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JSPS-NRF Asian Science Seminar 2012

Message from Chair

Message from Chair

Aging is accelerating in many Asian countries, and the rest of world is monitoring how they respond to this issue. Currently, Japan and Korea have the world’s fastest aging populations, and aging trends in Asia are the most striking among countries of the world. In Japan, the baby boomers will be 75 years old or above by 2025, and they will comprise approximately 20 million of Japan’s population. Thus, the problem of how to support the oldest generation has become an urgent issue. Japan and Korea, which are advanced nations in fields of science and technology, will need to apply their technological advances to sustain the quality of life in aging societies.

Many researchers, particularly younger researchers, engaged in research on assistive technologies aimed at caring super-aging societies. However, this type of research differs from regular fields of research: It is “practical science.” Thus, such research will not contribute to society if it is conducted on the basis of only researchers’ impulses or interests. Over the next 20–30 years, in order to build on this research, young researchers will need to dedicate their time and effort and governments will need to invest financial resources. Therefore, it will be necessary to educate young researchers in this specific field.

This was the rationale behind choosing the theme “How We Proceed Research Activities in Developing Assistive Technology” for the 2012 Asian Science Seminar, sponsored by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and National Science Foundation of Korea (NRF). This seminar provides various lectures on these topics and academic stimulation to young researchers from Asian Countries, iterates which research topics will contribute to society, and specifies how to promote the research projects. It also provides a good opportunity for young researchers to discuss different research topics with other researchers from different cultural backgrounds. This seminar comprises stimulating lectures, group discussions, and fieldwork. We hope this seminar could be the start of future fruitful collaborative research projects for young researchers.

Hisato Kobayashi
Professor, Hosei University

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