My name is Eiichi Nakakita and I have taken the post of the Director of the Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI), Kyoto University as of 1st April 2021. This year, DPRI, which has been advanced with the cooperation of many faculty members, students, technical staff, clerical staff, and the cooperation of Kyoto University and other research communities in Japan and overseas, will be celebrating the 70th Anniversary since its founding in 1951. It is a great honour and responsibility to be the director of the institute during this milestone, and I accept the challenge heartily.
As I take this position to direct the institute, my attention was caught with a paradigm shift that is occurring in both the society and the natural world. I would like to work together with the staff to create a new form of thinking and a mechanism so that our research institute can contribute to and be central to the paradigm shift taking place around us. While endeavouring to take the lead on this initiative, I will work together with you with utmost effort behind the scenes.
The executive departments that will work together with me are:
- Prof. Nobuhito Mori, Deputy Director, Future Planning,
- Prof. Shinichi Matsushima, Deputy Director, Research and Education,
- Prof. Ryosuke Uzuoka, Deputy Director, Public Relations and International Affairs, and
- Prof. Ryokei Yoshimura, Chairman, Self-inspection Evaluation Committee.
My association with the Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI), Kyoto University dates back to 1985, when I dropped out of the doctoral program in September 1985 under the supervision of Prof. Takuma Takasao, Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering Planning Laboratory at the Graduate School and joined in October of the same year as a research associate to Prof. Shuichi Ikebuchi of the Water Resources Research Center. After that, I was appointed as an associate professor in January 1991 and in April 2000 as an associate professor to the Graduate School of Engineering.
Going back to the paradigm shifts, everyone will have various ideas on this, for example, climate change and adaptation, SDGs, earthquake swarms and major earthquakes in the future, infectious diseases, and so on. I would like to collate your thoughts and ideas on those themes, and create a place where the staff members themselves promote research with a passion and commitment and move forward full of energy within. I would like you to share those thoughts, ideas, and themes and say to me, “yes, let’s do it!”. I endeavour to create such an atmosphere.
I think everyone involved in disaster prevention research has a sense of mission. It is this sense of mission to “save people’s lives, make people happy, and make them smile”, which is engraved in our hearts that drives us to continue to fulfil our mission at DPRI. I would like to proceed with this from the perspective of not only with the current generation, but also pass it on to the next generation, and the generations to come.
To that end, taking advantage of the good natured-atmosphere and the collegiality of this institute, which was the original strength and foundation of the Disaster Prevention Research Institute, we will adhere to deepen each person’s research, discover new cross-cutting research efforts, and work together with everyone inside and outside the institute to attain that mission. With your help, I aspire to do more and more. The Deputy Directors will work as one with the young Deputy Director and Chair of the Self-inspection Evaluation Committee to make the Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI), Kyoto University a Centre of Excellence in the area of disaster risk reduction and resilience to disasters.
I count on your continued support and cooperation as we walk together in the path to contribute to make our society and the world a better place.
Prof. Eiichi Nakakita
Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI)