Ms. Atsuko Toyama, Minister of Education, Science, Sports and
Distinguished guests, ladies, and gentlemen:
I am truly delighted that the awards ceremony for the 18th International
Prize for Biology is taking place here today, in the presence of Their
Majesties the Emperor and Empress.
The International Prize for Biology was established in honor of the 60th
year of Emperor Showafs reign, in order to commemorate his long years
of biological research and to promote research in the field of biology.
Every year, this honor is bestowed on a scientist who has achieved
outstanding accomplishments in biological research and has made great
contributions to the advancement of science throughout the world.
I understand that Dr. Masatoshi Nei, who has just been presented with
this prize, performed research over many years on the genetic diversity
of populations and evolutionary relationships among organisms on a
molecular level, and that he has laid the theoretical foundation of
current molecular biology. His superb work, which has contributed
tremendously to all the biological sciences, is indeed most deserving of
recognition by the International Prize for Biology-which is awarded for
highly original, vanguard research. This is because Dr. Neifs research
has provided the theoretical infrastructure for todayfs molecular
evolutionary biology, a field on the razor edge of which outstanding
scientists are compering fiercely, throughout the world. I am delighted
to express my wholehearted congratulations to Dr. Nei, and to wish him
every success in his future research.
As intellectual and creative work carried out in search of truth,
scientific research has intrinsic cultural value and is critical in
opening up entirely new frontiers of inquiry and achieving breakthroughs
that can change the complexion of future society.
For this reason, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and
Technology is working to make Japan ga nation richly endowed in
scientific and technological creativity.h In this pursuit, the Ministry
places particular emphasis on the life sciences as a priority field. We
are actively promoting basic research that is both pioneering and
cutting edge, and are advancing R&D that yields richly creative results
at the worldfs highest level of excellence. I would like to urge all of
the distinguished researchers gathered here today to redouble their
efforts so as to advance further scientific research around the world.
In closing, I should like to express my respect and gratitude to the
members of the International Prize for Biology Committee and to all the
other individuals who have worked so hard in the administration of this