Message from the President

Susumu Yamaguchi
(President of the Optical Society of Japan)

The Optical Society of Japan in a New Era


Succeeding the first president, Professor Kazuo Kuroda, and former president, Professor Jun Tanida, it is my great honor to assume the office of president of the Optical Society of Japan. As the first person to assume this role in the “Reiwa” imperial era, I will devote my efforts to developing the society with the tailwinds of this fresh new era.

The Optical Society of Japan (OSJ), established in September 2014, is the successor to the optical social gathering called “Kogaku Konwakai” founded as a subsidiary society of the Japanese Society of Applied Physics in 1952. Thus, the OSJ is an academic society with a history of 67 years. During the four and a half years since the establishment of the New OSJ, as well as continuing conventional activities such as publication of the Japanese journal “Kogaku” and the English journal “Optical Review” (electronic version), the society held a number of events, including Optics and Photonics Japan (OPJ), Optical Symposia, and Winter Seminars. In addition, we have created a system that enables quick decision making in a compact organization, and have promoted new initiatives. Regarding cooperation with domestic and foreign academic organizations, in addition to continuing the previously established overseas academic exchange agreements with the Japan Society of Applied Physics, we concluded a new agreement with the Thailand Optics and Photonics Society (TOPS), and are working on strengthening cooperation with the Laser Society of Japan. Also, since 2017, annual themes have been set for major events, such as the Winter Seminar, Optical Symposium and OPJ, and linked to the planning of each event (the theme for 2019 is “Super Smart Society / Super Smart Optics”). OPJ actively planned and operated joint symposia with overseas academic societies, and the popular OSJ-OSA joint symposium evolved in 2018 to the Annual Joint Symposia on Optics with the Korea Optical Society (OSK). Two new research groups, the Photodynamism Research Group and the AI Optics Research Group, have also been established. In 2018, these activities were recognized, and the OSJ received a designation as a cooperative academic and research body from the Science Council of Japan.

On the other hand, sluggish membership uptake has been an issue since its establishment. Academic societies can be thought of as a platform that exists for member researchers and engineers. I am confident that the value creation cycle, in which members disseminate their latest research results, learn from each other through discussion, and spread technologies to the industry, will continue to run effectively by having many members use the platform of OSJ. These days have been called the era of “VUCA” (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity). From global politics and the global economy, to companies and workers, the environment surrounding everything is drastically changing. If we remain as is, we will be left behind by changes and evolution taking place around the world. I hope that the Optical Society of Japan will be a society that responds to the demands of the new era and always provides many researchers and engineers with opportunities to open up new fields of optics.

The understanding and cooperation of the members would be greatly appreciated in order for the Optical Society of Japan to move forward into a New Era.

2019