The Asiatic Society 
of Japan

Next lecture: Monday, June 17, 2024, 18:00 JST

Professor Yoshiyuki Sankai, PhD.
‘Pioneering the Future of Science and Technology Innovation in Asia through Cybernics’

2024 YOUNG SCHOLARS' PROGRAMME - JST 2024.10.21 (Monday)   


JST 2024.6.17
Professor Yoshiyuki Sankai, PhD., Professor, University of Tsukuba, President and CEO of CYBERDYNE Inc., Program Director of SIP, Cabinet Office, the Government of Japan

‘Pioneering the Future of Science and Technology Innovation in Asia through Cybernics’


The Japanese government is promoting the Cross-Ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP Program) as the most important strategic science and technology innovation policy initiative led by the Cabinet Office. Dr. Yoshiyuki Sankai, SIP Program Director of "Cybernics" including human-collaborative robotics, a field in which Japan has global strengths, aims to advance Asia as one of its International collaborative hubs, and hopes to work with the Asian countries, together with the Governments, Companies and Universities, through collaboration with Japan. And he wishes to promote the Social Innovation and the science and technology innovation for the future of Asia and Japan through Cybernics that fuses humans and Cyber/Physical space.

As the global population continues to grow old, the number of persons requiring care is on the rise. Whether in hospitals, facilities, or their own homes, they need daily treatment, functional improvement, health management, and nursing care support. There is a high demand for innovative technologies for progress observation, continuous therapy, health management, early detection, prevention, managing physical states, physiological states, and control of lifestyle-related diseases in an integrated manner across different spaces.

"Cybernics: fusion of Humans, AI-Robots and Information Systems" is an innovation field following the robotics industry and the IT industry. Cybernics can solve super-aging society's problems and extend healthy life expectancy from physical and physiological (including psychological and social aspects). perspectives. Through Cybernics that integrate the "Human" and "Cyber/Physical space", Dr. Sankai rises to the challenge of realizing "Cybernics Medical and Healthcare Innovation." The areas of research and development range from the cellular level to robotics, cyborg technology, HAL, Cybernics treatment, artificial intelligence, IoH/IoT, vital sensor "Cyvis", human Big Data, C-Cloud, data analysis and AI processing, international standardization, social implementation, international deployment, and many more.

In this talk, Prof. Dr. Sankai will discuss the possibilities and future strategies for Asia and Japan to work together to promote initiatives in the field of "Cybernics”, a leading-edge innovation area following the robotics and IT industries, in terms of medical and healthcare innovation, science and technology innovation, and the development of future pioneering human resources.  

Brief Biography:

Yoshiyuki SANKAI earned a Ph.D. in Engineering from University of Tsukuba in Japan in 1987. He has progressed from being a research fellow at the JSPS to assistant professor, associate professor, and then professor at the Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering, University of Tsukuba. Dr. Sankai was also a visiting professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas in the United States. Currently, he is a professor, the Executive Research Director at the Center for Cybernics Research and the Director at the F-MIRAI of the University of Tsukuba, the President and CEO of CYBERDYNE Inc., and a Program Director of SIP promoted by the Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan.

Dr. Sankai successively held the position of Leader/PM for the FIRST program and ImPACT program, both initiated by the Japanese Cabinet Office, and the Business producer of the Program for Building Regional Innovation Ecosystem by MEXT. He also served as an Executive Board Member of Advanced Robotics, a member of Global Agenda Council on Robotics & Smart Devices, a Center Partner of the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a member of the Global Future Council of Production, and a member of the Global Precision Medicine Council of the WEF. Now, he is a fellow of the Robotics Society of Japan (“RSJ”) and the Society of Instrument and Control Engineers (“SICE”). And he is also appointed as an International Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (“IVA”).

The main awards associated with Dr. Yoshiyuki Sankai are as follows - The World Technology Award (the Grand Prize) (2005), The Good Design Award (the Gold Prize) (2006), The Japan Innovator Award (the Award of Excellence) (2006), The Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award (2007), The 21st Century Invention Award at the National Invention Awards, “Development of Cyborg-type Robot Technology” (2009), The NetExplorateurs at UNESCO Headquarters (2011), The Capek Award (2012), The Technology Pioneer at the World Economic Forum (2013), The DealWatch Awards 2013(2014), The IPO of the Year at the Thomson Reuters (2014), The Edison Awards Gold Award (2014), The Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award(2015), The DealWatch Awards 2014(2015), The Innovative Equity Deal of the Year at the Thomson Reuters (2015) , The Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award(2015), The Zaikai Business Leader of the Year Award (2015), The DIA Japan Outstanding Contribution to Health Award (2016), The Robot Award - Ministry of Health Labour and Welfare Award (2016), The Prime Ministers Award (the Nippon Venture Award) (2017), The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award (the Technology Management and Innovation Award)(2019), The Ichimura Prize in Industry (2019), The Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon from the Japanese emperor (2019), The Intellectual Property Achievement Awards (the Minister of Economy Trade and Industry Awards) (2020) ,

In addition, some of Dr. Sankai’s recent publications are as follows – 「Cybernics: Fusion of Human, Machine and Information Systems」, 『Cybernics』Springer (2014年), 「革新的ロボット治療を創る」、『医と人間』岩波書店 (2015年), 『サイバニクスが拓く未来 ーテクノピアサポートの時代を生きる君たちへー 』筑波大学出版会 Pioneering the Future with Cybernics -Dawn of the era of Techno Peer Support- (2018年) , 「人に寄り添い希望を運ぶサイバニクス」、『医の希望』岩波書店 (2019年), 「テクノピアサポートで進化する看護と介護」、『人工知能はナイチンゲールの夢を見るか?(ナイチンゲールの越境9:テクノロジー)』日本看護協会出版会 (2022年)

Online Lecture Programme 2024

*Please note that there will be two lectures in September, the first of which will be in person.

JST 2024.9.13 (Friday)  
Special Lecture by the Ambassador of Canada, H.E. Mr. Ian G. McKay – title to be confirmed. This event will be in person.

JST 2024.9.30 (Monday)  
Dr. Clare Pollard, Curator at the Ashmolean Museum, and Associate Member of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, Oxford University
‘Satsuma, Sakahoko and Sir Herbert: the Ingram Collection of Satsuma Ceramics at the Ashmolean Museum’  

   JST 2024.10.21 (Monday) 2024 Young Scholars’ Programme
JST 2024 November (Monday) - Mr. Glen S. Fukushima, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress (US-Asia relations), and SIPC Vice-Chairman
“The Japan-America Student Conference (JASC): History, Legacy, and Prospects, 1934-2024”  



Applications are welcome. Final submission date is August 19th (Monday), midnight JST.

Call for Papers

The Asiatic Society of Japan (ASJ) is Japan's oldest learned society, with its inaugural meeting in Yokohama in 1872. Inspired by the Royal Asiatic Societies of their day, ASJ's founders coordinated activities "to collect and publish information on subjects relating to Japan and other Asiatic Countries." Yet they intentionally differentiated ASJ from these affiliated societies at the outset by having established a "Society for scholarly gentlemen" rather than a society of scholars. The founders and earliest members were pillars of Japan's modernization and industrialization at the dawn of the Meiji Period. Physicians, engineers, barristers, missionaries, military officers, professors, and diplomats numbered among them, including Dr. James Hepburn, Sir Ernest Satow, Basil Hall Chamberlain, and William Aston. Today, the Society serves members of a general audience that have shared interests in Japan and the country’s myriad of connections with the world.

The Young Scholars’ Programme was initiated by the Society in 2006 at the suggestion of the Honorary Patron, HIH Princess Takamado, to give researchers at doctoral level the opportunity to present their research on Japan and/or Asia and answer questions on it in English. This year’s event will be held on Monday, 21 October. It will be held either entirely online or hybrid, so young scholars from around the world are encouraged to apply.

The closing date for nominations this year is midnight on Monday, 19 August. All nominated candidates (to be first selected by a university professor or other nominator) should submit the following:

a) A provisional title for their presentation
b) Details of their field of research
c) A CV or brief biography
d) A formal letter of recommendation on headed notepaper from his/her academic supervisor supporting the application*

* Candidates may submit their materials directly to the Asiatic Society of Japan, via e-mail, to However, the letter of recommendation should be submitted to by the academic supervisor (not the candidate).

☆ Certificate of Recognition from the ASJ Board and HIH Princess Takamado, the Honorary Patron of the Asiatic Society of Japan
☆ Research award of 50,000 yen, courtesy of the Hugh E. Wilkinson Foundation
☆ Article to be submitted to the Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan, the Society’s
annual journal

A maximum of four young scholars (up to age 35, although consideration will be given to those up to age 40) will be selected to give a presentation for 20 minutes each. Candidates will be notified of the selection results at the beginning of September.

  * For further details, please e-mail the ASJ Office at,   and title your e-mail ‘2024 Young Scholars’ Programme’

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