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Tenth Japan Innovators Award - Grand Prize Goes to Hard Lock Industry President Mr. Katsuhiko Wakabayashi for "Nut that Never Becomes Loose"

Tokyo – November 7, 2011 - Nikkei Business Publications (President & CEO: Kohei Osada; Tokyo) has announced the winners of the tenth Japan Innovators Award. Established in 2002, the award aims to stimulate the country by shedding light on unique and innovative individuals.

The nomination was made from individuals from a broad range of fields who have breathed new life into Japanese industries by creating new industries and business models, new technologies for the future, and new universal values. The final selection committee was held the other day, and the winners of the Grand Prize, Excellence Award, Special Excellence Award, and Special Award were decided.

The awarding will take place at 5 p.m. on December 2 at Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa, Tokyo.

[Winners] (Honorifics omitted)

Grand Prize

Katsuhiko Watanabe, President, Hard Lock Industry Co., Ltd.
The company has developed a "nut that never becomes loose," which is now widely used in many important buildings and facilities, including the Tohoku and Joetsu Shinkansen. It upheld the myth of the bullet train's safety against the Great East Japan Earthquake and demonstrated to the world Japan's remarkable safety technology.

Special Excellence Award

K computer development team led by Aiichiro Inoue, President, Next Generation Technical Computing Unit, Fujitsu Limited
The K computer, jointly developed by RIKEN and Fujitsu, achieved the world's fastest operation speed, smashing the runner-up China's by a wide margin. Mr. Inoue, the head of the development team on the part of Fujitsu, has played an important role in uniting the team.

Excellence Award

Masahisa Kogure, Founder and Executive Director, TABLE FOR TWO International
He devised a unique donation system to help tackle starvation / malnutrition in developing countries and over nutrition in developed countries at the same time. His effort has appealed to many corporate and school cafeterias in the country and is now spreading overseas.

Special Award

Norio Sasaki, Coach, Japan women's national football team
He led the women's national football team to victory at the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011, showing to the world the strength of the team and meeting the expectations of the whole country. His remarkable management and organizational skills are highly regarded and may be applied to corporate organizations.

[Selection Criteria]

A prospective winner must show originality in his / her idea, ability to put the idea into action, and potential to significantly affect Japanese industries with the idea, as well as a certain level of results already made. Individuals of any genre, whether corporate engineers, academic researchers, or corporate managers, are eligible.

[Points of Evaluation]

  1. Whether the idea has given rise to new and original value coming from Japan?
  2. Whether the value has been regarded highly both within Japan and internationally?
  3. Whether it has spurred the country in some way, directly of indirectly?

[Selection Procedure]

Candidates were sought through the Nikkei Business magazine and Nikkei Business Online during about two month from June 2011. The editorial teams of other Nikkei BP magazines also recommended candidates, 21 of whom were shortlisted for final selection.

[Selection Committee] (Honorifics omitted)

Hiroshi Komiyama Chairman, Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc.
Members (in the order of the Japanese syllabary)
Shoei Utsuda Chairman, Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
Ken Sakamura Professor, the University of Tokyo
Mari Matsunaga Director, Bandai, Co., Ltd.
Yoshihiko Miyauchi Chairman and CEO, Orix Corporation
Seiichiro Yonekura Professor, Hitotsubashi University


Grand Prize: Prize money of one million yen
Special Excellence Award: Prize money of 500,000 yen
Excellence Award: Prize money of 500,000 yen
Special Award: Prize money of 300,000 yen

Organized by: Nikkei Business Publications, Inc.
Co-sponsored by: Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd.

For further details, please contact:
Global Business Development Office
Phone: +81-(0)3-6811-8311
Fax: +81-(0)3-5421-9804

This press release may contain forward-looking statements that reflect the company's current views with respect to future events and business performance. Those forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties and the company's actual results could differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among other factors, general business and economic conditions, rapid or unexpected changes in technologies, cancellation or delay of customer orders.

About NikkeiBP

Nikkei Business Publications is part of The Nikkei group, which has newspaper publication as its main business and three additional business divisions of digital media, publishing and broadcasting under its umbrella. Covering a wide variety of specialized areas including business, computer, electronics, construction, services and medicine, Nikkei Business Publications, in July 2008, merged with its sister company, Nikkei Home Publishing, to also bring consumer magazines into its portfolio.

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