Press Room

Japan Prize Foundation Fact Sheet


  • 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.


Yoshio Yazaki
Chairman of the Board of Regents, Tokyo Medical University


Hiroshi Komiyama
Chairman of the Institute, Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc.
The 28th President of the University of Tokyo


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


  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, Informatics, Engineering” and “Life Science, Agriculture, 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 15,500 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, 108 laureates from 14 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. and a cash prize..

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), Dr. Akira Yoshino (Japan), Prof. Emmanuelle Charpentier (France), and Dr. Jennifer A. Doudna (U.S.), Svante Pääbo (Sweden) ,who were awarded the Nobel Prize after receiving the Japan Prize / Dr. Kary B. Mullis (U.S.), Prof. Albert Fert (France) and Prof. Dr. Peter Grünberg (Germany) who were awarded the Japan Prize and Novel Prize in the same year(13people), further more 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 300 seminars across Japan.

3) Heisei Memorial Research Grants

The Foundation provides research grants to scientists mainly under 45 years of age. Every year, the Foundation selects four to eight scientists who undertake knowledge-integrated research that contribute to solving social issues, and gives five to ten million yen. The Foundation encourages international collaboration of scientists beyond their expertise.

(An applicant must belong to a research organization in Japan.)

(January 2023)

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