Neues vom JSPS-Club 03/2023

 

EDITORIAL

European Scientists in Japan II

by Heinrich Menkhaus, Chairman of the JSPS Club

Participants of the symposium (photo: courtesy of the group of European Researchers in Japan)

The first symposium of European Researchers in Japan on October 21st, 2023 went well, judged not only by the number of participating scientists but also by the contents of the speeches held. Please find a detailed account of the event in this newsletter and also the talk delivered by one of our Club’s members.

The working relationship with the Delegation of the European Union (EU) in Japan has improved since then. The chairman of the four European Researcher’s Organizations in Japan, namely Italy, Spain, France, and Germany, were invited by the Head of the Science Department of the Delegation on November 29th for lunch to discuss further perspectives.

It was agreed that the second symposium will be held in late October 2024 in the Europa House in Tokyo and that in spring 2024 there will be an additional event to promote the participation in the EU Horizon Program not only by European researchers in Japan but also by their Japanese colleagues and their respective Japanese employers.

It was also discussed how better to reach out to the foreign researchers in Japan who come from a member state of the EU which does not have a researcher’s organization in Japan yet or due to the small number of researchers in Japan is not likely to create one in the foreseeable future. Here, the role of the respective embassies and their personnel being in charge of science will be challenged.

The four existing researcher’s organizations in Japan did not come up with a common name yet, but it will finally be the successor of an organization in Japan that was active in the 1980ies called NEST (Network of European Scientists in Japan). Only few traces remain of this organization because the internet was not yet developed then in the way it is today. Nevertheless, some newsletters of this organization have come upon us.

 

EVENTS

Invitation of the JSPS Regional Chapter Rhein-Ruhr to the Residency of the Consul General of Japan

by Katja Koelkebeck, board member of the JSPS Club

First row from left S. Kawahara, K. Koelkebeck, H. Menkhaus, members of the JSPS Club (photo: courtesy of Katja Koelkebeck)

On the 25th of August, the regional chapter Rhein-Ruhr of the JSPS Club was invited to the residency of the Consul General of Japan in Düsseldorf, Setsuko Kawahara at her residency in Erkrath. Setsuko Kawahara started her career in the foreign ministry with a study stay at the University of Heidelberg, and since then held positions in Paris, Brussels, and Germany. She was appointed consul general in Düsseldorf since last fall. Fourteen members, including the Chairman of the JSPS Club Heinrich Menkhaus, and leader of the regional chapter and board member Katja Koelkebeck took part. Additionally, director of the JSPS Bonn Office, Masao Hayashi and managing director Eriko Suto were invited. Setsuko Kawahara, Heinrich Menkhaus and Katja Koelkebeck addressed greeting remarks to the participants, pointing out the importance of the Japanese-German cooperation in the scientific sector. Consul General Kawahara, by this invitation, continues her close cooperation with the JSPS Club in Frankfurt, where she already had a lively interaction with the regional chapter Rhein-Main-Neckar, led by board member Matthias Hofmann. The participants were treated with Japanese sake for the toast and delicacies from the Japanese cuisine by the female chef of Setsuko Kawahara’s residency.

 

JSPS Evening

by Katja Koelkebeck, board member of the JSPS Club

Photo: courtesy of JSPS Bonn Office

On the 28th of August 2023, the JSPS Bonn Office celebrated the annual JSPS evening in the Ameron Bonn Hotel Königshof. At this event, after a musical introduction by the Orchestra of the Scientific Organizations, built by members of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), German Research Foundation (DFG) and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), greeting remarks were addressed by the director of the JSPS, Dr. Tetsuya Mizumoto, the secretary general of the AvH, Dr. Enno Aufderheide, the secretary general of the DAAD, Dr. Kai Sicks, the secretary general of the DFG, Dr. Heide Ahrens and the consul general of Japan in Düsseldorf, Setsuko Kawahara. As the JSPS evening was under the motto “50th year anniversary of JSPS’s cooperation with the AvH and DAAD” (see also the following link: https://daad-aktuell.daad-newsletter.de/i/J69qY5Ewa5PKu6g9jC_5-J-tbYWNBpSe), all representatives of the science organizations pointed out the many interactions and programs between the three organizations which help to enable researchers to go abroad to Japan and perform their research. All organizations also pointed out the importance of the German JSPS Club that is the oldest JSPS Club in the world and one of its most efficient. They personally thanked the Chairman, Heinrich Menkhaus, for his work. Heinrich Menk­haus also was asked to propose a toast, during which he pointed out the next meetings of the Club in Dossenheim and Tokyo. After dinner, JSPS Club member Prof. Christian Becker-Asano, professor for Artificial Intelligence from the “Hochschule der Medien”, Stuttgart, presented his research on Robotics and AI with Japan, which was funded by all three scientific organizations. He also presented his recent experiment with a self-designed robot using Chat-GPT for interaction. After that, Dr. Mizumoto presented the representatives of the science organizations with a gift by the president of the JSPS, Tsuyoshi Sugino, who wrote short poems, represented in calligraphy and framed, commenting in a humorous way on German music and soccer. Final remarks were spoken by director of the JSPS Bonn Office, Prof. Masahiko Hayashi.

 

1st Essen-Kyoto Summit in Medicine

by Katja Koelkebeck, board member of the JSPS Club

From left Prof. Y. Nakamoto, Prof. N. Scherbaum, Prof. Ken Herrmann, Prof. W. Sauerwein, Prof. J. Buer, T. Kufen, Prof. T. Murai, S. Kawahara, Prof. K. Koelkebeck (courtesy of the City of Essen)

On the 14th and 15th of September, at the Medical Faculty of the University of Duisburg-Essen, the 1st Kyoto-Essen Summit took place. Under the leadership of the Japan representative of the Medical Faculty, Prof. Ken Herrmann from the Institute of Nuclear Medicine, the former Japan-representative Prof. Wolfgang Sauerwein (Radiology) and JSPS Club board member Katja Koelkebeck (Psychiatry), 20 Japanese guests from Kyoto were attending the summit. Among them, eight Japanese visitors presented their research in cooperation with the Medical Faculty in Essen as well as colleagues from the Medical Faculty in Essen. Topics covered were “Theranostics in nuclear medicine”, “Neuroimaging in psychiatry” and “Robotics in medical applications”. The consul general of Japan in Düsseldorf, Setsuko Kawahara, the lord mayor of Essen, Thomas Kufen, who is a Japan-enthusiast himself and strongly promotes interaction between Essen and its partner city Koriyama, and the dean of the Medical Faculty, Prof. Jan Buer, addressed the audience with their welcome remarks.

The colleagues from Japan were also invited to a tour through Essen to the scenic Zeche Zollverein (UNESCO world heritage) and the dome of Essen of which some parts are over 1,000 years old. The symposium was partly sponsored by the JSPS Club, as also younger faculty was invited. It was also a chance for our JSPS Club member Dr. Masao Watanabe, who is currently an AvH fellow at the University Medicine Essen, to present his current research activities at the Department of Nuclear Medicine (see his introduction in the last NvC). It was promised that the event will not only further and strengthen the bond between the two universities, but also that the exchange will be continued in Japan in the following year with a 2nd summit.

Program of the 1st Essen-Kyoto Summit at the Medical Faculty of the University Essen

 

Welcome Reception of the Japanese Consul General Asazuma for the Clubs Rhine-Main-Neckar regional chapter

by Matthias Hofmann, board member of the Club, head of the Rhine-Main-Neckar regional chapter

Welcome reception of the Japanese Consul General S. Asazuma for the members of the JSPS Club Rhine-Main-Neckar regional chapter (photo: courtesy of M. Hofmann)

From right: Japanese Consul General in Frankfurt S. Asazuma, Vice Consul Ms. Otsuka and board members of the JSPS Club S. Mochimaru and M. Hofmann (photo: courtesy of the Japanese Consulate General)

In mid-October, 16 members of the JSPS Club Rhine-Main-Neckar regional chapter were able to accept the invitation to a reception at the residence of the Japanese Consul General Shinichi Asazuma. This invitation was a follow-up on the attendance of Vice Consul Kotoe Otsuka and Ms. Weidmann from the Japanese Consulate General in Frankfurt at the summer gathering of the regional chapter.

The meeting served to promote exchange between the regional Club members and the Japanese Consulate General in Frankfurt. Consul General Asazuma thanked the members for their commitment to promoting scientific exchange between Japan and Germany. Dr. Matthias Hofmann, board member and head of the regional chapter, thanked the Consulate General for their support and recognition of the Club’s work. After the short official part of the evening, all participants - including several new members of the regional group - were able to enjoy stimulating conversations about various stays in Japan and familiar Japanese dishes.

The members of the Club’s regional chapter thanked the Consul General for his continuous support and recognition of the Club’s work. At the end, Consul General Asazuma closed the reception with a Japanese toast. He and Vice Consul Otsuka then personally said goodbye to everyone present.

All participants of the regional chapter left the evening with a very good feeling of togetherness and the knowledge that the Japanese General Consulate in Frankfurt supports the activities of the JSPS Club and the local regional chapter.

 

Members invite members in Dossenheim 2023

by Katja Koelkebeck, board member of the JSPS Club

Photo: Courtesy of JSPS Bonn Office

From November 10th to November 11th, the Members invite Members event of the JSPS Club took place at the Institute for Biological Control of the Julius Kühn-Institut, Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants in Dossenheim, close to the city of Heidelberg. Welcome remarks were spoken by Dr. Jörg Wennmann, member of the JSPS Club and local host. He was followed by Prof. Heinrich Menkhaus (Chairman, JSPS Club), who informed of the upcoming events of the annual symposium in Braunschweig in 2024, the Members invite Members in Dortmund 2024, the Club-meeting in Japan in Nagoya 2023 and the symposia of 2025 in Munich and Tokyo.

Dr. Annette Herz, Deputy Head of the Institute for Biological Control, Julius Kühn-Institut, recounted the history of the institute. Julius Kühn was a German Professor in Halle that established an agriculture research institute. It belongs to a larger network of 18 institutes with headquarters in Quedlinburg in that science problems of plant production are worked on. The Institute of Biological Control is located in Dossenheim. Dr. Wennmann is a team group leader in insect pathology and bioinformatics. The new institute location in Dossenheim was opened officially in summer 2023. Since 2019 there is also a joint declaration of bilateral cooperation with Japan.

In her greeting remarks, vice-consul Kotoe Otsuka (Consulate General of Japan, Frankfurt am Main) underscored the importance of the Japanese-German scientific interaction. SatoshiSuzuki, science attaché of the Embassy of Japan in Germany, Berlin, shared some information on Japanese-German science cooperation. In Berlin and Cologne, networking events with young researchers have been taking place recently. He also informed about 30 members of the revived Aokumakai, a group of Japanese researchers in Berlin and their joint meetings with the regional chapter Berlin-Brandenburg of the JSPS Club. He pointed out the invitation of local members and Japanese scientists to a common Christmas party. He also stressed the role of the JSPS Club in the development of science cooperation.

Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Hans-Günter Sonntag (Honorary Chairman, Heidelberger Freundeskreis Kumamoto) mentioned in his greeting remarks that from 1992, there is an active city partnership between Heidelberg and Kumamoto. In 2023, a high-ranking delegation was visiting Heidelberg, including the mayor of Kumamoto. There is an active exchange of medical personnel and schools.


Presentations

During the first presentation “The Sweet, the Bad and the Ugly: How Flowers Attract Pollinators through Chemical and Visual Mimicry” Prof. Dr. Andreas Jürgens (Chemical Plant Ecology, Department of Biology, Technical University Darmstadt) talked about strategies of plants to attract pollinators. Forms, colors and smell can vary, so pollen can, e.g. be transported over a longer distance. The insects can seemingly learn to distinguish the flowers, but they cannot see specific colors. Ugly and smelling flowers have sulphur compounds to indicate high protein. Smells can be extremely bad, like dung or rotten meat. The discussion included the question whether flowers can be manipulated to more effectively attract pollinators.

The second talk “Insects Connections – How Joint Japanese-German Research on Insects Can Improve Plant Health” by Dr. Annette Herz (Deputy Head of the Institute for Biological Control, Julius Kühn-Institut) was about insects. The number of insects is about the same in Germany and Japan, about 30-35,000 species, although Germany is less diverse due to the more uniform climate. Dr. Herz pointed out that the Japanese culture also focuses on insects, e.g. in paintings, where often insects can be seen as well as in poems (e.g. in the haiku “swarms of mosquitoes - but without them it’s a little lonely” by Issa). Shonen Matsumura was the first Japanese to describe 6,000 illustrated insects of Japan. Climate change fosters pest outbreaks, also pesticides have side effects on beneficial insects and start resistances. Beneficial insect helpers / predators can be used for pest control, e.g. ladybugs, wasps, hoverflies, etc. They can be fostered by flower strips (of buckwheat, coriander) next to crop fields and plantations. Hoverflies are also in the focus of research in a joint research project with Japan (NARI, National Agricultural and food Research Association). Also exotic, invasive insects could become a plant pest (in Japan and Germany about 300-400 species). Therefore, there are quarantines being introduced. Drosophila suzukii (Japanese fruit fly) is an important invasive insect since it can attack healthy fruits and does not have natural enemies. Naturally native to Japan, it is invasive to many parts of this world. It is common in Germany since around 2011. In 2015, a delegation was sent to Japan to discuss experience on how to deal with this pest insect since it is not causing significant damage to fruits in Japan. Wasps from Germany have been used to experiment on their effect on the pest. But, in 2021, a Japanese wasp followed to Germany and therefore a natural enemy was introduced (which is called unintentional classical biological control).

Third speaker was Prof. Dr. Thomas Greb (Centre for Organismal Studies, Heidelberg University) with his presentation “The Impact of Cambium-derived Tissue Composition on Plant Drought Resistance”. He presented data on a JSPS-funded cooperation with Japanese researchers about single nucleus transcriptomics in Arabidopsis. Mutant variants were investigated to produce smaller vessel elements, which makes them more resistant vs. draught. Also, altered transpiration can be reached.

Dr. Thomas Spallek (Junior Group Leader, Plant Biotic Interactions, Georg-August-University Göttingen and member of the JSPS Club) gave a presentation on “Phtheirospermum Japonicum – How a Japanese Plant Transformed Molecular Research on Parasitic Weeds”. PJ (koshiogama), a plant parasite, can be found in Asia. It has a broad host range, e.g. Arabidopsis. Dr. Spallek showed that molecules exist that transfer from the parasite towards the host. One finds e.g. hypertrophy at the site of the parasite entering the host. It seems that this optimizes the nutrient balance. In a project with Japan, striga, another parasite, and rice, as well as striga with PJ were grown together. Striga does not attack PJ, because some chemicals are lacking. Striga is more problematic when occurring in larger numbers. This is also true for yellow rattle.

Member of the JSPS Club Dr. Julia Krohmer (stood in for member Dr. Thomas Berberich) on the talk “From Basic Research to Application as Start-up Company - A New Technology for Precision Farming” (Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre). Chlorophyll fluorescence is a way to measure plant stress expressions. This method was shown to be effective in seedlings with draught. It was also used to measure energy sources for catching and digesting of prey in venus flytraps. Nitrogen seems to be the source for this energy. A device was developed by Dr. Berberich and colleagues for water supply and nitrogen measuring. It can be used by farmers to check the status of nutrition of their plants, for example. Nitrogen fertilizer is used too often; about 20% could be saved by a more detailed measure of the need of the plants.

The last speaker of the day was the host Dr. Jörg Wennmann (Head of Research Group “Molecular Insect Pathology and Bioinformatic”, Institute for Biological Control, Julius Kühn-Institut) talking about his research topic “Baculoviruses and Their License to Kill in Biological Plant Protection”. Dr. Wennmann worked at TUAT (Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology). There is an ongoing exchange of students. Nowadays, insects are grown for food and feed because they are rich in protein. On the other hand, caterpillars are major pests to many agricultural plants. Microorganisms are used for killing these pest insects. There is a common strategy in Germany and Japan to reduce chemical pesticide application by 50% and increase organic farming by 30% until 2030 and 2050, respectively. One option to replace chemical pesticides is the application of Baculoviruses to kill pest insects. The virus infects insects only, it is safe and harmless for humans and bees because it is highly specific. Baculoviruses produce large protein structures, which are spread by the wind. They can be harvested, because the virus produces a lot of other viruses during the infection. However, resistances occur. The research deals with deciphering the structure of the baculovirus. They are very resistant and can be stored by room temperature. JKI has the largest collection of baculoviruses, and some from the 1970es are still working efficiently.

The following dinner was held at the restaurant Palmbrau Gasse in Heidelberg. On Saturday, the group visited Heidelberg Castle on a guided tour followed by a lunch at the Historic Backhaus on the castle grounds. The event was followed by the Junior Forum that is held each year by JSPS Bonn Office, assembling young researchers with fellowships from JSPS to Japan.

 

Report on First Symposium of European Researchers in Japan

by Club members Wilfried Wunderlich and Eckhard Hitzer

From left to right: speakers of the first technical session in the morning: M. Guarnieri (AIRJ), C. Asanuma-Brice (Sciencescope), J.M.M. Caaveiro (ACE), E. Hitzer (JSPS Club) (photo: courtesy of Olaf Karthaus)

From left to right: the representatives of the four associations: H. Menkhaus (JSPS Club), C. Laly (Sciencescope), S. Cosentino (AIRJ), D. del Barrio Alvarez (ACE) (photo: courtesy of Olaf Karthaus)

On Saturday, 21st of October 2023, in the Europa House in Tokyo, the first Symposium of European Researchers in Japan took place under the title: “Past, Present and Future Cross continental Connections between Europe and Japan”, jointly organized by four national organizations of foreign researchers in Japan (the Spanish Asociacion de Cientificos Espanoles en Japon [1], the Association of Italian Researchers in Japan [2], the German JSPS Alumni Association [3] and the French Sciencescope Association [4] and by the Delegation of the European Union (EU) in Japan).

In his opening remarks, the new Head of Science, Innovation, Digital, and Other EU Policies Section, Delegation of the European Union to Japan, Mr. Gijs Berends explained the discrepancy between scientific findings and their translation into practical policy guidelines.

In the first technical session in the morning with the topic: “Dependence of Societies on Scientific Research”, four lectures were given by the Spanish ACE Japon member and vaccine developer Jose M. M. Caaveiro, Kyushu University, who envisions the challenge of developing future vaccines in only one hundred days. For him, vaccines have saved millions of lives and come with a minor negligible risk of side effects of the order of one in a million. In the following Q&A session, this view was challenged, referring to the strong negative side effects the HPV virus vaccine has had in 2013 in Japan [5].

Second, JSPS Club member, physicist Eckhard Hitzer of International Christian University and Visiting Fellow for religious, philosophical and scientific foundations of sustainable society at the European Institute, Sophia University, addressed “Scientific Research -- Opportunities and Pitfalls” in his talk. Opportunities on the one hand to sustain life, diagnose and cure disease, serious pitfalls on the other hand are the destruction of life, creation of disease and total surveillance.

The third morning presentation, by Dr. Cécile Asanuma-Bricece (representing Sciencescope), co-director of the Mitate Laboratory in Fukushima, focused on learning lessons from the Fukushima accident and developing organizational guidelines should another nuclear disaster occur.

In the final presentation in this session, Michele Guarnieri (representing the Italian Association) of the Hibot robotics company reported on robot deployments in technical facilities such as aircraft tanks or boilers in chemical factories to inspect damaged areas.

Apart from morning and afternoon coffee breaks, a light sandwich lunch was served, all offering ample opportunity to catch up with old friends and engage in networking.

In the afternoon, Dalibor P. Drljaca, EU Representative of Horizon Europe, gave a detailed introduction to Horizon Europe and the application and evaluation procedure. Then Prof. em. Dr. Tetsuya Mizutomo, Executive Director of JSPS, shared his insights on Open Science and its effect on Society. This was continued by former Japan Times journalist Ms. Magdalena Osumi, now at BCW Global, reflecting on science communication in Europe and Japan.

The event continued in the afternoon with greetings from representatives of the four organizations: Dr. Daniel del Barrio Alvarez (The University of Tokyo) for the Spanish “ACE Japon”, Dr. Sarah Cosentino (The University of Tokyo) for the Italian “AIRJ”, Dr. Heinrich Menkhaus (Meiji University) for the German JSPS Alumni Association and Dr. Cecile Laly (Kyoto Seika University) for the French “Sciencescope”. The JSPS Club is one of the oldest organizations of foreign scientists in Japan with a wide member base both in Germany and Japan and with regular conferences communicating science to the public, a special prize supported by ANA, and also a special category for institutional members. All organizations receive some organizational support from their embassies and culture centers in Japan, but in the end it is voluntary work on top of their daily duties in research and teaching. There is the hope to found in the future a European Researchers Association in Japan, also including nationals from other smaller European countries. In attendance were also individual researchers from Greece, Norway and Denmark. The need of support for individual foreign students and academics in Japan in case of academic harassment, problems and conflicts with hosts and employers was also pointed out. Furthermore, the Italian AIRJ provides exemplary support for members to plan their future pension, which in the case of international mobility spanning countries with diverse pension systems and with huge currency value fluctuations is quite a complex question.

The meeting concluded with free style conversations over a glass of wine, provided by the four associations that cooperated on the event. It was the first joint event of the four national alumni associations hosted by the Delegation of the EU in Japan. About forty listeners, mainly young scholarship holders, were present.


Footnotes and References

[1] Association of Spanish Researchers in Japan (ACE), https://en.acejapon.jp/, access 23 Oct. 2023.

[2] Association of Italian Researchers in Japan (AIRJ), https://www.airj.info, access 23 Oct. 2023.

[3] German JSPS Alumni Association, https://www.jsps-club.de/en/, access 23 Oct. 2023.

[4] The Association for French-speaking students and researchers in Japan Sciencescope, https://www.sciencescope.org/, access 23 Oct. 2023.

[5] According to a report in the Japan Times, 8.29 million people had received the HPV vaccine as of December 2012, and there were 1968 cases of concerning adverse events reported as of March 2013. Of these adverse events, 106 were described as “serious cases of pains or body convulsions, pains in joints, or difficulty in walking. Those numbers translate to a rate of 12.8 serious cases of adverse events per 1 million inoculations ...” (Nick Mulcahy, Japan Withdraws HPV Vaccine Recommendation for Girls, in Medscape Medical News, https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/806645?form=fpffpf, access 22 Oct. 2023).

 

Scientific Research – Opportunities and Pitfalls

by Club member Eckhard Hitzer

He [God] has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. (Solomon, Bible, Eccl. 3:11, ESV)


Introductory note:

On Saturday, 21st of October 2023, in the Europa House in Tokyo, the first Symposium of European Researchers in Japan took place under the title: “Past, Present and Future Cross-continental Connections between Europe and Japan”. In the first technical session in the morning with the topic: “Dependence of Societies on Scientific Research”, I gave a lecture on “Scientific Research – Opportunities and Pitfalls”, about which I report here.


Opportunity 1: Passive House

Fig. 1. The five Passive House construction concepts based on physics. [4]

The first opportunity of scientific research I want to mention is the development of the Passive House concept since 1990. It is founded on the following five physics-based concepts (see Fig. 1): insulation, avoidance of thermal bridges, insulating heat gain windows (Passive House widows), heat recovery ventilation, and air tightness [1]. This development is spearheaded by The Passive House Institute (PHI), an independent research institute founded in 1996 by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Feist, with a continuously growing interdisciplinary team of employees. PHI has played an especially crucial role in the development of thePassive House concept. The first pilot project (1990) was Europe’s first inhabited multi-family house to achieve a documented heating energy consumption of below 10 kWh/(m²a), i.e. per square meter and year, a consumption level confirmed through over 30 years of detailed monitoring. Regarding its international adoption around the world, the Passive House concept itself remains the same for all of the world’s climates, as does the physics behind it. Of course, the details have to be adapted to the specific climate at hand and will look much different in Alaska as compared to Zimbabwe. A current example is, e.g., the new Gewerbepark Gablingen (north of Augsburg in Bavaria): constructed in 2023, with an annual heating demand of 17 kWh /m2, and a total floor area of 3,723 m2. [2,3]


Opportunity 2: Attosecond light pulses for the study of electron dynamics in matter

The second opportunity was recognized with the Nobel Prize in Physics of 2023, which was awarded to Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier for experimental methods that generate attosecond pulses of light for the study of electron dynamics in matter. This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics opens windows that were unimaginable to Heisenberg, to explore phenomena that were previously impossible to observe. In the world of electrons, changes occur in a few tenths of an attosecond – an attosecond is so short that there are as many in one second as there have been seconds since the birth of the universe. Attosecond pulses can also be used to identify different molecules, such as in medical diagnostics. By combining broadband optics, ultrafast laser sources, and precision femtosecond-attosecond field resolving technologies, the Krausz group (Max-Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Garching) has developed electric-field molecular fingerprinting that can detect changes in molecular composition of biofluids. This holds promise as a new in vitro diagnostic analytical technique to detect characteristic molecular traces of diseases in blood samples. The great advantage is that many molecules can be monitored at the same time, and the radiation is non-ionizing and therefore not harmful. [5]


Opportunity 3: Virtual reality surgery training

The third opportunity is virtual reality surgery training. The deep-tech venture company ORamaVR was created to tackle a major health crisis that is currently affecting almost five billion people globally: the lack of access to affordable surgical care. This health crisis is the direct result of a lack of innovation in medical training over the last 150 years that has meant that the profession cannot keep up with the demand. The WHO is projecting that by 2030, there will be a staggering deficit of 18 million medical professionals. Meanwhile, the number of fatal medical errors keeps rising due to the fact that medical training is highly intensive: a master/educator operates on a patient and the trainee/apprentice observes and learns on-the-job, often practicing on real patients. Medical extended reality (XR) training can change all that. ORamaVR has attracted substantial deep-tech R&D grants from the European Commission and boasts important research and industrial partnerships, including Airbus, Telefonica, CNRS and Eurescom. [6]

In the second half, I describe some of the severe pitfalls of modern science.


Pitfall 1: Hypersonic cruise missiles and glide vehicles

A graph from a standard college level physics textbook (H. Oertel, Prandtl-Essentials of Fluid Mechanics, Springer, Heidelberg, 2010, Fig. 4.177.) shows the ratio of lift to drag coefficient ca/cw of aerodynamic vehicles over Mach numbers (speed measured in units of the speed of sound of 343m/s, i.e. M=1 means v = 343m/s) from M = 0 to 5, showing with increasing Mach number: the swept wing of jet planes, the delta wings of fighter planes (and the now decommissioned Concorde) and the modern wave glider (still under development). Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) trajectories reach up to 1,200 km and follow easily predictable ballistic trajectories, which enables their interception. Different from that, hypersonic cruise missiles fly only 20-30 km high (dodging radar), travel with over M > 5 and are manoeuvrable, making them difficult to intercept. In 2018, Russia successfully tested a hypersonic glide vehicle that can be equipped with a nuclear warhead and reached the speed of M = 27, meaning it can cover the distance from Moscow to Washington in merely 14 min, is manoeuvrable and flies at attitudes of 40-100 km. Japan aims at the development of a hypersonic glider by 2026. [7]


Pitfall 2: Genome editing

The second pitfall may be genome editing, for which Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna jointly received the 2020 Nobel Prize in chemistry. They were able to change the CRISPR part of the genetic scissors so that its code matches the code where the cuts are to be made, with overwhelming results. The DNA molecules were cleaved in exactly the right places. Several research groups around the world demonstrated that this tool can be used to modify the genome in cells from both mice and humans, which lead to an explosive development. Because this gene tool is so easy to use, it is now widespread in basic research. It is used to change the DNA of cells and laboratory animals. In medicine, the genetic scissors are contributing to new immunotherapies for cancer. [8]

Alongside all their benefits, genetic scissors can also be misused. For example, this tool can be used to create genetically modified embryos. One thing is certain: these genetic scissors affect us all. We will lead to new ethical issues. [8]

There may indeed be a sinister relationship to the COVID-19 pandemic of the last three years. The Times (UK) newspaper reported on 2023/06/11:“Dr. Steven Quay, a US scientist who advised the State Department on its investigation [...] believes COVID-19 was created by inserting a furin cleavage site into one of the mine viruses [taken from bats in a mine in China] and then serial passaging it through humanised mice.” [9] In this case, opportunity and pitfall seem to be inseparable like two sides of a coin.


Pitfall 3: Surveillance technology

The third pitfall example that affects us all is 21st century surveillance technology as revealed by Washington Post journalist and Winner of the Pulitzer Prize Barton Gellman in his bestseller “Dark Mirror – Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State. [10] Edward Snowden touched off a global debate in 2013 when he gave Barton Gellman, Laura Poitras, and Glenn Greenwald each a vast and explosive archive of highly classified files revealing the extent of the American government’s access to our every communication. The book provides a gripping inside narrative of investigative reporting as it happened and a deep dive into the machinery of the surveillance state. [11] It is partly a thriller about reporting the secrets the US government hoped to keep, partly a deeper exposé about the vast power the surveillance state built to pierce Americans’ privacy with a few keystrokes. This book is a deep exploration of a surveillance apparatus of unimaginable magnitude, the scope of the NSA global snooping campaign he revealed is more shocking than ever. [12]

PRISM (Planning Tool for Resource Integration, Synchronization and Management): Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk ..., YouTube, Skype, AOL and Apple all agreed to cooperate, according to the leaked documents between 2007 and 2012. And what are they supposedly taking from those servers? Well, e-mail, chats (video or voice), videos, photos, stored data, Skype conversations, file transfers, logins, social networking. Everything. [13] A diagram showing an overview of the PRISM surveillance system and its work flow can be found in [14].


Conclusion

I conclude with a remark on the ambivalence of science. Opportunities reviewed here are to sustain life, diagnose and cure disease. Examples of serious pitfalls are the destruction of life, creation of disease and total surveillance. A thoughtful observer wrote: “... there is the Promethean desire to use science and technology not so much to tame “nature” but to dominate it to the point of destruction or, as [C.S.] Lewis puts it in “The Abolition of Man” [16], “The power of Man to make himself what he pleases means, as we have seen, the power of some men to make other men what they please.” ” [15]


Acknowledgements

I thank my family for their warm support, the JSPS Club and especially Prof. Heinrich Menkhaus, the Chairman of the JSPS Club. Furthermore, I want to draw attention German Physical Society statement on the current conflict in Israel: “The German Physical Society, DPG, having many scientific ties to the Middle East is aware of the difficult and interwoven situation in particular in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. However, we are absolutely clear that nothing justifies the barbaric recent terroristic attack of Hamas on Israel which the DPG condemns wholeheartedly. We strongly appeal to all parties involved to take any effort to spare the lives of civilians and not to relent in their efforts to create sustainable peace.” (email from DPG, 20/10/2023)


Eckhard Hitzer is Professor at the International Christian University and Visiting Fellow for religious, philosophical and scientific foundations of sustainable society at the European Institute, Sophia University.


Footnotes and References

[1] For a good overview of the 5 concepts of a Passive House see: W. Feist, Energy Efficiency – The Global Contribution of the Passive House Standard, in E. Hitzer, G.C. Kimura, M. Shukuya, A. Takeuchi (eds.), Foreword by P. Hastings, 持続可能な 世界のために For a Sustainable World, Bookmundo Osiander, Tuebingen, 2021, 286 pp., paperback, ISBN: 9789403631431.

[2] Gewerbepark Gablingen Website, https://www.gewerbepark-gablingen.de/, access 25 Oct. 2023. See also the Passive House Database entry: https://passivehouse-database.org/index.php?lang=en#d_7364, access 25 Oct. 2023.

[3] The Passive House Institute website, http://passivehouse.com/, access 20 Oct. 2023.

[4] Passive House Association Los Angeles, http://passivehouse-losangeles.com, access 20 Oct. 2023.

[5] Nobel Prize Foundation, https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/2023/, access 20 Oct. 2023.

[6] Website of ORamaVR, https://oramavr.com/, access 20 Oct. 2023.

[7] Richard Stone, ‘National pride is at stake.’ Russia, China, United States race to build hypersonic weapons, in Science, 08 Jan. 2020, https://www.science.org/content/article/national-pride-stake-russia-china-united-states-race-build-hypersonic-weapons, access 20 Oct. 2023.

[8] Nobel Prize Foundation, https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/2020/, access 20 Oct. 2023.

[9] Jonathan Calvert and George Arbuthnott, What really went on inside the Wuhan lab weeks before COVID erupted, in The Times 2:34PM June 11, 2023, https://www.theaustralian.com.au/world/the-times/what-really-went-on-inside-the-wuhan-lab-weeks-before-covid-erupted/news-story/96a38b1d31eed7e7b01c6407b481d3f5, access 20 Oct. 2023.

[10] Barton Gellman, Dark Mirror – Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State, Penguin Books, London, 2018.

[11] https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Mirror-Snowden-American-Surveillance/dp/B01IQ15ILK/, access 20 Oct. 2023.

[12] Barton Gellman website, https://www.bartongellman.com/dark-mirror/, access 20 Oct. 2023.

[13] Kate Kershner, How the PRISM Surveillance System Works, https://people.howstuffworks.com/prism-surveillance-system.htm, access 20 Oct. 2023.

[14] https://cdn.netzpolitik.org/wp-upload/prism-slide-7.jpg, access 20 Oct. 2023.

[15] M. Tinker (2020) in That Hideous Strength: A Deeper Look at How The West Was Lost, EP Books, Leyland, p. 24.

[16] C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man – Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools, University of Durham: Riddel Memorial Lectures, Geoffrey Bless: The Centenary Press, London 1947.

 

Learning from the Japanese Tea House

by Club member Iris Mach

© Projekt: Karolin Kohnke, Adrian Spengler, © Grafik: Marika Ehara, Huy Cuong Thieu Nguyen

From July to September, a contemporary interpretation of a Japanese tea house was exhibited in the Japanese Garden at Schönbrunn (Vienna). The occasion were two simultaneous anniversaries: the 110th anniversary of the Japanese Garden at Schönbrunn and the 150th anniversary of the Vienna World’s Fair. Both events mark important turning points in the cultural exchange between Austria and Japan.

Following in the footsteps of these cultural interactions, students of architecture and civil engineering at TU Wien devoted themselves to a special architectural type – the Japanese tea house (“Chashitsu” 茶室), which is often considered as the epitome of Japanese architecture. Despite - or perhaps because of - its small size and supposedly simple construction, the tea house is a spatially and functionally complex structure that continues to challenge architects. Thus, many Japanese architects have dedicated themselves to the – sometimes radical – modern reinterpretation of this building type.

The tea house “Heterotopia” by Karolin Kohnke and Adrian Spengler, which was selected from a total of eleven designs for the implementation at Schönbrunn, can be counted into this group. The aim was to develop a contemporary version of a Japanese tea house for the site, considering traditional basic principles on the one hand, but also incorporating modern building techniques and local inspirations on the other. The name “Heterotopia” refers to a term coined by philosopher Michel Foucault to describe “other places” that differ from the norm and are subject to their own rules.

The basic idea for the tea house was to deconstruct the classic “shoji” (障子) sliding walls into wooden frames and a textile envelope. The construction was conceived in analogy to the nearby “Palmenhaus”, where the inner glass shell is suspended from the outer steel girders and thus appears particularly light and airy. The cloud-like translucent textile was deliberately chosen to allow for different degrees of permeability and thus create a poetic filter between the interior and exterior spaces, depending on the light situation. Wind and sounds are also transposed accordingly - the building enables a curated perception that intensifies the sensory impressions through reduction and unifies them in the context of the tea ceremony to create an all-encompassing experience.

Another essential element that was adopted for the “Heterotopia” tea house is the “Nijiriguchi”
(躙口) – the crawling entrance through which guests enter the tea house. As the name suggests, the opening is so small that access is only possible by crawling – this emphasizes the transition from everyday life and forces a humble attitude. Upon entering the tea house, all worldly burdens, including both status symbols and weapons, are to be left behind so that the encounter of the participants can take place as equals in peace and harmony.

In summary, the tea house can be seen as a tool that supports the participants of the tea ceremony to gain distance from everyday life, to come to rest and, true to the motto “Ichi-go ichi-e” (一期一会, roughly: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity / encounter), to perceive and appreciate the irretrievability of the moment with all their senses. In this connection, it is a living tradition from which we can learn harmony, respect, purity and tranquility (“wa kei sei jaku” 和敬清寂) even today.

After the end of the exhibition in the Japanese Garden at Schönbrunn, the tea house will move to Schloss Loosdorf, where it will complement the “Broken Collection” exhibition. This is a collection of historical Japanese Imari porcelain that was destroyed by occupying forces during the Second World War. After selective restoration and touring in Japan, the broken pieces will now be permanently displayed in the castle as a memorial against the senseless destruction of war. In this context, the tea house represents a place of contemplation and respectful encounter, as well as a symbol of peace and friendship.

Team of TU Wien (photo: © Huy Cuong Thieu Nguyen)

We would like to cordially thank the Austrian Federal Gardens, the Window Research Institute (Madoken 研究所), the Japanese Embassy in Austria and all students, colleagues and sponsors who supported this project!

Further information:
https://www.instagram.com/teahouse.heterotopia/
https://www.piatti.at/scherben


DI Dr. techn. Iris Mach is head of the JASEC (Japan Austria Science Exchange Center) at the Vienna University of Technology. She conducted a PhD research stay at the University of Tokyo from 2007-2009 regarding the topic "From Tea House to Theme Park: Staged Spaces in Japanese Architecture".

Team

Consultants
DI Dr. Iris Mach, Dr. Arch. Kazuhiro Yajima, Prof. DI Dr. Fabian Dembski, Prof. DI Dr. Oliver Englhardt, DI Rene Kurzbauer

Participating students
Adrian Spengler, Alexander Schweitzer, Christina Perkonig, Clemens Loidolt, Dominik Kratzer, Ernst Kneisler, Flonja Akshija, Hendrik Villmann, Huy Cuong Thieu Nguyen, Janina Habekus, Karolin Kohnke, Mariia Kurylyshyn, Marika Ehara, Martin Stockreiter, Mirei Yoshitake, Nikolett Magyar, Sebastian Lettner, Sonja Dietze, Sophie Tuymer, Timur Galiullin, Tomohiro Hojo, Vitus Neppl.

Tea House “Heterotopia” at the Japanese Garden in Schönbrunn (Design: Karolin Kohnke, Adrian Spengler, photo: © Iris Mach)

Tea House “Heterotopia” at the Japanese Garden in Schönbrunn (Design: Karolin Kohnke, Adrian Spengler, photo: © Iris Mach)

Tea ceremony with Somei Fuhrmann, H.E. Embassador of Japan Ryuta Mizuuchi and Dr. Akemi Mizuuchi (photo: © Fabian Dembski)

View from the inside towards the “Palmenhaus” (photo: © Huy Cuong Thieu Nguyen)

 

 

Siebold Commemorative Exhibition

by Club member Andreas Mettenleiter

Poster: courtesy of the Siebold Museum

In Japan, every child knows Philipp Franz Siebold (1796–1866), who was born in Würzburg, Bavaria – no wonder that the 200th anniversary of his arrival in Nagasaki in 1823 was celebrated in Japan with numerous exhibitions, history conferences and all kinds of activities. In Germany, however, the only place where this event is given particular attention is his hometown: The Würzburg Siebold Museum has organized a special exhibition that is worth seeing and has been dedicated to Siebold’s main publication “Nippon”.

Siebold, who worked in the service of the Netherlands as a physician at the Dutch trading post in Nagasaki, published the findings from his six years of intensive research and collecting between 1833 and 1858 in a monumental work: “Nippon” appeared in numerous deliveries with expensive, large-format plates and had a lasting impact on the image of Japan in 19th century’s Europe.

For the exhibition, the Siebold Society which runs the Würzburg Siebold Museum succeeded in getting previously unseen preliminary drawings from private collections and making them available to the public for the first time. These include artistically watercoloured ink sketches by Japanese and European artists. A comparison with the finished printing plates shows how these templates were more or less changed during implementation to suit European tastes.

Comparing these illustrations with contemporary wood engraving illustrations in magazines, illustrated newspapers, books and encyclopaedias is no less revealing: Not every detail from “Nippon” was copied true to the original, but rather adapted to the needs of the respective purpose and sometimes even misunderstood. The abundance of “copied” motifs and the range of variations show the influence that texts and images of “Nippon” had on the image of Japan in Europe at the time.

This is also made clear by comparison with the many illustrations in books of earlier times: Hardly any European artist had ever seen a real Japanese person or been able to obtain a reliable template for his illustration. Siebold’s partial deliveries of “Nippon” initially appeared both in Dutch and German, later only in German. A French edition was soon discontinued. Only “retellings” were available to English-speaking readers. It was not until 1897 that Siebold’s sons Alexander and Heinrich had an illustrated but affordable “people’s edition” printed in Würzburg. Siebold’s “Nippon” was of course already a historical text then, as, from the middle of the century, the country had to open up to the outside world and from the 1870s onwards a rapid cultural race to catch up began. Despite Siebold’s fame in Japan, a Japanese translation of “Nippon” was not published earlier than in the 1970ies!

The Würzburg exhibition with its many, original multi-colored picture panels is a feast for the eyes and invites visitors to compare the manyfold picture motifs. It offers a unique opportunity to view the valuable sketches kept in private ownership in a comprehensive presentation with the original prints. The exhibition will be shown until January 28th. The Siebold Palais is open every day except Mondays from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Guided tours for groups are possible upon request after registration (0931/413541).

https://siebold-museum.byseum.de/de/ausstellungen/sonderausstellung

The medical historian Andreas Mettenleiter, an acknowledged Siebold specialist since many years, is the curator of the exhibition.

 

PRESENTATION OF NEW MEMBERS

Our new Club member Nobuhisa Ata

Nobuhisa Ata, currently a Ph.D. student at RWTH Aachen University in the Faculty of Georesources and Materials Engineering, also holds a position at Forschungszentrum Jülich, Institute of Energy and Climate Research, Structure and Function of Materials (IEK-2). He began his academic career with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Shibaura Institute of Technology in 2017, where he explored the “Local quenching mechanism of lean premixed flame affected by inert gases” for his thesis. Following this, he earned a Master’s degree from the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 2018, researching “Functional composite material films fabricated by cold spray technology.”

Mr. Ata’s academic pursuits have been complemented by diverse experiences that have enriched his perspective. Before embarking on his Ph.D. journey in Germany, he took a gap year to explore alternative fields of study. Notably, he participated in a summer school at UC Berkeley, joined a psychology class, and in 2020, he engaged in a social design project in Oshamambe City, Japan. His contributions included creating educational materials for a co-design project in collaboration with Tokyo University of Science. Presently, he is deeply involved in developing a novel technology for high-resolution 3D printing, showcasing his multidisciplinary research approach.

Nobuhisa Ata became acquainted with the JSPS Club through a Japanese researcher networking event in September 2023 and became a member. He looks forward to networking with fellow Club members, recognizing the value of diverse perspectives and collaborative opportunities that such networks can offer.

 

Our new Club member Jan Heck

Jan Heck is a physicist with varied interests in both experimental science and the humanities, and always looking to learn and discuss new ideas.

He recently received his PhD in Physics from the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, where his research showed how microfluidic photonics technologies can create new tools to aid biophysical analysis. In his current two-year JSPS fellowship, he builds on this foundation at the Networked Biophotonics and Microfluidics laboratory led by Prof. Ota at the University of Tokyo’s Research Centre for Advanced Science and Technology.

Jan Heck is an alumnus of the Studienstiftung and Haniel-Stiftung, a Cambridge Trust Honorary Scholar, among others. Besides his natural science degrees, his interest in the humanities led him to study the history and philosophy of quantum mechanics as it entered early twentieth century Japan, forming part of a scholarship programme hosted at Keio University.

During his PhD studies in Cambridge, he also began to take an interest in how research can be brought out of the lab and into practical use, by facilitating investments into university spinouts through his role at the Creator Fund.

In his free time, Jan’s favourite pastimes are classical literature and theatre, woodworking, and exploring land- or cityscapes on foot.

His personal webpage, https://jan-heck.net, offers more details and contact information. You are warmly invited to get in touch if you find any mutual interests.

 

Our new Club Member Paula Prondzinsky

Paula Prondzinsky is a microbiologist with research interest in microbial evolution and adaptation to extreme environments in the context of astrobiology. After graduating with a PhD from Tokyo Institute of Technology in March 2023, she is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Japan Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC). Here, she is investigating how photosynthesizing bacteria may have contributed to Earth’s biogeochemistry throughout the planet’s history.

Having spent two years during her childhood in Tokyo, she decided to conduct an undergraduate research internship in Japan (JAMSTEC), and afterwards was determined to come back for a long-term stay. After completing her Master’s at the Max-Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, she entered the international graduate program at Tokyo Tech for an integrated MSc/PhD in 2018.

The research activities during her PhD were mainly based at the Earth-Life Science Institute; however, she also had the opportunity to learn computational biology methods at the Bioinformatics Research Center at Kyoto University during a two-month internship.

By joining the JSPS Club, she hopes to connect with more researchers and share opportunities in both countries, especially in the fields of ocean science and microbial ecology.

 

Our new Club Member Christoph Schimkowsky

Christoph Schimkowsky was selected by the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation for a two-year fellowship as a JSPS Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo. He obtained his PhD in Sociological Studies from the University of Sheffield (UK) in 2022 for his work on poster campaigns employed by Japanese railway companies to encourage “good” passenger manners in public transport environments. Building on this, his current postdoctoral project explores the development of codes of passenger conduct and etiquette, as well as changing passenger-transport provider relations, on Tokyo’s urban railway network over the course of the 20th century.

Before starting his current JSPS fellowship, Dr. Schimkowsky was a Visiting Research Fellow on the HERA-funded PUTSPACE (Public Transport as a Public Space) project at Abo Akademi University in Turku, Finland. Christoph was awarded the Charles Alfred Fisher Prize for his PhD thesis by the University of Sheffield’s School of East Asian Studies and also holds degrees from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London (MA, Anthropological Research Methods), Waseda University (MA, International Relations), and the University of Göttingen (BA, Socio-Cultural Anthropology & Political Science). Next to public transport, Christoph is interested in social science approaches to studying design, media, urban space, and social order. Christoph also has experience conducting UX (User Experience) Research studies and collaborating with artists to communicate research findings.

 

PUBLICATIONS BY CLUB MEMBERS

Internationales Handbuch der Berufsbildung Japan

by Mikiko Eswein, Peter-Jörg Alexander and JSPS Club member Matthias Pilz

Japan is particularly interesting in the context of analysing education and employment systems, as the mechanisms of the organisation of qualification differs considerably from European and especially German concepts. Examples of this are the orientation towards in-company learning after completion of school and university, or the low importance of ordered occupations as opposed to in-company careers.

Against this background, a new publication has just been published in the “International Handbook of Vocational Education and Training” series. The country study Japan offers a comprehensive overview and detailed insights into the Japanese system of education, vocational training and the labour market. Typical characteristics of education and training in Japan are presented and illustrated with various examples and overviews. The changes in the Japanese economy and society and the implications for education are discussed in the country study.

The study was prepared by the following researchers who have been working in the field for many years Prof. Dr. Mikiko Eswein (University of Kaiserslautern-Landau), Dr. Peter-Jörg Alexander (University of Osnabrück) as well as Prof. Dr. Matthias Pilz (University of Cologne) and can be purchased as a printed version from the Barbara Budrich Verlag or can be downloaded free of charge as an electronic version from the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training.

https://www.bibb.de/dienst/publikationen/de/19209

 

Representations of the Club on External Events

  • 15.08.2023: ZOOM conference of the chairmen of the 4 European Researchers Associations in Japan | Heinrich Menkhaus
     
  • 29.08.2023: JSPS-Abend in Bonn | Katja Koelkebeck, Heinrich Menkhaus, Aiko Möhwald
     
  • 23.09.2023: Forum for early career researchers (JSPS, Japanese Culture Institute (JKI)) | Saskia Schimmel
     
  • 23.09.2023: 2nd Networking Meeting for Japanese researchers in Germany (JSPS, JKI Cologne) | Saskia Schimmel, Shiori Mochimaru
     
  • 21.10.2023: 1stSymposium of the four European Researchers Associations in Japan | Heinrich Menkhaus
     
  • 27.–28.10.2023: DGH Jahrestagung (DGH, Ruhr Universität Bochum) | Saskia Schimmel
     
  • 10.–11.11.2023: 11. Mitglieder laden Mitglieder ein Dossenheim | Heinrich Menk-haus, Katja Koelkebeck, Shiori Mochimaru, Saskia Schimmel
     
  • 18.11.2023: Meeting with Members of the board of the newly founded Interessengemeinschaft der deutschsprachigen Lehrenden in Japan (IDL) | Heinrich Menkhaus
     
  • 20.11.2023: DAAD-Vereinstreffen | Katja Koelkebeck, Aiko Möhwald
     
  • 21.11.2023: Zoom Meeting with scientific speech of the Regional Chapter Rhein-Ruhr | Katja Koelkebeck, Aiko Möhwald
     
  • 29.11.2023: Meeting with the chairmen of the four European Researchers Associations in Japan and the Science Attaché of the Delegation of the EU in Japan | Heinrich Menkhaus
     
  • 01.12.2023: Christmas Party Japanese German Association Tokyo | Heinrich Menkhaus
     
  • 07.12.2023: Christmas Party of DAAD Office Tokyo | Heinrich Menkhaus
     
  • 08.12.2023: Christmas Party of German Institute for Japanese Studies Tokyo | Heinrich Menkhaus
     
  • 16.12.2023: 12th Club Meeting of the JSPS Club at University of Nagoya | Heinrich Menkhaus
     
  • 17.12.2023: Meeting of the Regional Chapter Rhein-Ruhr in Essen | Katja Koelkebeck
     
  • 21.12.2023:ZOOM conference of the chairmen of the four European Researchers Associations in Japan | Heinrich Menkhaus
     

 

New Club Members

  • Nobuhisa Ata
  • RWTH Aachen / Forschungszentrum Jülich
     
  • Dr. Henrik Bachmann
    Nagoya University
    Nagoya University 2016*
     
  • Dr. Jan Heck
    University of Tokyo 2023–2025*
     
  • Dr. Paula Prondzinsky
    Japan Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)
     
  • Dr. Shinya Ito
    Universität Heidelberg
     
  • Dr. Annette Herz
    Julius Kühn Institut
     

* research stay in Japan, founded by JSPS/STA

 

Mitteilung des Schatzmeisters / Message from the Treasurer

by board member of the JSPS Club Arnulf Jäger-Waldau

Wie Sie vielleicht bereits festgestellt haben, ist der Mitgliedsbeitrag für 2023 noch nicht eingezogen worden. Der Grund dafür ist, dass es nach diversen Softwareupdates ein Kommunikationsproblem zwischen der Banksoftware und dem Bankingsystem des Clubs gibt, welches in den letzten drei Monaten nicht behoben werden konnte.

Der Vorstand hat daher beschlossen, ein neues Vereinsverwaltungsprogramm zu installieren. Dies wird aber, im Hinblick auf das Einspielen der bestehenden Daten, noch einige Zeit in Anspruch nehmen, sodass der Beitrag für 2023 erst 2024 eingezogen werden kann.

Für diese Unannehmlichkeit möchten wir uns entschuldigen und hoffen auf Ihr Verständnis.

*   *   *

As you may have already noticed, the membership fee for 2023 has not yet been collected. The reason for this is that after various software updates there is a communication problem between the banking software and the Club’s banking system, which has not been resolved in the last three months.

The board has therefore decided to install a new club management program. However, it will take some time to import the existing data, so the membership fee for 2023 cannot be collected until 2024.

We would like to apologize for this inconvenience and hope for your understanding.

 

Monbusho-3-year PhD-scholarships available at the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo

by Club member Hans-Georg Matuttis

The Japanese (national) University of Electro-Communications (UEC) in Chofu (Tokyo) is seeking foreign (i.e. non-Japanese) PhD-students in the framework of special programs (特別プログラム) of Monbusho-3-year PhD-scholarships.

Possible research topics are in the information-, communication-, engineering- and natural sciences, as well as “sustainability studies”, in consultation with the prospective PhD-Advisors.

Working language for the PhD-study is English.

Prerequisites (among others) are a Master with a Grade Point Average of 2.3 or better. The PhD study has to start in Japan in October 2024 (Master must be completed until then).

More detailed information are available on:
http://www.fedu.uec.ac.jp/en/future_students/scholarship/overview.html#MICHandAiQuSci
(see in particular the movie-links at the end of the page, a longer 30-min movie with the general information, and a shorter 3-min movie on lab search). Questions can be sent directly to Prof. Dr. rer. nat Hans-Georg Matuttis.

Unfortunately, the deadlines (due to Monbusho and beyond the control of UEC) are rather tight; the application documents should arrive at the International Student Office of UEC until 17th of January 2024 (after a successful lab search and mutual agreement with the prospective thesis advisor). Applications after that will be processed according to receipt date or, if too late, not at all.

 

Upcoming Events

  • 23./24.05.2024: Common JSPS/JSPS Club symposium at TU Braunschweig


If you would like to publish articles on events, publications, please contact us via e-mail. We are looking forward to your articles.

 

Impressum

Herausgeber:
Deutsche Gesellschaft der JSPS-Stipendiaten e.V.
Redaktion: Prof. Dr. Katja Kölkebeck
Mitarbeit: Dr. Meike Albers-Meindl
Verantwortlich:
Deutsche Gesellschaft der JSPS-Stipendiaten e.V.
c/o JSPS Bonn Office, Ahrstr. 58, 53175 Bonn
Tel.: 0228/375050, Fax: 0228/957777
E-Mail

Die in den Beiträgen geäußerten Ansichten geben nicht
unbedingt die Meinung des Herausgebers wieder.

Workshop on the Horizon Europe Opportunities in Japan
Tokyo | April 20, 2024
more...
 

Club member Prof. Dr. Uwe Czarnetzki is awarded the “Plasma Materials Science Hall of Fame Prize” in March of 2024.
more...
 

Symposium “How We Can Learn from Nature”
Braunschweig | May 24-25, 2024
more...
 

Club member Prof. Dr. med. Tanja Fehm is awarded the “Klüh Foundation Award” 2023
more...
 

Neues vom Club 03/2023
more...