Press Room

Japan Prize Foundation Fact Sheet

Foundation

  • November 1, 1982 - Formed as the Japan Prize Preparatory Foundation with the goal of establishing the Japan Prize
  • May 5, 1983 - Renamed the Science and Technology Foundation of Japan with an added objective of raising public awareness and interest in the fields of science and technology.
  • October 28, 1983 - Given the Cabinet’s decision that relevant government ministries and agencies provide support for implementing the Japan Prize.
  • April 1985 - Held the first prize presentation ceremony in Tokyo.
  • October 1, 2010 - Authorized as a “Public Interest Incorporated Foundation” by the Cabinet Office, and renamed the Japan Prize Foundation.

Chairman

Prof. Hiroyuki Yoshikawa Dr. Eng.
Director-General, Center for Research and Development Strategy,
Japan Science and Technology Agency

President

Yoshio Yazaki, M.D., Ph.D.
Chancellor, International University of Health and Welfare

Location

Ark Mori Bldg., East Wing 35th Floor
1-12-32 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-6035, Japan
Tel: 81-3-5545-0551 Fax: 81-3-5545-0554 URL: www.japanprize.jp

Activities

1) Recognize and honor outstanding achievements in science and technology with the Japan Prize.
2) Encourage the study of science and technology through research grants and promotional activities
3) Promote diffusion of knowledge and philosophy in science and technology through various activities including dissemination of information materials and research papers, and seminars.
4) Other activities to fulfill objectives of the Foundation

Main Activities:

1) Japan Prize

The Japan Prize Foundation honors individuals whose original and outstanding achievements in science and technology are recognized as having advanced the frontiers of knowledge and served the cause of peace and prosperity for mankind.

Every year, the Foundation chooses two fields eligible for the prize, one each from the two areas of the “Physics, Chemistry and Engineering” and “Life Science, Agriculture and Medicine” and selects winners - one winner for each field in principle - after almost 10 months of fair and careful evaluation. Achievements of the candidates nominated by approximately 13,000 nominators in the world, prominent intellectuals, researchers and scientists selected by the Foundation, are assessed from both academic and social perspectives. The Foundation’s Board of Directors wraps up the selection process by making the final decision on the candidates. The new Japan Prize laureates are announced every January.

To date, 88 laureates from 13 countries have received the Japan Prize since the first prize was given in 1985. Each laureate receives a certificate of merit and a commemorative medal. A cash prize of 50 million Japanese yen is also awarded in each prize field.

Japan Prize laureates include Dr. Charles K. Kao (U.S.), Dr. Frank Sherwood Rowland (U.S.), Dr. Elias James Corey (U.S.), Prof. Dr. Gerhard Ertl (Germany), Dr. Arvid Carlsson (Sweden) and Dr. Luc Montagnier (France), all of whom were awarded the Nobel Prize after receiving the Japan Prize. A selection of laureates received the Japan Prize and Nobel Prize in the same year, including Dr. Kary B. Mullis (U.S.), Prof. Albert Fert (France) and Prof. Dr. Peter Grünberg (Germany), while Dr. Leo Esaki (Japan) was awarded the Japan Prize after winning the Nobel Prize.

2) "Easy-to-Understand Science and Technology" Seminars

For junior and senior high school students, the Foundation holds a series of seminars on advanced technologies commonly used in everyday life by inviting recipients of the Research Grants (explained below) as lecturers. Plain language lectures and presentations and hands-on experiments develop students’ awareness in science and technology. The program began in March 1989 and has since executed more than 293 seminars across Japan by the end of 2016

3) Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar (SIYSS)

Each year, the Japan Prize Foundation provides an opportunity for young scholars to exchange opinions with their peers on an international level by sending two students to the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar (SIYSS) hosted by the Swedish Federation of Young Scientists with the support of the Nobel Foundation. Young students from Japan and elsewhere in the world participate in various events during Nobel Week in Stockholm, including the Nobel Prize award presentation ceremony as well as giving lectures themselves. The series of events during the week give students a chance to learn about ethics and morality as a scientist and help renew their enthusiasm for a career in science. Since the program started in 1987, the Japan Prize Foundation has provided this valuable opportunity to 58 undergraduate/graduate students.

4) Research Grants

The Foundation provides research grants to scientists and researchers under 35 years of age. Every year, the Foundation selects projects in the same fields as the corresponding Japan Prize and gives one million Japanese yen for a project. Including the 23 recipients in 2016, the Foundation awarded research grants to 227 young scientists since the program’s inception in 2006.

(January 2017)

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More about the Press Room

Japan Prize News No.57

2017 Japan Prize Laureates Announced
This year's Japan Prize will be awarded to Dr. Adi Shamir, for his significant contributions to information security through his pioneering research on cryptography,
and jointly to Prof. Emmanuelle Charpentier and Dr. Jennifer A. Doudna for the development of a revolutionary new technology in genetic engineering.
Read issue

30 Years of Japan Prize

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