Japanese Scientist and Individual Initiatives in the Context of Scientific Cooperation

Author: Lutfullo Barotov





It is known that one of the goals of science and knowledge is to concern the problems of people and fulfill their needs and dreams through discoveries and innovations. Creative and talented scientists are always following existing problems and looking for solutions for them. Since the issues under study can be time-consuming and expensive, the cooperation of researchers with the government is inevitable. In addition, a democratic state also pursues the same good goals as scientists. That is, serving to citizens and provide their needs. In this sense, the mutually beneficial cooperation between the state and scientists allows to realize common goals and to improve the quality of life of citizens.

It is important that a scientist always strives for his country and wants to contribute in the attempts for solving the problems of his society. Such people should be supported by the state and society and their work should be appreciated. Among such scientists, there are those who serve not only their homeland, but also other countries, contributing to the development and progress of other societies. Communities that benefit from the services of such scientists appreciate them more and introduce them to the public. Our Tajikistan is no exception here. Along with Tajik scientists, individual scientists from other countries also contribute to the development and progress of science in our country, and the Tajik state and scientific community support and appreciate them.

Tomoyuki Yamamoto, a Professor of the Faculty of Basic Sciences and Engineering at Waseda University in Tokyo, is one of such foreign scientists who has made a significant contribution to the development of science in Tajikistan. This year, he was accepted as a Foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan as a sign of recognition and appreciation. Tomoyuki Yamamoto, a Japanese scientist in the field of the condensed matter physics, was born in Tokyo in 1969 and holds a Doctorate in engineering (1998 – Doctor of Engineering, Materials Science). He is the author of more than 150 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals and co-author of more than 300 scientific articles in international scientific journals. His H-index is equal to 23, which is considered a high level in scientific rankings. This indicator is calculated based on the quality and number of scientific articles. That is, the H-index of a researcher is equal to the number of his articles that have more than five citations. In the world, the average of this indicator for Professors is 12-24. That is, Professor Yamamoto has a very high position in this ranking with H-index equal to 23. Another example that can determine the quality of his works to the reader is that in order to win the Nobel Prize, the H-index of a scientist must be 35 or more. This means that Professor Tomoyuki Yamamoto, having h-index of 23, has a high position in world science.

Professor Yamamoto conducts research and experiments in the following areas of physical science:

- Organic-inorganic hybrid perovskite solar cell;

  • Rare-earth free phosphors;
  • Up conversion phosphors;
  • Dilute magnetic materials;
  • Materials Informatics;
  • Electrical Breakdown;
  • Charge-up effect due to X-ray irradiation;
  • Biomaterials.

In this article, we do not have the opportunity to go into the areas of research of the Professor. We will focus only on the cooperation of this Japanese scientist with Tajik scientists and students and his recognition and appreciation by the state and the National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan.

Professor Tomoyuki Yamamoto established his scientific cooperation with Tajik scientists around 2014. His first visit to our country was in 2016, when he came to Tajikistan to participate in an International conference. Within the framework of this conference, Professor Tomoyuki Yamamoto met young Tajik scientists and PhD students, and got information about their achievements and problems. From that moment, he aims to contribute to the training of young Tajik scientists. In this context, remote cooperation and inviting young Tajik scientists to Japan was planned, which were implemented and brought positive results in the next few years. During this time, our young scientists found their way to world-class specialized journals, published several scientific articles in co-authorship with Professor Tomoyuki Yamamoto, and became the presenters of Tajik science at the world level. Mehrdod Subhani, Zafari Umar, Dilshod Nemat and Amonullo Burhanzoda are among the young scientists who have published scientific articles in strictly peer-reviewed scientific journal with Professor Tomoyuki Yamamoto.

Also, during this period, Professor Tomoyuki Yamamoto several times invited young scientists to his laboratory at Waseda University in Tokyo for training in the field of functional materials. During these trips, Tajik youth got acquainted with the research process of their Japanese counterparts, strengthened their scientific knowledge, and became more familiar with Japanese scientific institutions, society, and culture. With the direct support of Professor Tomoyuki Yamamoto, they have had several useful visits, including:

 In 2017 - internship of 1 young Tajik scientist;

 In 2017 (December) - internship of 12 young Tajik scientists;

 In 2019 - internship of 2 young Tajik scientists;

 In 2020 - internship of 2 young Tajik scientists;

 In 2023, the training of 2 young Tajik scientists has been started, and the training of 14 others is planned.

All these trips are supported by special funds that finance science and education in Japan. Waseda University also contributes to financing and supporting such trips of Tajik scientists. For example, the trip of a group of 12 people in December 2017 was supported by the Science and Technology Agency of Japan within the framework of the "Sakura Science Program". One of the main goals of this program is to support promising intellectual resources from foreign countries that can contribute to the development of global science and technology. Professor Tomoyuki Yamamoto was able to convince the officials of this program that young Tajik scientists can be among those who can contribute to the development and progress of world science and technology. During this trip, Tajik interns, including the author of these lines, spent ten days in the laboratory of Professor Tomoyuki Yamamoto. During the ten days that we cooperated with the Professor on the basis of the "Sakura Science Program", we became aware of his administrative and professional skills, good moral qualities, and specifics of the individual. This is why we believe that Professor Tomoyuki Yamamoto deserves to be respected not only from a scientific-professional point of view, but also from a moral and ethical point of view.

By the way, other groups, despite the relatively small number of their members, have also gained good scientific experience and strengthened their knowledge and skills. As it is known, in the near future 14 other people will be involved in such study trips with the support of Professor Tomoyuki Yamamoto, which will have a positive effect on their work and life, and this scientific and technical experiences will help them in their further professional affairs.

As it was noted, recently the leadership of the National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan accepted Professor Tomoyuki Yamamoto as a Foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan. With this good initiative, our country recognized the meritorious services of this Japanese scientist and created a favorable basis for further cooperation. On the one hand, this is a recognition of the knowledge and skills of Professor Tomoyuki Yamamoto, and on the other hand, it is a demonstration of the right attitude of the Tajik side to its loyal colleagues from other countries. Such actions will encourage other world-class scientists who respect Tajikistan. Most importantly, within the framework of such cooperation, Tajik scientists also find their way to the world scientific spheres, make a valuable contribution to world science with their knowledge and skills, and become the good representatives of our young country. We believe that Professor Tomoyuki Yamamoto, as a Foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan, will expand his scientific and professional activities in the coming years and strengthen the scientific and technical cooperation between Tajikistan and Japan. This way, Tajik and Japanese scientists will make suitable contribution in the development of world science with their scientific discoveries and inventions.

Lutfullo Barotov,

Senior Research Fellow,

Institute of Studying of the Problems of Asian and European Countries,

National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan