Monday, 7th September, 2009,
Main Hall, Kyoto International Conference Center
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to meet many participants from over 40 countries and region at this opening ceremony of the World Tribology Congress 2009.
This is the world's largest congress on tribology, held only once every four years. And it gives Japan great pleasure to host this congress, the first time it is being held in the Asia-Pacific region.
I understand that tribology is the study of the principles of friction, lubrication and wear of interacting surfaces in relative motion. Although the word 'tribology' may not sound familiar to us, this field extends into almost all aspects of essential modern technology such as automotives, computers, roads, bridges, and artificial joints, all of which are commonly found in our surroundings. Tribology is also one of the key technologies crucial for the sustainable development of human society and industry in solving environmental issues through energy and resource conservation.
It is well-known that practical applications are essential to tribology along with academic research activities. The interdisciplinary studies and collaborative efforts of researchers and engineers in various fields, such as mechanics, materials, physics, chemistry, and medicine have elucidated the wide variety of complicated phenomena of tribology. Also these research results have been applied to various fields in developing new technologies. I expect the large number of participants assembled in this hall, where the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997, will engage in further lively discussions on the theme of tribology contributing to the development of a sustainable society.
I hear that, in addition to academic research presentations, there will be a technical exhibition, a plenary lecture and talks, that are also open to the public and to primary, junior high and senior high school students. I hope that the meaning of tribology will gain broader social recognition, and that children, who represent our future, will develop more interest in this field by learning about the importance of science and technology through these events.
To conclude my address, I wish to express my sincere hope that this congress will produce fruitful results for all participants in further contributing to the well-being of humankind through wider international cooperation.
Thank you very much for your attention.