New Fiscal Year’s Greeting -One Year After the Earthquake(Apr 14, 2017)

2017.04.14 ●News

New Fiscal Year’s Greeting
– One Year After the Earthquake – (Apr 14, 2017)


Past messages for the Director

Six Months After the Earthquake (Oct 14, 2016)
Three Months After the Earthquake (Jul 14, 2016)
On the way to restoration (May 2, 2016)
Eleventh day after the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake (Apr 25, 2016)
To all IMEG members and supporters (Apr 19, 2016)
Be smart. Stay foolish. (Apr 4, 2016)


Photos of the institute after the Kumamoto Earthquakes



One year has passed since we felt the massive earthquakes here in Kumamoto. In March the IMEG building, including windows, elevators, and stairs, was almost fully restored, and most of our research equipment has returned to normal working conditions. Repairs to the outer wall have begun and are scheduled to be completed in November. Fortunately, I am happy to report that there are no problems plaguing our research. I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the people who helped with the restoration, and to all the people who supported us along the way.


It was a terrible disaster with over 4000 painful aftershocks. I pray for the souls of the more than 200 who died as a direct result of the earthquakes. IMEG suffered major damage to the facility and research equipment. Thankfully, the human cost was minimal and most of our research samples were safe and sound. I have found that consulting face-to-face every day and working together to restore our laboratories has strengthened the unity of our IMEG members more than ever. To further promote interaction between our laboratories, we began holding information exchange meetings once a month, and we plan on having an employee retreat in August at Mt. Aso. It is my hope that when we see that the road to recovery in Aso is well underway, we will be able to understand just how far we have come, be inspired to deepen our personal and professional relationships, and to further our combined research goals. We are now setting up a Global Science Promotion Facility with the aim of promoting internationalization and industry-academia collaboration, and discussions have begun on the implementation of a joint system where the research facilities of IMEG, the Faculty of Medicine, and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences can advance collaborative research. Furthermore, in January of next year, we will host an international symposium and invite prominent researchers from home and abroad. We hope the symposium will show off the revival of IMEG and help create a network of international talent for the next expansion.


Stabilization efforts to prevent research equipment from being damaged in the event of another earthquake are progressing nicely. Several images of stabilized items from around the institute are posted in the link above. (Please take a moment to view them if you haven’t already.) We strongly urge everyone to tightly fasten expensive equipment to a laboratory stand that is fixed to both the floor and wall. If cost is prohibitive, at least put down a nonslip sheet. It is cheap, can be installed quickly, and is better than nothing. Also be sure to firmly fix any computer that may contain important data. We created an e-mail address for all IMEG members, which allows for real-time information sharing to easily communicate with other members during any volatile emergency situation. No one knows when or where the next disaster will occur, but we have at least prepared for quick dissemination of information during an emergency. Hopefully, by sharing information and experiences amongst each other, we will be able to reduce the damage caused by the next disaster.


Last year’s earthquake was by far the hardest thing I have had to overcome in my life. I was able to surmount it only with everyone’s cooperation, and now I can finally relax. I realized that true happiness was found once over-competitiveness, lack of honor, greed, and jealousy disappeared, and all family members and colleagues were healthy and able to concentrate on what they really wanted to do. I am now certain that I will be able to enjoy science once again. For young researchers “growing up” in IMEG, I hope that our combined passion for science will result in continuous improvements to our research environment.
We deeply appreciate everyone who has shown support for IMEG, domestic and foreign. Thank you very much!



Director, IMEG, Kumamoto University

Ryuichi Nishinakamura



I would like to thank Dr. Jason Sanderson and Ms. Naoko Fukuda of Kumamoto University’s URA Office for their contribution to the English version of this message.