80th Anniversary of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)


The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) was established during a time of severe economic depression in 1932 through an endowment from the Emperor Showa and has developed into currently the largest governmental funding agency in Japan for the support of basic scientific research in all fields from postgraduate level. To celebrate its 80th Anniversary, JSPS held an event at the Embassy on 14 November 2012. Nearly 200 guests attended the day symposium and evening reception, among them academics, industry stakeholders and JSPS Alumni. Opening remarks were given by the President of JSPS, Professor Yuichiro Anzai and the Ambassador Keiichi Hayashi, who both paid tribute to the great contribution to science and international collaboration JSPS has made. The third set of opening remarks was given by the Foreign Secretary and Vice-President of the Royal Society, Professor Martyn Poliakoff who talked of the successful working relationship between JSPS and the Royal Society that spans four decades.

Prof Martyn Poliakoff CBE FRS, Prof Yuichiro Anzai and Ambassador Hayashi perform the kagami biraki ceremony

Ambassador Hayashi with distinguished members of the JSPS
The theme of the day symposium was building resilient infrastructure, smart cities and society. The lectures were presided over by Professor Kozo Hiramatsu, Director of JSPS London, and divided into the three areas of smart infrastructure, public policies for energy systems and standards. Leading academics from the UK and Japan gave presentations and included from the UK Professor Brian Collins, University College London, Professor Robert Mair, University of Cambridge and Dr. Scott Steadman, BSI. Speakers from Japan included Professor Yozo Fujino, University of Tokyo, Professor Kazuhiro Ueta, Kyoto University and Professor Noboru Koshizuka, University of Tokyo.

During the evening reception the seal of a large barrel of sake was broken in a traditional kagami biraki ceremony to the rapturous applause of the audience. This was followed by an award ceremony to recognise the research achievements of some UK-JSPS Alumni in strengthening UK-Japan academic links together with awards for finalists of the JSPS 80th Anniversary photo competition which brought this momentous occasion to a close.