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Message from the President of The Japan Petroleum Institute

Koichi Eguchi

Prof. Koichi Eguchi
(Kyoto University)

 It is my honor to have been appointed as president of the Japan Petroleum Institute. I will try to do everything for further development of the institute, and I would like to thank you for all in advance of your support.

 Energy is an essential, foundational part our lives and activities. Among the many types of energies we use, petroleum has an important role, and there can be no doubt that demand for its energy is quite stable. On the one hand, cutting-edge energy sources like shale gas, renewable ones, and hydrogen have a lot more cachet than petroleum, and petroleum use is trending downward within Japan. However, as we look towards the future, we must begin to pave a way for the implementation of these new energy sources - establishing standards for their use, developing implementation strategies, and addressing their specific shortcomings in stability. Numerous problems remain to be solved on those fronts. Furthermore, nuclear power, long hoped to be effective as the future of stable and CO2-free energy production, has seen its future potential become less clear in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Compared to these other energy sources, petroleum is stable and highly trusted.

 In addition, turning an eye abroad, it is impossible to overlook the effects which petroleum has on the global market and the sensitivity to changes in its prices, which belies its importance in this unstable world. As both a stable source of energy and a chemical component, petroleum stands alone - especially important in the energy- and resource-starved nation of Japan. We regularly turn to petroleum, both as an energy source and as a resource, and thus it is essential that we understand the myriad factors which are closely linked to it.

 As such, the Japan Petroleum Institute serves as a gathering of experts on petroleum and the science surrounding it. We serve as a venue for the sharing and exchange of information, technology, and science related to petroleum. Moving forward, we will not restrict ourselves solely to petroleum, but also look at ever diversifying energy sources, scientific materials, and everything involved in this expanding field, as we believe that it is necessary to fully understand petroleum's position within it.

 As for the energy- and resource-starved nation of Japan, our multifaceted relationships with the countries from which we procure our resources are utterly essential. As such, we must strive to deepen our international productive, administrative, and academic ties, even as we seek to deepen our understanding of the realities surrounding the petroleum industry. In fact, the Japan Petroleum Institute serves as a venue for the exchange of personnel, scientific information, and technological knowledge with these countries which provide our oil and gas. I believe that promoting these sorts of ties will provide mutual understanding between all parties involved.

 In order to reinforce the importance of the issues surrounding petroleum, we must continue to inspire interest in and understanding of petroleum and things related to its industry, by sharing information regarding said industry and related technologies with young scholars. I believe it is necessary to be active in the creation of activities which will foster this kind of learning and enlightenment.