Seikei University
Institute for a
Super-Smart Society

The Seikei University Institute for a Super-Smart Society was established in 2020 with the support of the Mitsubishi 150th Anniversary Project Committee.
This institute conducts transdisciplinary research and human resource development for connecting technological innovations with the construction of a desirable society.

overview

institute overview

Society is in the midst of rapid change due to technological innovations including artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). In Japan, the emerging society is referred to as a Super-Smart Society. It is our responsibility to promote and control technological innovations to achieve an optimal society for the present and future generations.

Seikei University, which celebrated its 70th anniversary, established the Institute for a Super-Smart Society in 2020 with the support of the Mitsubishi 150th Anniversary Project Committee. In order for industry/government/university leaders and researchers to cooperate and cultivate a new stage in the history of civilization beyond the boundaries of business fields and conditions, the institute will identify needs and promote projects to satisfy them, and return the results to society.

The institute will undertake transdisciplinary research from a comprehensive perspective in order to link science and technology innovations with the true happiness of humankind. It will also conduct collaborative practical activities in cooperation with local government and companies responsible for socially implementing and practicing technology in the field of solving social issues. Keeping a Super-Smart Society alive, it will then conduct human resource development activities focusing on academic materials development, lecture management, and faculty training for people of all ages who support them. These are our three pillars: transdisciplinary research, collaborative practical activities, and human resource development activities.

message

Message from the Director

Japan, with its declining birthrate and aging population, has long been called an "advanced country facing challenges." Responding to disasters including earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, and the pandemic of COVID-19 is also part of the challenges. Furthermore, handling the deterioration in security with regards to neighboring countries that are rapidly expanding their armaments including lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) loaded with nuclear weapons, missiles, unmanned aircraft, and artificial intelligence (AI), is a vital challenge. Japan was named an "advanced country facing challenges" in the hope that the country would evolve from an "advanced country that tackled challenges" to an "advanced country that overcame challenges."

Has this expectation been fulfilled? Has Japan been presenting a desirable Super-Smart Society and becoming an "advanced country that is overcoming challenges?" For example, looking at the number of patent applications, there has been a decrease from 345,000 in 2010 to 308,000 in 2019. In contrast, in Europe and the U.S. the number increased during the same period, and especially in China, it went up from 391,000 to just over one million. Has Japan been outpaced by China and left with huge challenges? Can Japan transition to a Super-Smart Society, while competing with other countries, and survive in the future?

If there is a challenge in the innovation of science and technology and the construction of a desirable Super-Smart Society in Japan, it is not the problem of science and engineering researchers, but a wider problem of an inadequate social system for selecting and promoting research that is socially required. In order to overcome this challenge, at the same time, it is necessary to remove the social obstacles to creative research, and to establish a system to encourage science and technology including general-purpose technology. It is essential to promote transdisciplinary research that involves natural science and social science researchers.

The challenges facing Japan are the challenges of the Japanese people themselves. In order to secure jobs in a Super-Smart Society, where more work will be processed by AI, individuals should acquire the ability to transcend the workplace rather than adapting to the workplace on the promise of lifetime employment. The current Japanese education system does not fully respond to the need to motivate people for self-improvement and does not provide the means for such self-improvement. It is an urgent task for companies, governments, and local governments to recognize and overcome such challenges by collaborating with educational institutions, including universities, so they can reform the education system together.

The institute, which was established with the support of the Mitsubishi 150th Anniversary Project Committee, will be a place for industry/government/university leaders and researchers/students to cooperate on the construction and development of a Super-Smart Society. The institute is also a place in which to embody the spirit of Seikei University, which means to study and demonstrate individuality, and to collaborate with others while respecting their independence at the same time. We would like to ask all those who have passion and vision to support and join us in moving forward with a Super-Smart Society.

Yoshiaki Sato

SATO Yoshiaki

Brief personal history
Graduated from the University of Tokyo Faculty of Law, and the University of Tokyo Graduate School for Law and Politics, where he earned a PhD in Law. He is a Professor at Seikei University Faculty of Law, a member of the Science Council of Japan (SCJ), and a member of the Council on East Asian Community (CEAC), and has held a position as an academic associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University.

member

Seikei University Institute
for a Super-Smart Society

director

  • SATO Yoshiaki (Faculty of Law)

vice director

  • OGAWA Takanobu (Faculty of Science and Technology)

staff

  • SHIOZAWA Kazuhiro (Faculty of Law)
  • MURAMATSU Daigo (Faculty of Science and Technology)
  • KOMORI Osamu (Faculty of Science and Technology)
  • YOSHIMI Kenji (Faculty of Business Administration)

activities

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publication

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