum of the series. As JSPS's representative, I wish to extend our hearty appreciation to all of you for taking time out of your busy schedules to join us on this occasion. A special thanks goes to the moderators and lecturers.

As you know, one of JSPS's primary functions is to actively promote international scientific exchange. To further advance science and technology in today's society, international cooperation will be indispensable. With this in mind, JSPS opened an overseas liaison office in San Francisco on the 27th of last month. It is JSPS's second base of operations in the US-one on the East Coast and one on the West Coast. Through the activities of these two offices, I am sure that scientific exchange between Japan and the US will both intensify and expand at an accelerated pace.

We selected as the theme of this forum "Cosmos and Earth." A very special feature of the forum will be our two guest speakers, Dr. Masatoshi Koshiba and Prof. Riccard Giacconi. They are both 2002 Nobel laureates in the field of physics. As their achievements speak for themselves, I will not attempt to elaborate them.

I will mention, however, that Dr. Koshiba served as the director of our office here in Washington for a two-year period starting in 1995. He has contributed greatly to JSPS's efforts to promote science.

I feel very privileged that both Dr. Koshiba and Prof. Giacconi will favor us with presentations at this forum. I am sure that we can gain much of value from their ideas and concepts nurtured, as they have been, through long years of pioneering research.

In 1853, Commodore Perry and his fleet, the so-called "black ships," entered the harbor of Uraga in Japan. The following year saw the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Amity, which initiated in earnest diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States. Labeled the "150th Anniversary of Japan-US Relations," both this year and next will feature a variety of future-oriented exchange activities and events carried out in both countries.

As one such event in the realm of science and technology, today's forum seeks to deepen understanding and friendship between our two countries, while building an even richer partnership with an eye toward the future. In this vein, I look forward to the discussions among you being both affable and animated, and to this forum contributing to a closer and even more fruitful collaborative environment between American and Japanese researchers.

I would like now to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for the substantial cooperation and support they always accord JSPS.

I also wish to thank all of you here today for the support you give to the staffs of JSPS's offices here in Washington and now also in San Francisco, and to ask you for your continued cooperation.

Thank you.