Objecitves / Brief History


The Kazato Research Foundation carries out various grant programs for fostering young researchers in electron microscopy and related scientific fields to make contributions to academic development through promoting research using electron microscopes and related instruments. These programs include the Kazato Prize awarded for excellent scientific achievements, the Kazato Research Encouragement Prize granted for high potential research, and the Travel Expense Grant Program for International Conferences. The annual lecture meeting of the prizewinners is organized by the Foundation. Through these activities, the Kazato Research Foundation continually supports researchers who are engaged in science and technology centered on electron microscopy.

Brief History

In 1968, Mr. Kenji Kazato, the founder and the first President of JEOL, had an idea to return to society the benefits he had received since his founding JEOL for manufacturing electron microscopes. He donated 100,000 shares of JEOL's stock in his possession, in commemoration of JEOL's 20th anniversary. In response, some of the leading members of the Japanese Society of Electron Microscopy consulted with their close friends on how to make the most of his donation. They decided to establish a foundation to promote the research in electron microscopy. In September 1968, the organizing committee for the establishment of the Kazato Research Foundation was formed and the committee adopted the prospectus of the Foundation. The members of the organizing committee were as follows:

Dr. Noboru Higashi, Professor at Kyoto University
Dr. Noboru Takahashi, Professor at Yamanashi University
Dr. Nariyasu Kouda, Professor at Tohoku University
Mr. Tameo Tomimoto, Assistant General Manager of JEOL
Dr. Akira Fukami, Professor at Nihon University
Dr. Masami Fujishiro, Senior Managing Director of JEOL

(The titles of the members are as of 1968.)

In December 1968, the establishment of the Kazato Research Foundation was approved by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. Then, in January 1969, the registration of the Foundation was completed. When the Foundation was established, it was administered by four trustees and two auditors, all of who were the members of the organizing committee. Among 100,000 shares of JEOL's stock donated by Mr. Kazato, 50,000 shares were sold in the market for 22,984,500 yen during the formal process of establishing the Foundation. Among 22,984,500 yen, 20,000,000 yen was used for the endowment of the Foundation, together with the remaining 50,000 shares of his donation. Later, the endowment from JEOL's stock was increased by 29,200 shares due to the capital increase of JEOL, amounting to 79,200 shares at present.

Immediately after its establishment, the Foundation started two programs. One was for the promotion of the research in electron microscopy by young researchers, called the Kazato Research Grant Program. The other was for the support for participation and presentation of researchers at international conferences, called the Research Grant Program for International Conferences.

In 1975, Mr. Kazato stepped down and Mr. Tadao Kasei took the presidency of JEOL. The new President, Mr. Kasei, took into consideration the valuable role which the Kazato Research Foundation had played in the field of electron microscopy, and also had an idea to preserve the name "Kazato" in respect for the founder of JEOL. He decided to donate JEOL's funds to support the Foundation which was suffering from the shortage of funds. This policy was inherited by JEOL's successive Presidents, and JEOL has been backing the Foundation by donating funds regularly. The sum of JEOL Group's donation amounted to 401,300,000 yen up to 2023. The number of presentees and the amounts of grants by year are shown in the following table. Since 1969, the presentees and grants totaled 688 and 274,180,000 yen, respectively.

In 2007, the Foundation reviewed the existing Kazato Research Grant Program, and then the Kazato Prize and the Kazato Research Encouragement Prize were established. Also in 2008, the name of the existing Research Grant Program for International Conferences was adapted to the purpose of the grant; the Travel Expense Grant Program for International Conferences..

Along with institutional reform of public interest corporations, in April 2012, the Foundation has begun operations as "Public Interest Incorporated Foundation, Kazato Research Foundation."

1969 8 2,000 1988 39 5,330 2007 4 3,000
1970 10 1,920 1989 4 2,000 2008 11 6,200
1971 10 1,900 1990 37 5,300 2009 8 5,800
1972 7 1,100 1991 6 4,000 2010 18 10,200
1973 8 2,400 1992 29 6,000 2011 7 5,800
1974 4 800 1993 6 4,000 2012 7 5,900
1975 4 800 1994 28 6,200 2013 15 8,300
1976 4 800 1995 4 3,370 2014 18 8,082
1977 0 0 1996 14 4,950 2015 5 11,308
1978 12 3,500 1997 3 3,000 2016 6 8,619
1979 1 200 1998 19 6,250 2017 4 8,000
1980 16 4,200 1999 4 4,000 2018 20 11,918
1981 3 500 2000 14 5,000 2019 10 9,500
1982 16 6,000 2001 4 4,000 2020 6 10,000
1983 5 1,000 2002 17 6,150 2021 6 10,000
1984 34 5,500 2003 4 4,000 2022 9 10,900
1985 9 2,750 2004 31 5,450 2023 16 12,000
1986 62 3,700 2005 4 4,000      
1987 4 1,000 2006 34 7,300      

Prospectus for Establishment

Since the electron microscope provided electron diffraction patterns as well as electron micrographs, it has been used not only for the observation of specimens, fine structures at high magnifications but also for the study of crystal structures and for the examination of defects in crystals.

Owing to this capability, electron microscopy has advanced from morphological observation for which it was originally intended, into a wide range of research fields such as crystallography, metallurgy and chemistry and physics. Thus, the electron microscope is now being applied to the study of almost all kinds of materials. In biology and medical science, the advancement of ultramicrotomy made it possible to prepare very thin sections of specimens. This greatly promoted the study of the fine structures of biological cells and advanced the research on bacteria and viruses. Also, the possibility of observing live micro-organisms (cell division) is now expected and the new fields of their application are under development. Considering various application fields of the electron microscope, we can state that it is now being used in almost all areas of natural science.

Recently, the high-voltage electron microscope has been developed, which has revealed new physical phenomena. Its excellent penetration power makes it possible to observe thick specimens, its advantages being highly regarded especially in metallurgy. Furthermore, various new types of electron microscopes, such as scanning type, field-emission type, ionemission type, have been developed and the scope of their application is expanding.

The improvement and development of electron microscopes are directly linked to their new applications and result in bridging the various fields of natural science. We are convinced, therefore, that the promotion of the research in electron microscopy is very crucial. The electron microscope is the first exported scientific instrument in Japan,s history. Electron microscopes made in Japan are now utilized worldwide and strongly demonstrate the advancement of Japanese science and technology.

Under these circumstances, we intend to establish the Kazato Research Foundation in the hope that the research in electron microscopy will be conducted actively and vigorously to promote the progress in the science and culture of the world.

Profile of Kenji Kazato
(founder of the Kazato Research Foundation)

Kazato Kenji
Jul. 1917 Born in Mobara, Chiba Prefecture, Japan.
Mar. 1938 Graduated from the Japanese Navy Machinery School.
Nov. 1944 Worked as a researcher at the Japanese Navy Technical
Research Center.
Apr. 1946 Started development of electron microscopes in Mobara,
Chiba Prefecture.
May 1949 Established Japan Electron Optics Laboratory Co., Ltd.
Appointed as President.
May 1961 Changed the Company name to JEOL Ltd.
Apr. 1962 Listed the Company stock on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
May 1968 Appointed as Chairman for Fiscal 1968 of the Japanese Society of Electron Microscopy (present the Japanese Society of Microscopy).
Feb. 1971 Received the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon from the Japanese government.
May 1975 Resigned President. Appointed as Executive Counselor.
Jun. 1989 Resigned Executive Counselor. Appointed as Counselor (up to the present).
Now, a lifetime honorary member of the Japanese Society of Microscopy.
Jun. 2012 26th, Died at the age of 94.

Last Update: April 1, 2024

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