Professor Tohru Asami was appointed president of the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) on June 23 after retiring this March from the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Department of Information and Communication Engineering. Congratulations, Prof. Asami. All of us at Friends of UTokyo send our heartfelt wishes on your success.

ATR is a private-sector research institute established in Keihanna Science City for the fundamental and innovative research and development encompassing telecommunications. In 1986, preparatory meetings were held by the then Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone), Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), Kankeiren (Kansai Economic Federation), and universities; and the institute was founded using funds from government owned shares of the then privatized NTT. Since its establishment, steadfast research developments have been made in artificial intelligence, neuroinformatics, robotics, voice translation, and wireless communication; while also having an active exchange of personnel overseas, resulting in foreign researchers making up more than a fifth of the researchers. Recently, ATR has been expanding its field to include life sciences, environment, and food and agriculture.

After graduating in 1976 with a Master’s Degree in Electronics Engineering from the Kyoto University, Tohru Asami joined KDDI Research to work on internet related service research development. He received his Doctor of Information and Technology from University of Tokyo. In 2001 he was appointed president of KDDI R&D Labs., Inc., and in 2005 was appointed its  vice-chairman. He became Professor of the Graduate School of Information and Technology at University of Tokyo in 2006.

President Asami is a long-time supporter of FUTI, and also maintains a continuous dialogue with Prof. Hisashi Kobayashi (Sherman Fairchild University Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton University, former President of Friends of UTokyo).