Chief Executive Director for the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation or Miraikan and a former astronaut. Born in Hokkaido in 1948. In 1985 he became an astronaut for the National Space Development Agency of Japan (now called ‘JAXA’), having previously been an assistant professor and nuclear fusion researcher at Hokkaido University. In 1992 he became the first Japanese astronaut, flying his first mission on a space shuttle and executing 43 space experiments. His broadcast from space was featured on live TV and became a national event. In 2000 he made another trip into space as part of NASA’s mission to obtain the most complete high-resolution 3-D digital topographic database of the Earth using high-performance radar. He also succeeded in the world’s first observation of Earth using a hi-vision camera. He was instated as the Director for Miraikan the same year. In 2003 he went underwater to depths of 6,500 meters in a submarine belonging to the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC). There he performed 60 deep-water demonstrations. He also was present for the world’s first total eclipse of the sun in Antarctica, which was broadcast live by NHK the same year. In 2007 he delivered comments from Antarctica, discussing the global environment, which were broadcast via the internet to Japan, Thailand and Australia as part of a project to commemorate the 50th anniversary of National Institute of Polar Research’s Antarctica Base. He has won numerous awards and prizes, including the Prime Minister’s Award, and has authored over 30 books.