Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR)


Tohru Asami, 
   Fortunately, the number of people in Japan infected with COVID-19, which originated in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019, dropped sharply in October. However, a new global epidemic of the Omicron variant has begun, and how to prevent it at the water’s edge of Japan is an urgent issue. Telework, which used to be an extraordinary activity, is now commonplace, and this war against virus has not yet come to an end. As with influenza, we must admit that we will continue to coexist with coronavirus.
   ATR was established in 1986 with the aim of promoting pioneering and original research in the fields of information and communication, and it started a series of research projects on virtual reality (VR), telework, intersatellite optical communication, and neural network-based speech recognition that has evolved into Google Home today. These innovations have taken 30 years to become commercialized. Don’t lament the notion that society’s progress is too fast, making it difficult to keep up with digitalization and DX (Digital Transformation). In many periods, progress was even faster than now. For example, until about 1850, any gun meant a matchlock gun. At the 1851 Great Exhibition in London, Colt demonstrated how to assemble a gun with standard parts made on a milling machine. People found that a large number of homogeneous guns could be made, and thus gun innovation began. Ten years later, in 1861, machine guns were invented. During this decade, the way of war changed completely. The birth of industrial standardization further led to the mass production of other products such as cars, which triggered the Second Industrial Revolution.
   Currently, the second industrial revolution of the office is in progress. To survive in such a period of social upheaval, a company must share a sense of crisis among its members. In ESG investment, which has attracted attention recently, the degree of a shared sense of crisis within a company can be measured as an environmental crisis, which is a common indicator for humans. Furthermore, if a company is enthusiastic about solving social issues, it is viewed as having a high sense of community. In Japan, with its strong bottom-up tendency, the key to governance is mutual trust among an organization’s members rather than strong leadership. In this way, ESG can be understood as epitomizing the requirements of a strong organization, which have been known for a long time.
   In taking COVID-19 measures, are you satisfied with sharing a sense of crisis, a sense of community, and mutual trust? Or are you leaving everything to the government? Is your effort enough to “do what we can do”? “Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan” is a major event planned for the Kansai region of Japan, and it aims to create a “life-shining society.” ESG can be one solution. ATR will actively strive to contribute by conducting research and development on the dynamism of networks in the body, brain, telecommunications, and society, while working with universities, research institutes, and companies in Japan as well as overseas. This is what ATR can do for the Expo.
   I warmly appreciate your continued support.

Tohru Asami, President