Prime Minister Kishida visits OIST
On May 15th, 2022, Prime Minister of Japan, H.E. Fumio Kishida, visited the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST). He was in Okinawa to participate in the 50th anniversary of the reversion of Okinawa to Japan and was accompanied by Kosaburo Nishime, Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs. It was PM Kishida’s first visit to Okinawa since he took office.
PM Kishida visited Lab 1 and spoke with the Marine Genomics Unit, led by Professor Noriyuki Satoh, about research on coral and other marine life in Okinawa. He also engaged in a roundtable discussion with Professors Amy Shen and Hiroki Takahashi, and OIST students Tatsuki Hamamoto and Thato Mokhothu, where he asked about the research environment at OIST, as well as industry-academia collaboration efforts. He was impressed by OIST's accomplishments to date and concluded: “I have great expectations for the startups that will emerge from OIST and help revitalize Okinawa and Japan in the years to come.”
That afternoon, at the ceremony of Okinawa’s reversion, which was widely broadcast throughout Japan and watched by Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress, PM Kishida spoke of OIST and the importance of our role in Okinawa's development.
“To realize a strong Okinawa economy, the creation of more sophisticated and higher value-added industries is essential. At the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST), which I was deeply involved in establishing as a Minister in charge at the time, a diverse range of researchers and students are pursuing the truth with dedication and enthusiasm. I will promote world-class education and research at OIST in a wide range of fields, including quantum technology and biotechnology, and will provide strong support to ensure that the results of research benefit our society. With the nation’s highest rate of business startups, Okinawa is a place that is brimming with an entrepreneurial spirit. We will promote the creation of science and technology startup hubs and strengthen our support to further encourage initiatives that are already bearing fruit thanks to the enthusiasm of the local community and the private sector.”