June, 2021
Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR)

   Tohru Asami,

 The COVID-19 pandemic, which started in Wuhan, shows no sign of relenting at all, even after more than a year has passed. In the 1990s, we believed that infectious diseases had been eliminated in Japan, but this view was simply arrogance. We had also been praising industrial society for the concentration of population in cities and the accelerated movement of people and goods between cities, but it turned out these developments also posed great social risks. In terms of ICT, online conferences have become the norm since last year, but I’ve also observed that office digitization has not really progressed at all over the past 20 years. I hope this pandemic turns out to be an eye-opening lesson that makes us aware of our misconceptions and arrogance.
 This year marks the 35th anniversary of ATR. In 1986, ATR started basic research on technologies that were finally commercialized 30 years later, such as voice-input machine translation, virtual conferences using VR, and intersatellite optical communication, all centered on industry-academia-government collaboration as well as international collaboration. Thinking about this research experience and our long-range goals, I still feel the enthusiasm of our seniors in the 1980s who were pushing forward to the information society.
 ATR aims to achieve pioneering and original research that “connects the mind,” which is critical to healthcare/medical care, community enhancement, and other basic social services. This work will be pursued in the fields of brain informatics, interaction science, wireless communication technology, and life sciences, in close collaboration with universities and companies within and outside of Japan. In an aging society with a declining birthrate, there are many issues such as one’s reason to live and the coexistence of humans and robots. We aim to contribute to innovation and regional revitalization in the public interest, which has been our corporate philosophy since our establishment. We promote technology that supports the needs of the next society in lockstep with research and business development.
 I warmly thank you for your continued support.

Tohru Asami, President