The Japan Prize Foundation

Japan Prize

Eligible Fields

Fields Selection Committee

Chairman Michiharu Nakamura Counselor to the President
Japan Science and Technology Agency
Director, The Japan Prize Foundation
Vice Chairman Kazuhito Hashimoto

President, National Institute for Materials Science

Vice Chairman Kohei Miyazono

Distinguished University Professor,
Professor, Department of Molecular Pathology
Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo

Members Yozo Fujino President, Josai University
Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo
Professor Emeritus, Yokohama National University
Ken Furuya Professor, Graduate School of Science and Engineering
Soka University
Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo
Masaru Kitsuregawa Director General, National Institute of Informatics
University Professor, The University of Tokyo
Kazuo Kyuma President, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
Eiichi Nakamura University Professor, Department of Chemistry,
Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo
Tomoko M. Nakanishi President. Hoshi University
Professor Emeritus / Project Professor, The University of Tokyo
Commissioner, Japan Atomic Energy Commission
Yuichi Sugiyama Distinguished Professor, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Josai International University
Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo
Honorary Scientist, Riken
Mariko Takahashi

Former The Science Coordinator, The Asahi Shimbun

Masayuki Yamamoto Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo
Professor Emeritus, National Institute for Basic Biology

(alphabetical order, titles as of April, 2022)

Fields for the 2023 Japan Prize

Area: “Physics, Chemistry, Informatics, and Engineering”
Eligible Fields: “Electronics, Information, and Communication”

Background and Rationale:

The widespread adoption of IoT is producing vast amounts of data which fuel AI, such as deep learning, with substantial advances. As a result, innovative systems have been created in a variety of fields, and the revitalization of economic activities and the evolution of academic studies have been brought about.

Further societal, economic and academic advancements are envisaged through the development of fundamental technologies, such as optical and wireless networks, information security, semiconductor devices, robotics, and quantum computers, and the innovative systems capable of integrating these fundamental technologies.

Such technologies could solve many of societal challenges that human society faces, including climate change, food problems, energy issues, health issues, educational problems, and more. These technologies are highly expected to contribute to attaining safer, more secure, and more sustainable societies.

Eligible Achievements:

The 2023 Japan prize in the field of Electronics, Information, and Communication rewards significant breakthroughs in fundamental technologies and systems which have contributed to creating safer and sustainable society, increased resilience to natural disasters/infectious diseases, and creation of new industries. Novel fundamental technologies that will contribute to the future development of society will also be eligible.

Area: “Life Sciences, Agriculture, and Medicine”
Eligible Fields: “Life Sciences”

Background and Rationale:

The life sciences seek to better comprehend the complex and subtle mechanisms underlying the activity of all living organisms. Since the mid-20th century, researchers in this field have made great strides by analyzing the function of genes and cells. Through high-speed analysis of genetic information and targeted genetic engineering in a variety of organisms and individual humans, and through improved imaging technologies to visualize the microstructure of cells and tissues, the life sciences are pioneering new approaches to improving our lives and maintaining our health. Playing a key role in controlling the global COVID-19 pandemic crisis, basic life-science knowledge built up over decades contributed to the astonishing speed at which novel vaccines were developed. The life sciences seek an ever deeper understanding of life through ever more advanced technologies, such as single-cell analysis, and new lines of enquiry into how epigenetics controls gene expression.

With due regard for bioethics, the search for a deeper understanding of biological phenomena will, we hope, generate new methods of medical treatment, inform sound judgment needed to ensure humanity's sustainable development, and contribute to people's well-being.

Eligible Achievements:

The 2023 Japan Prize in the field of Life Sciences rewards significant contributions to society through discoveries of new biological phenomena and elucidation of biological regulatory mechanisms as well as major advances in scientific technology that make possible deeper understanding of biological functions.

The 2022 Japan Prize

Areas: “Physics, Chemistry, Informatics, and Engineering”
Eligible Fields: “Materials and Production”

Background and Rationale:

The discovery and development of new materials with non-conventional properties and the development of advanced production technologies have brought about numerous innovations, thereby contributing greatly to the sustainable development of our society and to the improvement of safety in social infrastructure. We have designed and synthesized artificial materials, such as semiconductors, polymers, nanomaterials, catalysts, magnetic materials, and new types of structural materials, and have seen notable progress in materials design for responsible consumption and production. We have also developed new industrial technologies, such as design and manufacturing technologies supported by computational and data science, high-resolution/high­precision measurement technologies, robotics, and precise nanostructure  control process.

In order to make effective use of finite resources and build a sustainable society for the future, we are in need of epoch-making innovations in the development of new functional materials and structural materials, as well as in industrial design and production & operation technologies.

 Eligible Achievements:

The 2022 Japan Prize in the fields of Materials and Production will be awarded to an individual or individuals who have made momentous scientific and technological breakthroughs that contribute significantly to the sustainable development of society or to its potential for great advances in the future. Such achievements will include the development of materials with new functions, development of new structural materials that support social infrastructure or improvement of technologies for industrial design and production & operation, which enable the creation of new products, services and industries that improve the quality and safety of people's lives.

Areas: “Life Science, Agriculture, and Medicine”
Eligible Fields: “Biological Production, Ecology/Environment”

Background and Rationale:

The existence of humankind is completely dependent on the sustainable and diverse use of Earth’s biological resources. However, the global expansion of human activities coupled with the increase in population is decimating the natural environment and biodiversity forcing humanity to reconsider how biological resources are used.

In order to improve the situation, it is necessary to perceive biological production, the environment, and ecological integrity from a unified viewpoint. This requires advancements in fundamental science that enable us to conserve the invaluable environment and ecosystems, protect biodiversity, and sustainably use ecosystem services, and the creation of scientific and technological innovations, including earth observation and ecosystem modeling. For the sustainable use of biological productivity, we require new developments including the creation of new breeds through genome editing, the application of ICT, AI and robotics for advanced production, the realization of environmentally friendly biological production, the harnessing of useful substances from organisms, the enhancement of food functionality, and the reduction of food loss and waste.

Eligible Achievements:

The 2022 Japan Prize in the fields of Biological Production, Ecology/Environment will be awarded to an individual or individuals who have significantly contributed to the creation, development, and dissemination of scientific and technological breakthroughs that enable the sustainable development of human society in harmony with the ecosystem, or to its potential for great advances in the future. This year's Prize places emphasis on contributions to the advancement of basic science in ecology and the environment, and progress in biological production technologies.

Schedule (2023-2025)

The eligible fields for the Japan Prize (2023 to 2025) have been decided for the two research areas, respectively.
These fields rotate every year in a three year cycle.
Every year the Fields Selection Committee announces the eligible field for the next three years.

Physics, Chemistry, Informatics, and Engineering Areas Life Sciences, Agriculture, and Medicine
Eligible Fields Year Eligible Fields
Electronics, Information, and Communication 2023 Life Sciences
Resources, Energy, Environment, and
Social Infrastructure
2024 Medical Science and Medicinal Science
Materials and Production 2025 Biological Production, Ecology/ Environment
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