The Chemical Society of Japan
History and Activities

The Chemical society of Japan (CSJ), initially named the Chemical Society, was founded in 1878 by twenty or so motivated and enthusiastic young scholars wishing to advance research in chemistry. Later it was renamed The Tokyo Chemical Society, and eventually given the present name of "The Chemical Society of Japan". In 1948 it merged with the Society of Chemical Industry, founded in 1898. Thus CSJ has a history encompassing more than 110 years, with a current membership exceeding 38,000, and is one of the more flourishing academic societies in Japan, covering most areas of pure and applied chemistry.

It has contributed and disseminated the results of chemical research to chemists and industry throughout the world. The prime mission of the Society is to promote chemistry for science and industry in collaborate with other domestic and global societies. Above all the paramount purpose of the society is to contribute to the betterment of human life.

To pursue these missions, the Society holds various academic conferences,lecture meetings, publishes journals and books, and maintains a library that is one of the key sciences libraries in Japan open to the public.

Today the world shares common pressing issues, interests relating to energy, food, environmental problems, safety, human health and education, which requires a rapid exchange of information in every field with other countries.

CSJ has a long history in chemical education and in its outreach program to the public. These activities have been recently redoubled to heighten public awareness, and stress the importance of chemistry's role in solving the many problems besetting people and the environment.

The activities of the Society were highly appreciated by the public and thus became the first academic organization in Japan to be approved as a Special Public Service Legalized Corporation which allows CSJ to conduct certain activities with the privilege of exemption from taxation.


1.National Meetings

Meetings are held twice yearly, in the spring and fall. At these meetings papers are read on research results, lectures are given by invited lecturers and the awarding of prizes takes place. The Abstract Book of all papers is published at each meeting.

2.Publication of Journal and Books

CSJ publishes many journals as one of the main activity of the society.

(1) Monthly Journals


(a)Kikan Kagaku Sosetsu (Quarterly Survey of Chemistry): Book reviews issued quarterly; written for non-specialists, covering various topics in all fields of chemistry.

(b)Kagaku Binran (Handbook of Chemistry): A collection of data on various fields of chemistry; published in two parts: Fundamental Chemistry Edition and Applied Chemistry Edition.

(c)Jikken Kagaku Koza (Courses in Experimental Chemistry): In total 30 monographs have been published to date.

(d)Bosai Shishin (A Guide for Disaster Prevention): Total 116 pamphlets have been published for the prevention of disasters due to fires, explosions, poisoing, pollution, etc. in chemical industries.


Awards are given by the Society to those recognized as having made distinguished contributions in various fields of chemistry. The following Awards are presented:

(a)The Chemical Society of Japan Award (Nippon Kagakukai-sho)
Awarded for distinguished contribution in the field of pure and applied chemistry.

(b)The (Divisional) Award of the Chemical Society of Japan (Gakujutsu-sho)
Awarded to chemists who have achieved a significant distinguished breakthrough in research in the field of pure and applied chemistry.

(c)The Chemical Society of Japan Young Chemists Award (Shimpo-sho)
For chemists under 35 who have made distinguished contributions in the field of pure and applied chemistry.

(d) The Chemical Society of Japan Award for Technological Development (Kagaku-Gijutsu-sho)
Awarded for distinguished contributions in technological development in chemical industry.

(e)The Chemical Society of Japan Chemical Education Award (Kagaku-Kyouiku-sho)
For distinguished contributions in the field of chemical education.

(f)The Chemical Society of Japan Award of Merit in Chemical Education (Kagaku-Kyoiku-Yuko-sho)
Awarded to teachers who have made distinguished contributions in the promotion of chemical education.

(g)The Chemical Society of Japan Award for Distinguished Technical Achievements (Kagaku-Kenkyu-Gijutsu-Yuko-sho)
Given to those technical persons who have helped research and development by their distinguished technical achievement.

4.Chemical Education and Outreach of Chemistry to the Public

Since 1980, CSJ has held "Chemical Expositions" at museums or department stores in major cities. More than 500,000 citizens and students have attended these expositions. CSJ will continue to plan and expand these chemical expositions in other cities. CSJ has an "Introduction to Chemistry Program" which provides the average citizen and upper secondary school students with a special lecture series by eminent chemists, where scientific (mostly chemical) movies are shown. The program is held twice a year in the cities where the National Meetings are held. The CSJ has another "Introduction to Chemistry Program" for upper secondary school students conducted by CSJ local chapters. The program consists of special lecture series and demonstration of interesting chemical experiments at many selected upper secondary schools.

CSJ has a "National Chemistry Week" (November 1-7), as a tie-in with the "Chemistry Makes Our Dreams Come True" campaign, with the purpose of reaching the public, particularly elementary and lower secondary school children, with positive messages related to chemistry, intended to raise the awareness of the public's views of chemistry. This is accomplished by working with the local media to develop a venue and effectively mobilize the local chapters, promote interest and motivate the membership and participation through local grass roots level activities.

5.Other Activities

(1)Recommendation to the Government
CSJ has important roles in providing recommendations and advice to the government for changing and improving chemistry education. CSJ has regularly held an official meeting with the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry to discuss change and improvement of Education system in Japan, Science and Industry.

CSJ maintains reciprocal relations with The Science Council of Japan, Japan Chemical Industry Association and the Association for the Progress of New Chemistry to foster and further cooperation.

(2)Relation with Chemical Industry
The Industry Committee is in close liaison with leaders of industries to discuss and enhance research cooperation between the academic and industrial communities.

(3)Research and Survey
CSJ has long been involved in the nomenclature of chemicals, revision of atomic weight and other standardization in chemistry conducted worldwide by IUPAC. The research study and survey of the environment and chemical safety are becoming increasingly important issues.

(4)Information Service
The CSJ public library continues to offer information from a large collection of publications specifically devoted to the field of chemistry including proceedings and abstracts of meetings. It is well received as an easily accessible information source in this well stocked library.

CSJ has developed a data base of Bulletin of the Chemical Society of Japan and offers it through the National Center for Science information System.

CSJ utilizes a commercial computer network called "Nifty-Serve" and opens its "Forum of Chemistry" to the public.

(5)Activities of Local Branches
The Society is divided into seven local geographical branches. These branches utilize autonomous activities featuring their respective local characteristics. Scientific meetings, lecture meetings, providing guidance to school teachers with the latest topics in chemistry, and faster outreach of chemistry to the public are among those important activities. Another important role of the branches is to motivate young scientists and engineers of corporations in the academic atmosphere to foster closer relationships with scientists from universities. Conversely, local universities are a supply source of chemists for corporations that are concentrated in large cities and coastal petrochemical centers (Japan has few natural resources, so most chemical supplies are shipped in and processed at major port facilities). In this sense, close communication with college students to motivate them towards academic activities is also an essential part of local activities.

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Written by CSJ WWW Working Group