Research Strengths

At YNU, some 600 researchers conduct research in various fields and create and apply knowledge as an “international focal point of practical scholarship” that can contribute to the welfare of people in Japan and beyond, as well as to the sustainable development of society.
In addition to individual research, to promote collaborative research between researchers at YNU and at other institutions inside and outside Japan, 8 units have been formed at the Institute of Advanced Sciences and 24 research projects have been recognized by the Research Initiative and Promotion Organization as YNU Research Centers. Through this framework, focus is being placed on research in fields with high societal demand, academic fields, fields that are highly ranked socially or academically, and pioneering fields.
Furthermore, YNU has signed academic exchange agreements with over 140 universities around the world and about 300 researchers are accepted to YNU from universities outside of Japan every year.

1Dominant fields

YNU is in the top ten in Japan in the following fields for total number of selected projects of “Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI)”*1 in FY2018-2019.*2

*1 “Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI)” are competitive research funds that are intended to significantly develop all scientific research (research based on the free ideas of the researcher), from basic to applied research in all fields, ranging from the humanities and the social sciences to the natural sciences. The grants provide financial support for creative and pioneering research after peer review.

*2 Limited only to fields with a total number of projects newly selected for “Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B)”, “Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C)” and “Grants-in-Aid for Young Scientists” is three or more.

Research Field Rank Number of newly selected projects Total allocated budget (in thousand yen)
Japanese language education-related 7 4 26,000
International relations-related 6 3 9,620
Economic statistics-related 3 3 12,610
Business administration-related 9 7 64,350
Accounting-related 6 4 14,040
Basic mthematics-related 1 3 17,420
Mechanics of materials and materials-related 4 4 43,810
Building structures and materials-related 8 3 24,830
Aerospace engineering-related 5 3 26,130
Marine engineering-related 8 5 55,640
Safety engineering-related 3 4 38,740
Material processing and microstructure control-related 4 5 34,970
Optical engineering and photon science-related 8 3 39,650

2Distinguished research

At YNU, the following fields and programs were selected for “Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S)”* in the past five years.

* “Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (S)” are research projects in the area of basic research, which is the primary type of research project for “Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research”, that are set to significantly develop creative and pioneering research even further based on past research findings by having the research period required to conduct stable research and securing adequate research funds needed for carrying out the research. In principle, it consists of large-scale research funds ranging from about 50 million yen to 200 million yen per project. Only about 90 new projects are selected in all of Japan each year.

Research Field Name Position and Affiliation of the time Program / Contents
Electron device / Electronic equipment Nobuyuki Yoshikawa Professor, Faculty of Engineering Creation of extremely energy-efficient integrated circuit technology beyond the thermodynamic limit based on reversible quantum flux circuits
Power engineering / Power conversion / Electric machinery Atsuo Kawamura Professor, Faculty of Engineering Realization of a sustainable green society through 99.9% efficient electric power conversion
Optical engineering, Photon science Toshihiko Baba Professor, Faculty of Engineering High-performance nanolaser biosensor with ion-sensitivity
Nanostructural physics Hideo Kosaka Professor, Faculty of Engineering Research for quantum media conversion in diamond nano quantum systems
Polymer / Textile materials Masayoshi Watanabe Professor, Faculty of Engineering Role of liquid for controlling autonomy of soft materials containing ionic liquids
List of Notable Projects Selected for Competitive Research Funds

3Research papers that impact the world

According to the “Web of Science”*1, papers of YNU published in the past five years have been highly cited around the world in the following fields.

*1 “Web of Science” is one of the world's leading scientific citation databases. With more than 12,500 journals from around the world dating back to 1900 (as of December 2015), it enables one to carry out cross-discipline searches on influential scientific journals and important publications and assess citation patterns.

Research Field “Web of Science” Documents CNCI*2 Times Cited % Documents in Top 1% % Documents in Top 10%
Astronomy and Astrophysics 56 2.13 438 3.57% 19.64%
Instruments and Instrumentation 57 2.09 241 3.51% 8.77%
Optics 45 1.77 848 3.45% 12.41%
Ecology 77 1.50 865 2.60% 14.29%
Physics, Multidisciplinary 64 1.34 475 3.13% 12.50%
Physics, Particles and Fields 55 1.07 340 0.00% 9.09%
Environmental Sciences 129 1.06 1,374 0.78% 9.30%
Engineering, Mechanical 160 0.99 499 0.63% 5.63%
Physics, Atomic, Molecular and Chemical 64 0.96 517 1.56% 10.94%
Geosciences, Multidisciplinary 53 0.90 300 1.89% 5.66%

*2 “CNCI” stands for Category Normalized Citation Impact. Fields with a CNCI of 1 or higher are considered higher than the global average.

4Recipients of YNU Outstanding Researcher Awards

To raise the motivation to carry out research in each researcher, raise the university's research capacity, and foster outstanding researchers who will be responsible for the future's scientific research, YNU established the “Yokohama National University Outstanding Researcher Awards” in AY 2011 to honor researchers who have achieved outstanding research results. The following are the award recipients for AY 2019.

Award Name Position and Affiliation of the time Research Field
Best Research Award Kiyotaka Sato Professor, Faculty of International Social Sciences Money and finance
Hideo Kosaka Professor, Faulty of Engineering Quantum information physics
Social Contribution Award Katsunari Yoshioka Associate Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Sciences Information security
Young Researcher Award Masahiro Takamoto Associate Professor, College of Education Social psychology
Akihisa Kimura Associate Professor, Faculty of International Social Sciences Accounting
Motoyuki Iijima Associate Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Sciences Inorganic materials and properties/td>
List of past recipients (in Japanese)

5Notable award recipients

YNU faculty have received the following notable awards in the past five years.

Award Awarding Body Recipient Affiliation of the time
AY2019 Minister of Land, Infrastrucure, Transport and Tourism Hamaguchi Award (Research on Tsunamis and Storm Surges) Minitry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Tomoya Shibayama Professor Emeritus
Congress of the Senate Commendation Congress of the Senate of the Republic of Paraguay Yoko Fujikake Faculty of Urban Innovation
AY2019 Young Scientists' Prize of the Commendation for Science and Technology Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Keiichi Kitamura Faculty of Engineering
AY2019 Minister of Environment Commendation for Contributors to Environmental Conservation Minister of the Environment Koichi Fujie The Institute of Advanced Sciences
Japan Academy Prize Japan Academy Yozo Fujino Institute of Advanced Sciences
67th Yokohama Cultural Award Culture and Arts Encouragement Award City of Yokohama Teppei Fujiwara Faculty of Urban Innovation
AY2017 Industrial Standardization Award, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry Katsutoshi Komeya Professor Emeritus
AY 2017 Foreign Minister's Award Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tara Cannon International Strategy Organization
AY 2017 Science and Technology Prize for Research, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Masayoshi Watanabe Faculty of Engineering
AY 2016 Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration Contributor Award, Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Award Cabinet Office Katsunari Yoshioka Faculty of Environment and Information Sciences
AY 2016 Science and Technology Prize for Research, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Toshihiko Baba Faculty of Engineering
AY 2016 (65th) Kanagawa Culture Award Kanagawa Prefecture Ryue Nishizawa Faculty of Urban Innovation
52nd Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award for Contributors to Product Safety, Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry Tsutomu Oyama Faculty of Engineering
55th Economist Award Mainichi Shimbun Weekly Economist Editorial Team Eiichi Tomiura Faculty of International Social Sciences
FOST Social Contribution Award Foundation for the Fusion of Science and Technology Hiroaki Shirai Faculty of International Social Sciences
Congress Commendation / Decoration, Paraguay-Japan Friendship Commission, Congress of the Republic of Paraguay Congress of the Republic of Paraguay Yoko Fujikake Faculty of Urban Innovation
AY 2015 Young Scientists' Prize of the Commendation for Science and Technology Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Junji Fukuda Faculty of Engineering

Notable International Press Releases

This section highlights 6 notable news released by YNU on an international scientific news site “EurekAlert!” in FY2018-2019. You can also see other news released by YNU in “International Press Releases” on the university’s website.

Let there be light: Synthesizing organic compounds

Results published online in the Journal of Organic Chemistry on July 19, 2019

Prof. Kiyoshi Honda, Dr. Yujiro Hoshino, Dr. Kenta Tanaka (Faculty of Environment and Information Sciences) and their team have developed cost-effective and milder synthetic routes to create oxygen heterocycles by focusing on a method involving the design of photo-sensitive carbon-based salts. They added the salts to two types of compounds, which form a ring once they react, and irradiated the combination with green light, producing a high yield of oxygen heterocycles. The researchers envision the expansion of the use of various visible-light-driven reactions in the future, and plan to continue contributing to it.

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Researchers teleport information within a diamond

Results published online in Communications Physics on June 28, 2019

Prof Hideo Kosaka (Faculty of Engineering) and his team have, using carbon isotopes in a diamond as a quantum memory, successfully teleported quantum information into an otherwise inaccessible space without revealing or destroying the stored information for the first time in the world. The study has big implications for quantum information technology - the future of how sensitive information is shared and stored.

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Shedding light on how the human eye perceives brightness

Results published online in Scientific Reports on May 20, 2019

Prof. Katsunori Okajima (Faculty of Environment and Information Sciences) and his team are shedding new light on the importance of light-sensing cells in the retina that process visual information. The researchers isolated the functions of melanopsin cells and demonstrated their crucial role in the perception of visual environment. This ushers in a new understanding of the biology of the eye and how visual information is processed. The findings could contribute to more effective therapies for complications that relate to the eye, and serve as the basis for developing lighting and display systems.

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Laboratory study paves way for new approach to treating hair loss in humans

Results published online in Biomaterials on May 9, 2019

Prof. Junji Fukuda (Faculty of Engineering) and his team have developed an efficient method of successfully generating hair growth in nude mice. Compared to other methods, their new collagen-enriched hair bead (bbHFG) approach produced a high rate of hair generation four weeks after being transplanted onto the skin of the mice, and gene expression for almost all the hair producing gene markers was greater in the bbHFGs. The new method can be scaled up and therefore shows great potential for clinical applications in human hair regenerative therapy.

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Another Step forward on universal quantum computer

Results published online in Nature Communications on August 13, 2018

Professor Hideo Kosaka (Faculty of Engineering) and his team have demonstrated nonadiabatic and non-abelian holonomic quantum gates over a geometric spin qubit on an electron or nitrogen nucleus, manipulating purely the geometric phase with a polarised microwave in a nitrogen-vacancy centre in diamond under a zero-magnetic field at room temperature. They have also demonstrated a two-qubit holonomic gate to show universality by manipulating the electron−nucleus entanglement. The universal holonomic gates will enable fast and fault-tolerant manipulation for realising quantum repeaters interfacing between universal quantum computers and secure communication networks.

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The future of electronic devices: Strong and self-healing ion gels

results published online in Advanced Materials in July 31, 2018

Prof. Masayoshi Watanabe, Dr. Ryota Tamate (Faculty of Engineering) and their team, in collaboration with researchers of the University of Tokyo, have designed an ion gel with excellent toughness and an ability to self-heal at ambient temperature without any external trigger or detectable change in the environment such as light or temperature. This new class of material has promising potential for future applications in the area of flexible electronics – to create self-healing electronics in particular.

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Admissions Information

To learn more about the entrance examinations for the undergraduate and graduate programs (including research students), international student exchange (JOY Program), and summer program, please check the Admissions Information.