Australian Medical Researchers: The Japan Connection (1)
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Australian Medical Researchers: The Japan Connection (1)

Australian Medical Researchers: The Japan Connection (1)

An elite list of Australians have distinguished themselves internationally in the area of medical research through being awarded the Nobel Prize. In fact, in this field, Australians have a larger number of Nobel prizes than their colleagues in Japan. (Japan, on the other hand shows real dominance in Nobel awards in the field of physics – yet just another demonstration of complementarity which exists in the bilateral relationship).

But now, an Australian has been awarded the Japan Prize. The Japan Prize has a long and interesting history – though not nearly as long as the Nobel.

The Japan Prize was established in 1982, with the approval of the Prime Minister, for the purpose of establishing the Japan Prize as a prestigious international award in the field of science and technology. The creation of the Japan Prize was motivated by the desire to “express Japan’s gratitude to international society.”

The Japan Prize for each category awarded is 50 million yen (around A$600,000. The fund which provides for the prize was donated by the legendary Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of the Panasonic Corporation. [Matsushita was an interesting business leader. He developed many management philosophies and and concepts. According to his history, “Business is people” was one of his favorite sayings.]

Dr Jacques Miller, Professor Emeritus, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Researchwas awarded the prize for the establishment of the basic concepts underlying modern immunology. He shared the prize with Dr Max D. Cooper Professor,Emory University School of Medicine in the USA.