Tokyo Tech News
Dr. Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, scientific advisor of the Council of State, Republic of Cuba, visited Tokyo Tech on September 30, 2016 to meet with President Yoshinao Mishima and Executive Vice President for Research Makoto Ando. The meeting was attended by Ms. Maylem Rivero, economic and trade counsellor of the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba, Professor Masahiko Hara of the School of Materials and Chemical Technology, and Mr. Toshiaki Mizuno, director of the International Affairs Department.
Dr. Castro Diaz-Balart, who is known as a Japanophile, has visited the country many times, but this was his first visit to Tokyo Tech. He was in Japan this time to participate in the Science and Technology in Society (STS) forum held in Kyoto.
Welcoming Castro Diaz-Balart to the Institute, Mishima shared a brief overview of Tokyo Tech. He also introduced the Institute of Innovative Research (IIR), a newly established umbrella organization for Tokyo Tech's research institutes, units, and labs.
Castro Diaz-Balart, a nuclear energy specialist who was in charge of organizing Cuba's nuclear program in the 1980s, expressed particular interest in the Advanced Nuclear Fuel Cycle Unit and the Laboratory of Advanced Nuclear Energy at IIR. Mishima explained that the labs are concerned respectively with developing technologies for the processing and recycling of radioactive waste and with research on decommissioning, radiation applications, nuclear safety and security, and innovative nuclear energy systems.
After the meeting with the Tokyo Tech president, Castro Diaz-Balart made a short visit to the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI). Hara accompanied him to introduce ELSI's facilities and his chemical laboratory. Mentioning the nanotechnology research center currently under construction in Havana, Castro Diaz-Balart questioned Hara about the latest experimental systems utilizing nanotechnology and asked about single molecular recognition processes at mineral-organic biointerfaces. He commented on the research environment at ELSI and explained that he would like to see a similar environment for international research in Cuba.