The Prime Minister Receives a Courtesy Call from Japan Prize Laureates
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama received a courtesy call from the Japan Prize laureates for 2010, Dr. Shunichi Iwasaki, Director of the Tohoku Institute of Technology, and Dr. Peter M. Vitousek, Professor of Biology, Stanford University, at the Prime Minister's Office.
The Japan Prize is awarded to scientists and engineers from all over the world who have made original and outstanding achievements in science and technology and therefore contributed to their progress, markedly serving the cause of peace and prosperity for humankind. This is the 26th year of the awards.
Dr. Iwasaki was commended for his contribution to high-density magnetic recording technology through the development of a perpendicular magnetic recording method for hard disc drives (HDDs). By developing the perpendicular magnetic recording method, Dr. Iwasaki made a breakthrough on the memory capacity limit of HDDs, which had hitherto adopted a horizontal magnetic recording method since their development in 1956. It is said that all HDDs to be manufactured from 2010 onward will be of the perpendicular magnetic recording type.
Dr. Vitousek contributed to solving global environmental issues based on the analysis of nitrogen and other substances' cycles. He began his research in the 1970s on the influences that human activity has on ecosystems, and through this research greatly contributed to establishing the methodology and concepts of the new research field known as biogeochemistry. Moreover, using biogeochemical data, he has offered important suggestions for political decisions related to environmental issues, while reporting that various phenomena of the global ecosystem are largely influenced by human activities and sounding warning about the magnitude of the impact of human activities.