|Dr. Sadayuki Sakakibara
President, the Chemical Society of Japan
Chairman of the Board of Directors
and Representative Director
Toray Industries, Inc.
I became president-elect of the Chemical Society of Japan in a vote of its members in April 2013, and my appointment was approved by the General Assembly of Society Members and the Board of Directors on May 26, 2014. Over my two-year term, I plan to work closely with the vice presidents and Board of Directors as I strive to promote innovation while overseeing the society. I look forward to the support of our members during this period.
With my appointment as president of the Chemical Society of Japan, I would like to take this occasion to share some thoughts about the changes in the economic environment surrounding Japan in recent years, and to offer my views on the role that chemistry can take in this context.
In the global economy, both advanced countries and emerging countries are growing at a gradual pace. At the same time, economic relations are becoming more borderless as countries liberalize trade through free trade agreements and set up international economic arrangements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Consequently, global competition is intensifying more than ever before. Meanwhile, the Japanese economy is climbing out of many years of stagnation resulting from deflation and the Great East Japan Earthquake. Economic conditions are now improving due to the Abe Administrationfs monetary easing and fiscal policies, and, under the governmentfs growth strategies for revitalizing the country set forth in June last year, we are now reaching a stage in which the private sector is taking a leading role in rebooting the economy.
At the same time, the world is now confronting global-scale challenges in environment, resource, energy, food, and water, among others, resulting from the population growth and human activities. Under these circumstances, Japanese industries must become more competitive internationally while continuing to create businesses, products, and services that cannot be rivaled technologically by other countries. To accomplish this, we need scientific- and technology-based innovation intended for economic revitalization.
As the case of my company, Toray Industries, demonstrates, for a corporation to be able to secure stable revenue and profits amidst intense international competition, it must be a world-leading enterprise with some of the worldfs number-one businesses in terms of sales and market share, and it must be unique in the world in terms of quality and other aspects of performance. Toray Industries is the global leader in over 30 industries, including synthetic fiber, carbon fiber, and polyester film, but it took many years of research, technological development, and innovation?particularly ginnovation by chemistryh?to build these businesses.
With this in mind, I am certain that chemistry has the power to fundamentally transform businesses and make a major impact on industries and societies. By enhancing the capabilities of Japanfs chemical companies more than ever before, we can improve the countryfs international competitiveness. I am convinced that this will not only help make the Japanese economy thrive, but also contribute to restoring the countryfs stature. It is imperative, however, that we dedicate ourselves to making the capabilities of Japanfs chemical companies the very best in the world, as proven by world-leading businesses and globally unique products.
Through my activities in the Chemical Society of Japan, I hope to contribute to raise the level of chemistry in Japan. My main objectives are to promote a global perspective in the Society, and to strive to make Japanfs chemical industry the top in the world through innovation. To accomplish these objectives, I plan to pursue the following six measures.
Among these measures, as part of efforts to promote internationalization in the society, I would like to considerably increase contributions and presentations from outside Japan, especially from Asia, at our spring annual meeting. For that purpose, it will be necessary to have scholarly papers presented in English at the spring annual meeting. I hope that all members understand this reasoning and cooperate in this regard.
- Promote internationalization in the Chemical Society of Japan
- Raise the standards of the Chemical Society of Japanfs academic journals to the highest level in the world
- Facilitate industry-academic-government collaboration oriented toward end users and problem solving
- Bolster measures for spreading knowledge about chemistry and training people in the industry to enable them to succeed globally
- Encourage more collaboration with chemical societies and organizations in countries around the world
- Enhance the organizational structure of the Chemical Society of Japan by increasing its members, overhauling its finances, and improving the efficiency of its Secretariat
Following my appointment as president of the Chemical Society of Japan, I have assumed the post of chairman of Nippon Keidanren (the Japan Business Federation) since June 3, 2014. Although I hold concomitant posts in both organizations, I intend to work actively in the Chemical Society of Japan while making dedicated efforts to raise the level of chemistry in Japan and assist the countryfs chemical industry. I ask for your kind support and cooperation in these endeavors.