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

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

Mariko Hasegawa

The Graduate University for Advanced Studies

Masaru Kitsuregawa Director General, National Institute of Informatics
Professor, Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo
Kazuo Kyuma President, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
Eiichi Nakamura

University Professor
Office of the President and Department of Chemistry
The University of Tokyo

Yuichi Sugiyama

Head, Sugiyama Laboratory, RIKEN Baton Zone Program

Mariko Takahashi

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, 2020)



Fields for the 2021 Japan Prize

Area: “Physics, Chemistry, Informatics, Engineering”
Eligible Fields: “Resources, Energy, Environment, Social Infrastructure”

Background and Rationale:

Today's lifestyle is supported by various infrastructure, created from the systematization of technologies. The dissemination and advancement of infrastructure technologies that support our society are crucial for realizing the goal of "eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions", which has been defined by the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the "greatest global challenge".

Meanwhile, the effects of climate change are becoming more apparent, and there is a growing awareness that not only mitigation measures, but also adaptation measures are required. Amid mounting concerns of greater disasters in the future, the creation of a resilient society is also an urgent issue.

Thus, we are in serious need of further innovation in such areas as development and recycling technologies for resources including urban mines, water usage/treatment systems, energy management, the prediction of environmental changes and its countermeasures, as well as in social infrastructure technologies relevant to urban and transportation systems.

 Eligible Achievements:

The 2021 Japan Prize in the field of "Resources, Energy, Environment, Social Infrastructure" is awarded to an individual(s) who has achieved breakthroughs in the creation, innovation or dissemination of science and technology, thereby contributing significantly to the sustainable development of human society.

Area: “Life Science, Agriculture, Medicine”
Eligible Fields: “Medical Science, Medicinal Science”

Background and Rationale:

The field of medical science and medicinal science has been undergoing remarkable progress in recent years. Genomic medicine, regenerative medicine and medical robotics have been making rapid progress. Also, revolutionary medicines such as cancer immunotherapy drugs and antiviral agents are being developed one after another.

Nonetheless, the need for new measures against emerging infectious diseases and diseases associated with aging and changes in lifestyle, as well as the emergence of drug-resistant pathogens and cancers, have all come to the fore as major global issues.

Today's medical science and medicinal science are expected to contribute even more to people’s health and well-being. This is being sought through the creation and dissemination of new medical care that integrates other disciplines such as engineering and informatics, the development and production of new drugs, and new drug delivery systems.

Eligible Achievements:

The 2021 Japan Prize in the field of "Medical Science, Medicinal Science" is awarded to an individual(s) who has achieved scientific and technological breakthroughs, such as new discoveries or the development of innovative technologies on the "prevention", "diagnosis", "treatment" or "prognosis" of diseases, thereby contributing towards the health and well-being of humankind.



The 2020 Japan Prize

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

Background and Rationale:

The successive birth of various technologies in fields of electronics, information and communication has greatly contributed to human society. Its progress has been remarkably fast, and in recent years, we are seeing innovative developments in basic technologies, such as artificial intelligence, big data, IoT, robotics, semiconductor devices, optical/wireless network and information security. As a result, for example, the accumulation of enormous amount of information and its sophisticated analysis, made possible by the convergence of the physical and cyber space, are beginning to revolutionize the industrial structure and human lifestyle.

It is highly anticipated that such technological advancements will not only facilitate economic development but also resolve societal issues, thereby contributing to the realization of a safe, secure and sustainable society that enables innovative lifestyles.

 Eligible Achievements:

The 2020 Japan Prize in the field of “Electronics, Information, Communication” is awarded to an individual(s) who has achieved scientific and technological breakthroughs, such as the development of essential technologies or systems that have contributed significantly to the creation of new industries, innovations in production technology, the realization of a safe and secure society, and improvements in amenity of life, as well as advances in basic science and technology that are highly likely to promote the further development of society.

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

Background and Rationale:

In recent years, major advances in life science driven by innovative analysis technology have led to the elucidation of many complex yet subtle mechanisms of life.
Today, analysis technologies such as DNA sequencing technology capable of rapidly determining the entire genome information and its gene expression state, genome editing technology that can modify genetic information in a targeted manner, and imaging technology capable of visualizing various layers of anatomy from intracellular organelle to complex brain tissues, have especially become well established and widely accessible, thereby opening up a whole new dimension in the realm of life science.
It is anticipated that progress in the understanding of the foundation of life phenomena while upholding bioethics will contribute toward the welfare of mankind by creating new medical care and bringing about wisdom for sustainable human development.

Eligible Achievements:

The 2020 Japan Prize in the field of “Life Science” is awarded to individual(s) who has made significant contributions to society by achieving scientific and technological breakthroughs, such as the discovery of new life phenomena, proposal of paradigm shifts, and technological innovations that deepen the understanding of biological functions.


Schedule (2021-2023)

The eligible fields for the Japan Prize (2021 to 2023) 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, Engineering Area Life Science, Agriculture, Medicine
Eligible Fields Year Eligible Fields
Resources, Energy, Environment, Social Infrastructure 2021 Medical Science, Medicinal Science
Materials, Production 2022 Biological Production,
Ecology / Environment

Electronics, Information, Communication

2023 Life Science

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