Press Room


April 20, 2016

2016 (32nd) Japan Prize Presentation Ceremony

Two laureates from Japan and the U.S. are awarded in the presence of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress


Japan Prize Presentation Ceremony


The Japan Prize presentation ceremony was held on Wednesday, April 20th at the Tokyo International Forum in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, in the presence of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress. The Japan Prize is an international award presented to individuals whose original and outstanding achievements in science and technology have served to promote peace and prosperity for mankind.

The 2016 (32nd) Japan Prize was awarded in two fields, namely, "Materials and Production" and "Biological Production and Biological Environment." Dr. Hideo Hosono from Japan was recognized for pioneering new realms in materials science and contributing to the advancement of basic science and industry. Meanwhile, Dr. Steven D. Tanksley from the U.S. was recognized for contributing to the stable production of food crops by transferring intuition and experience based traditional crop breeding into science through his pioneering work on molecular genetic analysis. A certificate of merit and a prize medal in addition to cash prize of 50 million yen were presented to both laureates.

Each year, the Japan Prize Foundation calls for nominations from over 13,000 prominent scientists and researchers worldwide, from which candidates are chosen through a rigorous year-long selection process. Of the fields eligible for the award in 2016, the “Materials and Production” field received 204 nominations, and the "Biological Production and Biological Environment" field received 88 nominations, from which the two laureates were selected.

The presentation ceremony was attended by their majesties Emperor and Empress of Japan, together with approximately 1,000 people, including guests-of-honor repressing various fields, and eminent academics and business leaders. The ceremony was followed by a commemorative concert, in which music requested by both laureates were performed by the Tokyo Geidai Symphony Orchestra.

Photographs of the event can be downloaded from the link below.



Dr. Hideo Hosono (Japan)

Date of Birth: September 7, 1953 Age: 62
Professor, Laboratory for Materials and Structures, Institute of Innovative Research, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Director, Materials Research Center of Element Strategy

<Fields Eligible for the Award>
"Materials and Production" field

Creation of unconventional inorganic materials with novel electronic functions based on nano-structure engineering

<Award Citation>
Dr. Hosono invented a series of novel materials that defy traditionally-held ideas about elements and compounds and helped open up new horizons in material science, from basic science to industrial applications. Among many of his achievements, energy-efficient liquid crystal displays used in personal and tablet computers and large organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays for televisions are just a few of the notable examples of commercial applications found in our daily life.



Dr. Steven D. Tanksley (USA)

Date of Birth: April 7, 1954 Age: 62
Professor Emeritus, Cornell University

<Fields Eligible for the Award>
"Biological Production and Biological Environment" field

Contribution to modern crop breeding through research on development of molecular genetic analysis

<Award Citation>
Dr. Tanksley introduced molecular genetic analysis to crop breeding that had depended on the intuition and experience of researchers, and led to the development of crop breeding technology based on science. Dr. Tanksley’s highly original approach inspired researchers around the world and led to the development of new varieties that are, for example, resistant to pests or have higher yields, and further contributed to the stable production of food crops in the world.

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