Message from the President
In the 20th year of the 21st Century, we welcomed in the Reiwa era. We are living through the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where dramatic developments in AI, IoT and related technologies are bringing significant changes to both our economies and daily lives. This is also a time where we face the serious and diverse problems of microplastics pollution, climate change, refugee crises, and in Japan both an ageing and shrinking population.
The role of science was explored at the World Science Forum 2019 in Budapest, 20 years since the historic “Declaration on Science and Use of Scientific Knowledge” was made at the first conference in the series in 1999. I gratefully accepted an invitation to speak at the 2019 forum along with JST Vice President Saeki Koji and Executive Director Watanabe Miyoko, and together we advocated “contribution to human well-being” as the ultimate value science should pursue. Subsequently “Science for Global Well-being” became the title of the first chapter of the new 2019 declaration. I was reminded of the responsibility Japan and we at JST have as guides towards this goal.
At the same time, recent data on Japan’s scientific capabilities have revealed various issues we must address regarding basic science capacity, creating disruptive innovation, linking academia and industry, and nurturing human resources. As an organization that plays a central role in Japan's Science and Technology Basic Plan, we at JST will continue pursuing human well-being, creating tomorrow's innovation, and driving Japan to lead the world in science.
Two new initiatives will launch in 2020: the Moonshot Research and Development program, funding radical solutions that break through the limits of conventional technology, and last December we held the Moonshot International Symposium of the international academic, public and private sectors gathered in Tokyo to formulate the most appropriate shared goals; the Emerging Research Program* aims for creating disruptive innovation and provides stable long-term assistance for a wide variety of researchers.
It's 2020, and JST is moving forward. JST will be a stream bringing innovation to Japan as a network-type research organization. We're applying greater ingenuity to today's most important challenges, and promoting widespread well-being for a better tomorrow.
* The name in English is tentative.
Japan Science and Technology Agency
President Hamaguchi Michinari