Neues vom JSPS-Club 02/2021



Reliable data on Japanese German Scientific Exchange

by Prof. Dr. Heinrich Menkhaus, chairman of the JSPS Club

As mentioned in the editorial of the previous newsletter, Japan and Germany are celebrating 160 years of diplomatic relations in 2021. It is rather natural that this occasion is also used to shed light on the history and presence of scientific exchange between the two countries. The Club itself enjoyed a respective talk by the current Japanese ambassador in Berlin, his Excellency Hidenao Yanagi, during its annual membership assembly which for the first time in the history of the Club had to be conducted via ZOOM due to the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The transcription of the talk can be found on the HP of the Club in the area that is only accessible to members. The ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Japan, Excellency Ina Lepel, touched upon the same subject during the membership assembly of the Japanese alumni association of the Humboldtians.

The history of scientific relations is actually quite long, because the relations started with cultural exchange. Cultural exchange at that time included scientific exchange, which became a separate category only in the early 20th century. And cultural exchange worked from the very beginning in both ways. It was the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC) that carried Germans to Japan who gained the opportunity to study Japan and at the same time acted as teachers for the Japanese in their respective occupations. The relationship quite naturally started with cultural exchange because there was almost no political and economic exchange at that time.

It is therefore easy to raise the name of some famous scientists on both sides and the disciplines they were working in. The problem was and is reliable data on the bilateral scientific exchange. This was noticed in particular when our board member Wolfgang Staguhn was preparing a paper on this topic for the Club Meeting in Japan in November 2020, which could also only be realized as a ZOOM conference.

The focus has to be on the exchange of students in their undergraduate studies and the available scholarships for them. It has then to be turned to the graduate students, their disciplines and the scientific endeavors they are engaged in. Then light has to be shed on the researchers working in some kind of collaboration across borders. Finally, the Japanese and Germans employed as foreign scientists in the respective countries and their projects have to be looked at. This of course cannot be done without a look at the institutions on both sides that they are working in or for and that supply financial and other support.

The Club would like to contribute to this project of finding and, if not available, gathering the necessary data. This meets well with a proposal made in the membership assembly this May that the members of the Club should know more about each other’s discipline and collaborations in order to know whom to ask. The board of the Club therefore decided to create a questionnaire asking the members for the necessary data. It goes without saying that the legal requirements for data protection will be met. For a start, the questionnaire is going to be mailed to the members of the Club in Japan, which account for about 60 recently. We hope to learn from the return, improve the questionnaire and then ask the rest of the members.

Yoroshiku onegai shimasu!


JACA Award Ceremony for Professor Dr. Shigeyoshi Inoue on May 8th, 2021

Laudation by board member Dr. Wolfgang Staguhn

The German JSPS Alumni Association has awarded our member Prof. Dr. Shigeyoshi Inoue with the JSPS Alumni Club Award 2021, the JACA Prize during the full member assembly in May 2021. The JACA Prize 2021 includes a flight ticket from ANA and support for rail travel during a 2-week trip, e.g. a 14-day JR Rail Pass for Japan.

The JACA Prize recognizes his commitment and efforts to the scientific exchange between Japan and Germany. The scientific exchange has many facets, including cooperation with working groups, working on joint research topics, the exchange of young scientists and students or the organization of joint conferences. Advice and fostering of contacts outside the expert area is important, e.g. in the wider scientific environment or in politics and society. Prof. Inoue has made great efforts in all areas and can look back upon a wide range of success.

Prof. Inoue is currently a professor at the Technical University (TU) of Munich at the Institute for Silicon Chemistry. He is an acknowledged expert in his area of expertise, the research of catalysis and new materials for this purpose and has made an outstanding reputation at a young age. This is also confirmed by numerous awards.

Overview of studies, research and success

Studies and PhD

Prof. Inoue completed his bachelor's and master's degree in chemistry at Tsukuba University in 1999-2005, followed by his doctorate in 2008 with Prof. Dr. Akira Sekiguchi at the Graduate School of Pure and Applied Sciences at Tsukuba University. Here he began with fundamental research in the field of silicon chemistry and had already ventured into research collaborations abroad.

Scientific career and work

Immediately after completing his doctorate, Prof. Inoue received a postdoc position, first supported by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) and then by JSPS, at the TU Berlin with Prof. Dr. Matthias Drieß. In this environment he started his career in Germany. From the beginning he was closely connected to the Inorganic Chemistry research network in Germany. The results were many excellent publications and presentations. Thus he acquired knowledge on academia and learned about differences between Germany and Japan, essential for entering the university system in Germany.

After this “warm-up phase” of around two years with Prof. Drieß, he received the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award of the AvH. That enabled him to establish his own independent working group at the TU Berlin on a 5-year long funding. From this highly motivated group of young researchers, important papers were published in the field of main group chemistry and catalysis research.

A new phase began at the end of 2015 when he moved to the TU Munich to become a tenure-track professor for silicon chemistry at the Institute for Silicon Chemistry & Central Institute for Catalysis Research. Just a year ago, at the beginning of February 2020, Shigeyoshi Inoue was then appointed a W3-professorship for silicon chemistry at the same institute.

Research topics

The focus of his research is on the synthesis, characterization and investigation in the reactivity of elements of main group 13 and 14. His research is aimed at unusual structures and unique electronic properties with the goal of finding novel applications for synthesis with catalytic reactions. The focus is on low-coordinated complexes with economically and ecologically advantageous elements i.e., with large occurrence such as silicon and aluminum.

His work gained high international reputation in his research area, which is documented by numerous publications in first-class journals. He is also a reviewer for several scientific journals and has quickly achieved a top international position in this role. His research on materials for catalysis has gained considerable interest in recent years.

One of the reasons are the potentials of significant energy savings in chemical processes in industry and the ability to use new types of compounds or materials.

Awards and promotions

Professor Inoue obtained his first prize in 2003 at the symposium of the Society of Silicon Chemistry Japan – here he was awarded with the Poster Award. After that, the young scientist received awards almost every year, today there are already 30 in number, including the

  • Eugen and Ilse Seibold Prize 2020 of the German Research Foundation (DFG),
  • NISTEP Award 2018 from the National Institute of Science and Technology Policy in Japan,
  • Carl Duisberg Memorial Prize 2017 of the Society of German Chemists,
  • Academy Prize for Chemistry 2016 from the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen,
  • ADUC Prize 2011 from the Society of German Chemists.

Further prizes in the form of project funding: e.g. a Sofia Kovalevskaja Prize 2010 from the AvH and the ERC Starting Grant 2014 and ERC Consolidator Grant 2020 from the European Research Council.

Academic exchange with Japan and social commitment

His various contributions to the scientific exchange between Japan and Germany are not to be taken for granted either. He was involved in various collaborations as a Humboldt and JSPS fellow. In his doctoral thesis at Tsukuba University, he published two top-class papers in cooperation with Prof. David Scheschkewitz from the University of Würzburg. As a group leader at the TU Berlin and the TU Munich, he brought both Japanese postdocs and later doctoral students from Japan to his research group. Some of them have already successfully completed their doctorates. In addition, there is the support of scientists from Japan within the project work exchange at his institute.

He has also taken part in several official meetings with politicians from both countries. To mention two: accompanied Federal President Wulff on his visit to Japan during the 150th anniversary of “diplomatic relations” between the two countries in October 2011 and a conversation with Chancellor Merkel in the Federal Chancellery in preparation for her trip to Japan on March 9th-10th, 2015:

Prof. Inoue supports the Junior Expert (JEX) program of the JDZB (Japanese German Center Berlin) with great commitment since 2009. It enables top-class young high-potential experts from science and industry in both countries to get to know selected research institutions and companies in the other country. At the TU Munich he is active as a scientific coordinator and mentor in order to strengthen the exchange of researchers between the two countries. At the research policy level, he is involved in strategy discussions with the major funding organizations and universities.

The German JSPS Alumni Association wishes him every success and good cooperation.


High honor awarded by the Japanese government to two members

by board member Prof. Dr. Katja Kölkbeck

Two members of our club, Prof. em. Dr. Werner Pascha and Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke will be awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, by the Japanese government this year.

Prof. em. Dr. Werner Pascha (Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia), was a former professor at the Institute for East Asian Studies (IN-EAST) at the University of Duisburg-Essen and is vice-president of the Japanese-German Center Berlin (JDZB) and chairman of the Foundation for the Promotion of Japanese-German Scientific and Cultural Relations (JaDe). He is a former JSPS fellow. He will receive this prestigious award for his contribution to the promotion of scientific exchange and mutual understanding between Japan and Germany.

Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke (Wuppertal, North Rhine-Westphalia) was the former president of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and is co-chair of the German Japanese Energy Transition Council (GJETC). He is awarded this order because of his contribution to the promotion of research exchanges between Japan and Germany in the field of the environment. In 2019 he received the JSPS Alumni Club Award (JACA).

We congratulate both members on this honorable award and thank them for their commitment to Japanese-German relations.


Japan’s new Science, Technology and Innovation Basic Plan

A presentation by Fumikazu Sato, Deputy Director Cabinet Office at the DWIH Coffee Talk

Reported by board member Dr. Wolfgang Staguhn

Japan’s 6th Science, Technology, and Innovation Basic Plan was the debut-topic of the first “DWIH Coffee Talk” on March 9th, 2021, a new webtalk series by Axel Karpenstein, program coordinator at the German Science and Innovation House Tokyo (DWIH). Guest speaker Fumikazu Sato, who is the Councillor for Innovation Promotion at the Cabinet Secretariat and Deputy Director General for Science, Technology and Innovation at the Cabinet Office of the Japanese Government, gave a detailed insight but with great humor into the new 6th STI Basic Plan. Together with Dr. Lothar Mennicken, Counsellor for Science and Technology at the German Embassy, Tokyo and Axel Karpenstein, he discussed its implications for Japan and possible link for German research. A recording of the webtalk and the slides are available at; for the full-version of the STI Basic Plan, please refer to [in Japanese].

The concept of Science and Technology Basic Plans has a tradition of already 25 years at the Government of Japan. It was a novel tool to challenge the technology foresight, increasingly used at science policy offices. The experts in Tokyo for example chose manga images for illustrating advanced ST concepts and sketched some scenarios likely to become reality for the public. This manga approach lent a “cute” appearance to high-tech subjects discussed in the Basic Plans. The last one, No. 5, started in 2016 nothing less than the launch of Society 5.0 which challenges the growing out of present Information Society. That new digital society of Japan incorporates seamless and integrated data management/flow while reducing any manual interaction by man.

In the words of Mr. Sato, the 6th Basic Plan is about the implementation of a vast data infrastructure in tandem with Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI), in order to build the base for Society 5.0. Ubiquitous data processing and analyzing capacity will be available at every moment in daily life. Citizens will live in a pleasant environment while being able to enjoy traditional Japanese values – the favorite vision championed for Society 5.0. The explicit protection of traditional Japanese values is very important for approaching this stage in social development, it serves as the adhesive of society. Mr. Sato also put the younger generation into the focus of action. Young people are the human resources and the pillar of the society in the form of active exploration of the new age and continuous learning.

Right at the beginning of the webtalk, Mr. Sato said that there must be a clear assignment of the stakeholders and those responsible for the implementation of the objectives. That is the lesson from previous Basic Plans, and the government will have a watchful eye on this point. Impressive is the budget, 120 trillion Yen (910 billion €) over 5 years.

As said, the 6th Basic Plan will be the implementation of seamless data management capacity in Japan. For achieving the challenging goals, it needs smart definition of the work packages, matching peoples’ requirements for basic living, like health, education, quality of life, the environment or demographic change. During the last 5 years of the Basic Plan No. 5, the Japanese population has not fully recognized the intentions of Society 5.0, including that digital data will play the crucial role to achieve “quality of lives, comfort and vitality or well-being” and other goals. Now everyone must contribute their resources. Especially the younger generation must be involved in decision-making processes.

What is “Society 5.0”?

A transition from the present Information Age or Society 4.0, towards the Next Age – Society 5.0, showing three main characteristics:

  1. it will arise out of a sophisticated integration of cyberspace and physical space
  2. it will unite economic growth with the resolution of social issues and
  3. it will produce a human-centered and inclusive society.

Projection of 6th Science, Technology, and Innovation Basic Plan

Global threats exist in many ways, as disasters that are more serious due to climate change, or information monopoly by IT platformers and uneven distribution of great wealth. Japan aims for a society that has a balancing response to global issues and is ensuring the safety and security for the people with sustainability, resilience and security. Every individual can achieve happiness and economic or qualitative prosperity. That transition needs undoubtedly reforms of social structures in Japan. However, traditional Japanese values will be preserved in the new society, and this approach to Society 5.0 will also be recommended to the world. It will contribute to the international community and attract human resources and investment.

Convergence of Knowledge

A continuous decline in research capacity is observed in Japan relative to international competitors. That leads to additional promotion of social sciences and humanities in the Basic Plan to support “creation of innovation" and stronger integration of the public. Broad involvement of all sciences, employment of younger participants in solution- and decision-making processes and challenging explorations are new elements. All people must be motivated with their resources and traditional Japanese values are clearly supported.

Implementation of AI – more than just data technology

The biggest goal of Society 5.0 is the “digitization of the society” and pervasive achievement of a high quality of life, comfort and vitality, well-being and other essentials. Intelligent ITC can link diverse knowledge or add significantly to the creation of new knowledge. As mentioned earlier, an integrated data infrastructure is an absolute need for Society 5.0. It includes the open science concept that is partially applied in the EU / JP science alliance in research data of the National Institute of Informatics (NII). One vital functionality will be a meta-data structure that allows the processing of data from different formats – from 2023 on. Expected results are significant progress in digitization, but also in dealing with the environment.

Related topics in the new Basic Plan:

  • Quantum technology innovation hubs and smart cities – showcases of “Society 5.0”
  • Research and development for realizing “Society 5.0”
  • Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation promotion Program (SIP) and the “Moonshot” research and development program
  • Expansions of the “Moonshot” program comes into play at this point with future projects and additional collaboration with the EU Horizon project.

The new STI Basic Plan of the Japanese Government is a very challenging undertaking with clearly noticeable changes for the everyday life. Ten years ago, the research on Industry 4.0 in Germany began, the digitalization of production. Some pioneer industries have partly realized it at the level of production & control processes. It could be interesting for researchers to investigate the reactions from the society under strong influence of data management. With this in mind Mr. Sato invited Dr. Mennicken to cooperate in the new STI Basic Plan. Digital data management will have far reaching impacts, one key is the creation of digital twins not only for parts and products.

Human-Centric AI

  • Japan first formulated the “Social Principles of Human-Centric AI” which upholds 3 basic philosophies: "dignity," "diversity & inclusion" and "sustainability" in March 2019.
  • Based on the philosophies, Japan sets 4 strategic objectives (human resources, deployment to real-world, technologies for inclusion, international cooperation) towards Society 5.0.
  • Identify initiatives for “building a foundation for the future” “infrastructure for industry and society” “ELSI” (Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues) to achieve the strategic objectives.

Selected features of Society 5.0, even in pandemic or extreme natural disasters

  • Health: Online medical care and tracing, robot-supported caregiving Extending healthy life expectancy and reducing the social cost
  • Energy: Energy diversification and local production
    Stable energy supply and GHG emission reduction
  • Work: Remote work and remote construction, remote education Increasing productivity and resilience
  • Industry: Automatic production and delivery and optimal value chain
    Promotion of sustainable industrialization and eliminate labor shortage.


  • Realization of Society 5.0 requires (1) social structural reform, (2) fundamental strengthening research capacity, and (3) development of human resources to support a new society.
  • Draw up policies based on convergence of knowledge (integrating natural- or applied-science with social science and humanities) with evidence and flexibly improve them through evaluation.
  • 5-year budget: 30 tn Yen government and 90 tn Yen private R&D investment.




JSPS Club Denmark

by board member Prof. Dr. Katja Kölkbeck

The JSPS Alumni Club Denmark (ACD), connected to the JSPS Stockholm office, is a small but active Scandinavian JSPS Alumni Club founded in 2015 with about 30-40 members. The club members are diverse in gender, age, nationality and fields, as reflected by the composition of the ACD board and the varying themes of the major event: the Japan Alumni and Researcher Assembly (JARA).

JARA is co-organized at the beginning of every year with the Embassy of Japan in Denmark and Tokai University European Center in Denmark. It was hosted at the University of Copenhagen in 2020 and held virtually by Tokai University in 2021.

In the past year, due to the pandemic, a new seminar was started, the BRIDGE fellowship online seminar. Here, the fellow and host recipients of the last BRIDGE fellowship are able to share their experiences with ACD members and other interested individuals. The club intends to continue this "new tradition" beyond the pandemic, and Leila Lo Leggio, Chair of the Club from the Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, extends her invitation to join.

Link to the club:


Mit dem BRIDGE-Stipendium in Kyoto und Hiroshima!

von Dr. Alexander Soemer, Universität Potsdam

Mein JSPS-Postdoc-Stipendium lag schon etwa vier Jahre zurück, als ich die Gelegenheit bekam, über das BRIDGE-Programm wieder nach Kyoto zurückzukehren. Mein Gastgeber, Prof. Dr. Satoru Saito, und ich hatten uns die ganze Zeit weiter ausgetauscht und Ideen für Anschlussprojekte gesammelt und diskutiert. Jetzt war die Gelegenheit gekommen, diese Projekte in die Tat umzusetzen. Ich ging also am 30. September 2019 wieder zurück an die Universität Kyoto, um dort drei schöne Wochen zu verbringen. Alles war noch wie vor vier Jahren, sogar das Passwort für meine Tür war dasselbe geblieben. In meinem alten Büro stand immer noch der Computer, den ich über ein Jahr lang benutzt hatte. Und auch mein Account war nie gelöscht worden. Das Büro hieß mich also auf ganzer Linie willkommen!

Und so machten mein Gastgeber und ich uns daran, unsere Forschungsprojekte im Bereich Arbeitsgedächtnis so schnell wie möglich in Gang zu bringen. Das Arbeitsgedächtnis bezeichnet eine kognitive Funktion im Gehirn, welches es uns ermöglicht, Informationen jedweder Art (Bilder, Sprache, Klänge, Zahlen etc.) für kurze Zeit im Bewusstsein zu erhalten und diese Informationen für komplexe kognitive Operationen (z. B. Sprachproduktion und Arithmetik) zu verwenden.

Unser erstes Projekt beschäftigte sich mit dem Vergessen im Arbeitsgedächtnis und setzte die Forschung fort, welche wir im Jahr 2014 schon begonnen hatten. Wir überprüften hier zwei Hypothesen, welche das Vergessen auf unterschiedliche Art erklären, nämlich einerseits als einen Zerfall der Information über die Zeit und andererseits als Interferenz zwischen den Informationen im Arbeitsgedächtnis. Vereinfacht gesagt „entkommen“ nach der ersten Hypothese Informationen dem Arbeitsgedächtnis, wenn wir sie nicht von Zeit zu Zeit „auffrischen“, während nach der zweiten Hypothese die verschiedenen Informationen miteinander um den begrenzten Platz dort konkurrieren und sich gegenseitig „hinauswerfen“.

Für dieses Projekt entwickelten wir ein Experiment, welches eine Stichprobe von studentischen Versuchspersonen an den Computern der Universität Kyoto über die drei Wochen und länger durchführte. In diesem Experiment mussten die Probanden sich drei künstlich erzeugte Klänge merken und im Anschluss daran entscheiden, ob ein nach einem kurzen Intervall präsentierter Testklang mit einem der drei gemerkten Klänge übereinstimmt. In dem Intervall mussten die Probanden sich zudem visuelle oder auditive Bilder, ausgelöst durch lautmalerische Wörter im Japanischen (擬音語・擬態語), vorstellen (daher konnte dieses Experiment tatsächlich auch nur in Japan durchgeführt werden). Durch diese visuellen bzw. auditiven Vorstellungen wurde Interferenz mit den zu merkenden Klängen erzeugt, und zwar in einem Ausmaß, welches wir durch die Art und Menge der lautmalerischen Wörter kontrollieren konnten.

Das zweite Projekt beschäftigte sich mit einer neuen Hypothese, welche besagt, dass Interferenz im Arbeitsgedächtnis durch Episoden des Mind Wandering (Gedankenabschweifungen) abgebaut werde. Salopp formuliert besagt diese Hypothese, dass unsere Gedankenabschweifungen, welche wir Menschen ca. 30–50% am Tag erleben, u.a. die Funktion erfüllen, sich im Arbeitsgedächtnis ansammelnden „Gedankenabfall“ zu beseitigen.

Vortrag am „Educational Vision Research Institute“ (EVRI) der Universität Hiroshima

Was das zweite Experiment angeht, so mussten sich die Probanden dort Wortlisten merken und die Wörter nach einem kurzen Intervall wiedererkennen. In einer Versuchsbedingung setzten sich die Wortlisten aus einem eingeschränkten Pool von Wörtern zusammen (z. B. Wörter einer bestimmten semantischen Kategorie), was zu einem rapiden Aufbau von proaktiver Interferenz führt. In einer zweiten Bedingung ändert sich der Wortpool nach einigen Testdurchgängen, was wiederum die proaktive Interferenz zurücksetzte. Die wesentliche Neuerung in unserem Experiment bestand darin, das Mind Wandering während des Experiments mittels „mind probes“ zu messen. Die Teilnehmer wurden hierbei immer wieder nach unvorhersehbaren Intervallen unterbrochen und mussten auf einer Skala angeben, inwieweit sie sich auf das Merken der Wörter konzentrieren konnten. Nach unserer Hypothese müssten die Probanden in der ersten Bedingung viel häufiger Gedankenabschweifungen berichten als in der zweiten.

Die Ergebnisse beider Experimente waren nicht so eindeutig wie erhofft und legten nahe, dass wir noch weitere Experimente würden durchführen müssen, um mehr Sicherheit bezüglich unserer Hypothesen zu bekommen. Nachdem psychologische Experimente im Labor mit menschlichen Versuchspersonen jedoch durch die COVID-19-Pandemie lange nicht möglich waren, werden erst jetzt die Folgeexperimente an der Universität Kyoto durchgeführt und wir erwarten, dass wir am Ende des Jahres die Daten publizieren können.

Abgesehen von den beschriebenen Forschungsaktivitäten ging ich während meiner Zeit in Kyoto noch weiteren akademischen Aktivitäten nach. Zum einen nahm ich an den wöchentlichen Memory Discussion Meetings von Prof. Saito teil und hielt am 7. Oktober einen Vortrag an der Universität Kyoto. Zweitens besuchte ich am 17. Oktober eine weitere „alte Bekannte”, nämlich die Universität Hiroshima, wo ich im Jahre 2007 schon einmal ein Jahr als Austauschstudent verweilt hatte. Dieses Mal verschlug es mich an das „Educational Vision Research Institute“ (EVRI), wo ich Prof. Dr. Aiko Morita und Prof. Dr. Masamichi Yuzawa kennenlernte und die Chance erhielt, einen Vortrag über meine Forschungsaktivitäten zu halten.

Sowohl der Forschungsaufenthalt in Kyoto als auch mein Besuch in Hiroshima haben mich (und meinen Gastgeber) nicht nur in Bezug auf meine akademischen Aktivitäten weitergebracht, es hat mich auch persönlich riesig gefreut, dass ich meine alten Wirkungsstätten wieder besuchen konnte. Das Stipendium war wirklich eine sehr gute Gelegenheit, den etwas eingeschlafenen Kontakt nach Japan wiederzubeleben.



Leon Krings, Francesca Greco, Yukiko Kuwayama


Independently published, 2021
433 pages
ISBN-13: 979-8709100923

The tenth volume of the Frontiers of Japanese Philosophy focuses on the theme of “transition”, dealing with transitory and intermediary phenomena and practices such as translation, transmission, and transformation. Written in English, German and Japanese, the contributions explore a wide range of topics, crossing disciplinary borders between phenomenology, linguistics, feminism, epistemology, aesthetics, political history, martial arts, spiritual practice and anthropology, and bringing Japanese philosophy into cross-cultural dialogue with other philosophical traditions. As exercises in “thinking in transition,” the essays reveal novel modes of doing philosophy as a way of boundary crossing that takes transition not only as an object of inquiry, but also as a method of philosophical practice itself.

Julius Weitzdörfer, S. J. Beard

Double Debt Disaster: Law, Policy, and Social Justice in the wake of Japan’s 2011 Tsunami

DIJ Miscellanea #22, Tokyo 2021
19 figures, 106 pages
ISSN: 0941-1321

Double Debt Disaster offers a detailed examination of an increasingly serious and widespread, yet underexamined, phenomenon: obstacles to recovery from catastrophes caused by the concurrence of pre-disaster obligations with post-disaster capital needs and the destruction of collateral assets. The convergence of growing risk from natural hazards, from projected sea-level rise, storm surges, floods, and other extreme weather events, coupled with ever-higher levels of public and private indebtedness will soon propel the quest for micro- and macro-economic policy solutions to such problems from regional to global attention. No case is more instructive for understanding these problems than the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, which damaged one million buildings, rendered 300,000 victims displaced and dispossessed, and entered history as the costliest disaster prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. In its wake came a second disaster, as former home-owners and business-people found themselves in need of loans to rebuild and invest, while being unable to pay off pre-disaster debts. These “double-loan problems” (nijû saimu mondai) promote private and corporate insolvency, threaten financial institutions, jeopardize disaster recovery, and entrench social inequality.

Treating issues of property-, insurance-, debtor-creditor-, social welfare-, charity-, financial-, and insolvency law, this volume examines Japan’s double debt disaster from the perspective of social justice and disaster recovery. After analysing the issue, it assesses the law and policy responses to disaster-induced debt. Drawing on Japanese and western scholarship, the study then critically discusses normative concepts underlying disaster relief, disaster capitalism, and social justice considerations. Finally, based on the socioeconomic situation, the legal analysis, and the justice considerations, it gives policy recommendations to improve the way in which burdens of uninsured risk and recovery are to be shared as a lesson for future disasters, including the current pandemic.

It is hard to account for the double loan crisis, and even harder to remedy it, using only traditional risk finance mechanisms and traditional principles of equity and fairness. In part, this is due to tensions between competing conceptions of victim-hood and the desire not to discriminate between the victims of disasters. As a solution, this study proposes an alternative grounding for incorporating social justice into disaster law, based not upon equity but precaution and prevention. Socioeconomic disasters, such as double loan problems, predictably follow catastrophic disasters, and justice, as well as welfare, require that policy-makers take sustainable steps to avoid them.

Eckhard Hitzer, Christian Perwass

Space Group Visualizer

Independently published, 2021
full color, 162 pages
ISBN: 979-8719838618

Eckhard Hitzer (Senior Associate Professor in physics at International Christian University, JSPS Club member) and Dr. rer. nat. habil. Christian Perwass (now responsible for autonomous driving research at Robert Bosch GmbH) recently published the new book entitled Space Group Visualizer. The book has a foreword by Prof. Dr. Davide M. Preserpio, University of Milano. He writes: "This 'great software project', as it was called by Prof. Frank Hoffmann in his recent book [F. Hoffman, Introduction to Crystallography (2020) Springer Nature Switzerland AG], is very powerful and is an ideal support to teach how to read the International Tables in a more interactive way than usually taught. This collection of papers allows to follow the many possibilities of the program to explore the richness of the space group symmetries and for the more math oriented may suggest further reading in geometric algebra, as pointed out recently in Acta Crystallographica."

The preface says: “Inspired by the work of David Hestenes (Arizona State University, pioneer of geometric algebra in the 20th  century) and his student Jeremy Holt representing point groups and space groups by way of conformal geometric algebra as learned in a lecture from David Hestenes at the international conference Applied Geometric Algebra in Computer Science and Engineering (AGACSE 2001) held in Trinity College of Cambridge, UK, the authors began collaboration in 2005 to create interactive, animated, three dimensional virtual reality exploration software for point- and space groups ...“ The PC software can be freely downloaded from The book has 11 chapters consisting of unpublished papers, or papers that were only locally published in small university journals, and two appendixes (a quick user guide and a guide on PowerPoint integration). It includes a large number of colorful 3D space group visualizations. The reader learns about the inner workings of the software, how the current user interface and fast high quality rendering works, and how geometric algebra creates each of the 230 space groups merely from a specific set of three vectors in three dimensions.

Olaf Karthaus

オラフ教授式理工系のたのしい英語プレゼン術77 (KS科学一般書)
(Book on Science English)

Kodansha, 2020
176 pages
ISBN-10:  4065196094
ISBN-13: 978-4065196090

来日約30年。人生の半分以上を日本で過ごしてきたオラフ教授が日本人を最高に輝かせるための超テクニックを伝授! オラフ教授のレクチャーによる女子学生マナの成長を描いた爆笑の4コマやコラムも豊富で,眺めるだけでもたのしい1冊です。

英語のプレゼンなんて,自分とは無関係だと思っていませんか? 日本にもグローバル化の波が押し寄せており,あなたも近いうちに英語でプレゼンをすることになるかもしれません。本書では,日本語のプレゼンでも何から始めたらよいか,右も左もわからない方へ,まずはプレゼンに対する正しい姿勢をお伝えするところから始めます。



Repräsentation des Clubs auf externen Veranstaltungen

  • 14.05.2021: ZOOM Meeting of the European Scientists in Japan | Heinrich Menkhaus
  • 26.05.2021: ZOOM membership assembly OAG | Heinrich Menkhaus
  • 12.06.2021: ZOOM membership assembly of Humboldt alumni Association Japan | Heinrich Menkhaus
  • 18.06.2021: ZOOM Meeting of the European Scientist in Japan | Heinrich Menkhaus, Wolfgang Staguhn
  • 10.06.2021: DWIH Psychosoziale Belastungen in der Corona Zeit | Katja Kölkebeck
  • 25.06.2021: Kaitoku Meeting | Shiori Mochimaru, Katja Kölkebeck
  • 30.06.2021: Koordinierungskreis Forschung bei der Botschaft, Online | Wolfgang Staguhn


Neue Clubmitglieder

  • Dr. Niklas Kolbe
    Universität Mainz
    Kanazawa University 2019–2020*
  • Dr. Saskia Schimmel
    Nagoya University 2019–2021*
  • Prof. Dr. Shigeyoshi Inoue
    TU München
  • Patrick Grüneberg
    Kanazawa University
    University of Tsukuba 2015–2016*
  • Ramona Schuster
    Osaka University 2019–2021**

    * von JSPS/STA geförderter Forschungsaufenthalt in Japan


Verstorbene Mitglieder

Nachruf Prof. Dr. Boris Krischek

Der JSPS Club trauert um das Mitglied Prof. Dr. med. Boris Krischek, der am 21. Mai 2021 im Alter von nur 49 Jahren plötzlich und völlig überraschend verstorben ist.

Er wurde am 09. Februar 1972 in Esslingen am Neckar geboren und verbrachte seine Schulzeit in Yokohama und Saarbrücken. Er studierte Humanmedizin an der Universität des Saarlandes und der Freien Universität Brüssel. Seine Facharztausbildung zum Neurochirurgen absolvierte er in Berlin bei Prof. Mario Brock und in Marburg bei Prof. Helmut Bertalanffy. Zwei Jahre verbrachte er als Fellow der Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung und der Japan Society for the Promotion of Science an der Universität von Tokyo und forschte über genetische Faktoren für die Formation und Ruptur intrakranieller Aneurysmen. Unterbrochen von einem weiteren Forschungsaufenthalt an der Universität Toronto war er von Mai 2007 bis Dezember 2012 Oberarzt an der neurochirurgischen Universitätsklinik Tübingen bei Prof. Marcos Tatagiba und Leitender Oberarzt von 2013 bis 2020 am Zentrum für Neurochirurgie der Universitätsklinik Köln bei Prof. Roland Goldbrunner. 2020 bis zu seinem Tod hatte er eine leitende neurochirurgische Position in Luxemburg, blieb aber weiterhin Mitglied der Medizinischen Fakultät der Universität zu Köln.

Unser besonderes Mitgefühl gilt seiner Frau und seinem 13-jährigen Sohn.

(Abdruck mit freundlicher Genehmigung von Prof. Goldbrunner.)



  • 13.10.2021: Mitgliedertreffen in Japan (Online)
  • 13.11.2021: Mitglieder laden Mitglieder ein, TU Aachen (Online)

Wenn Sie Beiträge zu Veranstaltungen, Publikationen etc. im Newsletter veröffentlichen möchten, wenden Sie sich bitte an das JSPS-Office. Wir freuen uns auf Ihre Beiträge!

Ab sofort wird der NvC grundsätzlich auf Englisch herausgegeben, um eine verbesserte Zugänglichkeit der Informationen, insbesondere für die Mitglieder, die kein Deutsch sprechen, zu ermöglichen. Wir bitten dies bei zukünftigen Einreichungen zu beachten.



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

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