It is a great honor for me to have been appointed as the President of the Japan Association of Mineralogical Sciences (JAMS), which is the historical academic society in Japan and aims to contribute towards further developments in the fields of mineral sciences and earth and planetary sciences.
The Japan Association of Mineralogical Sciences was established in 2007 by merging the Japanese Association of Mineralogists, Petrologists, and Economic Geologists, established in 1928, and the Mineralogical Society of Japan, founded in 1955. In 2016, it was transformed from a private association to a general incorporated association. Thus, we have taken new steps towards building trust among the general public and in the academic circles, and improving legal stability. Today, JAMS is a credible academic society that is open to the general public. During its long history, JAMS has contributed important research on new topics in various fields including material science, environmental science, and life science as well as solid earth and planetary sciences. Further, it has contributed towards the development of new interdisciplinary fields through collaboration with searchers in the areas of disaster science, archeology, forensic science, and others. JAMS is a member of the Japan Geoscience Union, and its members are actively engaged in conducting sessions as well as research presentations on mineral sciences. We will continue to disseminate the importance of "mineral science" as a basic element of earth and planetary sciences, widely and assertively across different fields.
Many members of JAMS have participated in and made significant contributions to important and major projects in the field of earth and planetary sciences. The asteroid probe Hayabusa, which means peregrine falcon, successfully completed a sample-return mission from the asteroid Itokawa. Its successor, Hayabusa 2 reached the asteroid Ryugu (which is the palace of the sea god according to a Japanese legend), after three and a half years of space travel, and is now transmitting clear and beautiful images to the Earth. Hayabusa 2 will land on Ryugu and attempt to collect valuable rock and soil samples and bring them back to the Earth. Young researchers with experienced in the Hayabusa project and various fields will be able to study these samples and reveal previously unknown characteristics of the asteroid.
We have not yet succeeded in collecting rock samples directly from the upper mantle by our own efforts. In other words, from the viewpoint of sampling, the mantle is far from the moon and the asteroid Itokawa. One of the major goals of the Deep Earth Exploration Vessel "Chikyu" is the excavation of the Earth up to the mantle, and many researchers from around the world have participated in this project. Continuous core samples from the crust-mantle boundary were collected through onshore drilling of the Oman ophiolite, which was carried out simultaneously with the Chikyu project. Currently, various analyses are underway onboard the Chikyu, and many members of JAMS are playing important roles in the mantle drilling and Oman ophiolite projects.
People living on islands, like many members of JAMP, inevitably experience trench-type earthquakes and tsunamis. Clay and serpentine minerals may have a significant role in the occurrence these earthquakes. Therefore, there is increasing interest in these minerals at present. Members of JAMS are also expected to participate and contribute greatly to the research in this field.
Results of research in a wide range of fields will be published in the Journal of Mineralogical and Petrological Sciences (JMPS). I request all of you to visit the JMPS website (http://jams.la.coocan.jp/jmps.htm).