Photo credit: Asia Nikkei
On January 1, 2023, shockwaves spread through FUTI as well as the industrial communities in Japan, as the renowned executive, Dr. Chihiro Kanagawa, the Chairman of the Board of Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd., passed away at the age of almost 97. In 1992, the Emperor of Japan honored him with the Medal of Honor with Blue Ribbon for his contribution to development of the Japanese industry. He led Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. to acquire large world market shares in silicon wafers and polyvinyl chloride among others.
Dr. Kanagawa is an important benefactor for FUTI, making significant contributions which enabled FUTI’s scholarship and research support programs. He was a 1950 graduate from the Faculty of Law at the University of Tokyo (UTokyo) and received a doctoral degree from the Graduate School of Engineering at UTokyo in 2011 for his dissertation entitled, “Management in the Polyvinyl Chloride Industry: Strengthening Business and Management of a Commodity Chemical Business”. In 2009, responding to the UTokyo community’s request, he encouraged Shintech Inc., a subsidiary of Shin-Etsu Chemical in the US, to give a substantial donation to FUTI. Dr. Kanagawa had greatly expanded and strengthened Shintech Inc. since the 1970’s, and was installed as its President in 1978.
Shintech’s donation to FUTI has continued annually since 2009. Its generosity inspired and encouraged UTokyo alumni to donate to FUTI. The donor-contributed fund has supported almost 200 students at UTokyo and universities in the US to study or conduct research abroad.
FUTI will forever be grateful to Dr. Kanagawa for his generosity. He will be greatly missed by the many lives he touched.