Press Room


March 17, 2011

Japan Prize Foundation to Call off 2011 Japan Prize Week Events After Massive Earthquake in Japan

Tokyo (March 17, 2011) – The Japan Prize Foundation today announced that it has reached a deliberate conclusion to call off a series of events that were planned to honor the 2011 Japan Prize laureates, given the circumstances in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the northeastern coastal area of the Japanese main island on March 11.

The Foundation was set to host the Japan Prize Week events that were to start on April 18, including a prize presentation ceremony, a banquet, commemorative lectures by the 2011 Japan Prize laureates and meetings between the laureates and Japan's academic circles.

"We're grateful for the warm words and support we received from many countries across the world. It's not a time to celebrate, but a time to unite ourselves as one to pull through this difficult time," said Professor Hiroyuki Yoshikawa Dr. Eng., Chairman of The Japan Prize Foundation.

This year, two American innovators of technology, Dr. Dennis Ritchie and Dr. Ken Thompson, and two Japanese scientists, Dr. Tadamitsu Kishimoto and Dr. Toshio Hirano, received the esteemed honor for the categories of information and communications, and bioscience and medical science, respectively.

The Foundation will present commemorative gold medals and certificates of recognition to the four laureates in person. It is also considering honoring them next year at the presentation ceremony and banquet along with winners of the 2012 Japan Prize.

The Foundation extends its heart-felt sympathy to the earthquake victims and wishes a speedy recovery of the region.

About Japan Prize Foundation
Since its inception in 1985, The Japan Prize Foundation has awarded the Japan Prize to 70 people from 13 countries. In addition to awarding the Japan Prize, which is endorsed by the Japanese government, the Foundation has been hosting "Easy-to-Understand Science and Technology" seminars and awarding research grants to help nurture young scientists and further promote the advancement of science and technology. For additional details about The Japan Prize Foundation and its activities, please visit

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