With the purpose of sending high school students to the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO),
which has a 34-year history and approximately 60 participant countries, the
Council launched in 1999 the nationwide chemical proficiency contest "High
School Chemistry Grand Prix." The contest consists of theoretical and experimental exams,
under the financial support of the Japan Chemical Industry Association.
In 2002, Atunori Mori, Masato M. Ito, and Yoshihiko Noda were dispatched as
observers to the 34th IChO held in Groningen, Netherlands, and four first-
and second-grade students were selected out of ca. 1,200 Grand Prix
participants. As one of the events within the framework of the CSJ 125th
anniversary, the four young future chemists participated in the 35th IChO
held in Athens, Greece, in July 2003.
Ever since, first and second year students who achieved the highest scores in High-school Grand Prix are selected, and after training, they are sent to participate in IChO every year. Their achievements are summarized in the following table.
1) Number of participants in the High-school Grand Prix held in the previous year. However, these are not the numbers of the candidates for the Olympiad. Since the school year in Japan starts in April unlike most other countries in the world, the third year students, who are the majority of the participants, can not attend the Chemistry Olympiad held in July the following year, because they will have already graduated high school.
The 41st International Olympiad in 2009 will be held in London, UK, and it was decided at the executive committee of IChO held in July 2005 in Korea that the 42nd IChO in 2010 will be held in Tokyo, Japan.