The party was held on Feb. 8, 2001 at the President Aoyama Hotel, where 160 people gathered including Prof. Kiyoshi Itao of the University of Tokyo, who is the General Editor of Nature Interface.
Prof. Masahiko KOBAYASHI
Vice President of the University of Tokyo
Professor of Graduate School of Agricultural and Environmental Biology
"OUR AIM IS TO CREATE A SOCIETY THAT COEXISTS WITH NATURE WHILE MAKING USE OF AGRICULTURAL IDEAS."
I've been working in the agricultural field. Japanese industry was developed from science and was realized by engineering, it then developed into modern agriculture. But as Mr. Hiroyuki Yoshikawa mentioned, the 21st century is the era when engineering should be developed by agriculture, while the 20th century was the era when agriculture was developed by engineering. I believe this idea is indicative of the direction that Japan will go along in the future; in other words, to make more use of agricultural concepts. In this first issue of Nature Interface, Mr. Yoshikawa appears for "science for the people" to be realized. I believe that we human beings are natural -- we are native, natural, and one with nature.
I have been studying silkworms. If silkworms, artificially developed as livestock, were put outside, they would soon die. They are unable to land on trees to feed as they are too heavy to be able to support their own weight due to being artificially developed and they fall from the tree.
The number of creatures which can survive only under artificial environments is increasing. Basically, we humans change nature without being aware of this change. The crow is a remarkable example. In older days, the highest place for the crow in a village was the top of a tree. But now, the top of a building is the highest place for crows in the city. Depending upon whether they live in the country or in the city, their behavior is changing. As previously mentioned, while we influence our environment in the end, we have to make sure we can live together with nature.
In order that we may be able to continue to publish this magazine, we need to observe the contents of the magazine carefully and cooperate with Prof. Itao.
Prof. Yuichiro ANZAI
Dean in the Faculty of Science and Engineering of Keio University
PROF. ANZAI'S STUDIES ARE CLOSELY RELATED TO THE MAGAZINES' CONCEPT.
Congratulations to the members of this party celebrating the publishing of Nature Interface. I study the "ubiquitous computer" connected to the university's social infrastructure. I have also started activities as a member of the Intelligent City Information Infrastructure Research Group of the Information Processing Society of Japan. Additionally, I have started research for a project on distributed real-time network for human support of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
Such projects are closely related to Nature Interface. So, I'd like to learn a lot from this magazine and to support it -- I sincerely pray for your success.
Prof. Tatsuo OHTSUKI
Former director of Advanced Research Institute for Science and Engineering
"IT'S NECESSARY TO THINK ABOUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER 30 YEARS."
My research theme is not concerned directly to environmental studies. Yet, thinking about environmental issues, I suppose it's essential to think about how to create harmony between civilized society and nature. Whenever I talk with people who work on environmental studies, I realize that this field is wide-ranging. We have a dream of fulfilling a social mission for this magazine based on this background.
To tell the truth, there is only one thing I'm afraid of concerning this matter. There are many kinds of environmental problems discussed over, but they are said to become real crises after 30 years. Yet it is usually older people who are most concerned about this.
When we look what is happening around the world, it was presumed that oil would run out within 30 years and companies around the world are taking action to deal with it. Nowadays, information technology is considered as a leading-edge technology, but after 30 years, it will be old-fashioned. But unfortunately, most of the people thinking about how the world would be after 30 years are in their 50s, 60s or 70s.
Younger people tend not to think so seriously about these issues. Those who will be most affected by these crises are in their 20s and 30s at present, but they are not so interested in such problems. I'd like to ask you to make this magazine appearing to those people in their 20s and 30s, too.
Prof. Masahiko ISOBE
Head of the Division of Environmental Studies, Graduate School of Frontier Science, The University of Tokyo
THE NECESSITY OF SENSORS FOR NATURAL SCIENCE
Congratulations on publishing the first issue of Nature Interface. I have been working at the Environmental Studies Course, the Division of Environmental Studies of Graduate School of Frontier Science of the University of Tokyo. I have been working as head of both the Environmental Studies Course and the Division of Environmental Studies. I became the head of the Division of the Environmental Studies two years ago and Prof. Itao has cooperated with us from the time when the division was established.
I have heard about Prof. Itao's idea of publishing Nature Interface, but I was surprised that he had thought about this idea for about ten years. So, I'm very sure that this magazine was published with a substantial framework.
The total number of professors, associate professors and research assistants of the Division of Environmental Studies is 67. It's quite a large organization. These instructors are from various departments such as engineering, agriculture and science, or even from the department of literature. These instructors are trying to create a new field of environmental studies by fusing together various fields of study. In these circumstances it is clear that Prof. Itao's contribution is outstanding.
Now I have read the first issue of Nature Interface. Here are some comments concerning the seashore environment, my particular area of specialty. Let's look at measurement of waves as an example. At first, sailors used their eyesight to measure wave height. Later, wave height came to be calculated by pressure measurements of the sea. And now, wave height can be measured using ultrasonic waves and remote sensing. Even forecasting of wave heights is possible now. This is a result of the development of sensors; we are now better able to measure natural phenomena. I sincerely hope this magazine will inform us about the achievements of measurement technologies and show us things we haven't yet been able to see.
Prof. Katsuya FUKUOKA
Chairman of the board of directors, Foundation for Earth Environment;
Professor of Rissho University Graduate School
TOWARD HARMONY BETWEEN ECOSYSTEMS AND HUMAN ACTIVITIES
The Foundation for Earth Environment was established as a public corporation of the Environment Agency in 1987, and I have supported the foundation as a director since that time.
At present, our biggest problem is waste disposal. The world population has jumped from 2.5 billion in 1950 to 6 million at present, a 2.4-fold increase. During this period, GNP grew six times larger and deforestation is twice as high. Chemical, fuel, and iron consumption is 4 times higher. Paper consumption is 6 times higher, and fish consumption 5 times. Natural resource consumption is rapidly increasing, but we dispose of the resulting waste without thinking of the process of waste disposal. As a result of this situation, material that cannot be naturally broken-down is discharged destroying the balance of ecosystems. We have to think over the relationship between nature and human beings, considering how human beings have dealt with nature in developing their economic activities.
I have also been working for Liaison Committee for International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme of Science Council of Japan for 9 years. During this time I have studied the integration of environmental information using GPS (Global Positioning System) and HDP (Human Dimension Program on Global Environmental Change). In such a period, I met Prof. Itao and I thought it would be possible to achieve such an integration that the research on GPS or HDP couldn't have achieved and that we would be able to open up a new world using new technology.
I expect Prof. Itao will work on the integration of environmental information through Nature Interface and I'd like to continue to cooperate with you.
Mr. Toyomitsu HIRASAWA
SEIKO EPSON CORPORATION
I heard of the difference between crows in the city and in the country. I think we can say the same for human beings. People in the countryside live in a different environment from that of people in cities. I expect that Prof. Itao will research on how the lifestyle in the country with fresh air and water would affect people, using wearable computers.
Mr. Tatsuo IZAWA
President and Representative Director
NTT Electronics Corporation
I have known Prof. Itao for a very long time since we used to work at NTT together. We experienced many things together then - especially during the last days. After leaving NTT, Prof. Itao transferred to Chuo University and the University of Tokyo. As you know, he established the NPO The Promotional Advancement Institute of Wearable Environmental Information Networks (NPO-WIN) and has published Nature Interface. I pray for the success of the venture from my heart.
Mr. Yuichi HAMAGUCHI
Executive Managing Director
NTT DATA CORPORATION
My first visit to Prof. Itao was to talk about "wearable computer." I have cooperated with him for various things because he doesn't look like a professor and his research is quite interesting. I expect that Nature Interface would continue to be read by people around the world who have global vision.
Mr. Ken MATSUNO
Executive Managing Director
Seiko Instruments Inc.
In order to survive into the 21st century, our company is developing four businesses. The initial letter representing those projects are WINS. "W" stand for "wearable business" - a very important area. We had thought that the "Human Interface" was the main sensing device in the wearable business before reading Nature Interface. But, after reading this magazine, I changed my mind. Now I feel we need to reconsider the "wearable business."
Mr. Yoshihito HIRABAYASHI
Environmental planners need to raise people's awareness concerning the environment. Prof. Itao told us that even though nature has been changing, people are still the same. We expect that this magazine will encourage people to raise environmental awareness. Through this, I hope it would become easier for us to educate environmental planners.
Mr. Jun KAWACHI
Elements of our business are measurement and control. We have developed both of these elements and managed them effectively. On the other hand, we are afraid that it has caused various types of natural destruction. As a result, we have adapted policies to make our business friendly to the earth, and to develop methods of measurement and control suitable for human environment. We are proceeding with the great help of Prof. Itao.
Mr. Akio UENO
Nature Interface contains suitable concepts for a new magazine at the start of the 21st century. It is, however, difficult for non-specialists to understand articles written by academic professionals. This has certainly been made by academics, but I hope that the needs of the general public be collected and used as feedback. I hope that this magazine will continue to be published until volume 50, volume 100, and so on.
Mr. Masanao OHNO
NGK INSULATORS, LTD.
We are developing business based on both the environmental and information technology. We are in the age when ceramics, which we research on, are studied by the level of individual particles. Here, we'd like to reconsider the manufacturing process. Through reading Nature Interface, I'd like to get ideas for developing friendly-to-earth ways for manufacturing. We are aiming to realize technologies to use only one hundredth of currently-used energy.
Mr. Kazuo OHSHIMA
NHK Precision Co., Ltd.
Now we are developing precision processing which is related to information technology. Maybe this field is "non-specific"(wide-ranging.) To tell the truth, when I first talked to Prof. Itao and heard the word "wearable" and "micro," I was reminded of the old film, "Fantastic Voyage." But after I heard Prof. Itao's speech today I was very much encouraged to learn that his field is also "non-specific."
Mr. Kaoru FUSHIKI
Nikkei Business Publications, Inc
I have known Prof. Itao since he worked for NTT. I think that the purpose of this magazine is excellent. Previously I was in charge of a magazine called Nikkei Electronics - so I understand the difficulties of keeping a magazine going. Management of a magazine is difficult, but I imagine that Prof. Itao feels reassured by the cooperation of other scholars and people of experience. I hope this magazine will continue to run.
Prof. Yotarou HATAMURA
The University of Tokyo
In my book, I wrote that regarding failure as something to be ashamed of, as a matter to be kept secret, or as a bad thing in itself helps create subsequent failure, so we must try to think of failure in a positive way. I think Nature Interface has a similar aspect: it encourages us to see matters of course from different angles. In order that people progress further, I hope that they will proceed in such a new direction.
Mr. Kouzou KASAHARA
TOMBOW Co, LTD
I was thinking how Nature Interface could be used for marketing. After I heard Prof. Itao's speech, I became sure that I'll be able to use this magazine for various matters. Especially, I think it'll become important to regard the human being as a part of nature. This is a good point to start with when we try to think about the earth. I hope this magazine will do well.
Ms. Rie NAGATO
NTT Docomo, Inc.
Graduate form Prof. Itao's laboratory
I studied in Prof. Itao's laboratory. I am impressed by this magazine's credible work. I carried out a tracking survey on crows using PHS technology and studied it for my Master's thesis. I'm afraid there is no article on this subject in the first issue, but I hope there will be one in the next issue. I hope the magazine would progress further.
Prof. Ikutaro KOBAYASHI
The University of Tokyo
I clearly remember when, two years ago at our university laboratory, Prof. Itao suddenly told me that he was going to make a new Nature Interface Group. I hear that Prof. Itao has been turning over this idea in his head for more than ten years. I imagine Prof. Itao has been working diligently as a leader from that time. Today, his plan has been realized. This magazine will be as well known as Nature, the worldwide famous scientific journal. Thank you, all the participants, for coming to the party.