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Greeting from the Chair

Satoru Sakakibara, Director, Fusion Science ProgramApril, 2023

The sun and other fixed stars shine because of nuclear fusion reactions taking place at their centers. Fusion research is the use of this energy to generate electricity, which is a clean energy source that does not emit carbon dioxide. Fusion research began in earnest in the world in the 1950s. At present, the conditions for creating a fusion reaction have largely been met, and ITER, currently under construction in France, is planned to generate fusion energy that is 10 times greater than the input energy. In the next phase, we will move to the power generation demonstration phase, called the DEMO reactor, and finally enter the realm where the realization of a fusion reactor is foreseeable.

On the other hand, there are still a wide range of research issues to be addressed, such as understanding of plasma physics, development of measurement devices, control technology, research on development of materials with excellent heat and radiation resistance required for reactors, and superconductivity technology. The Fusion Science Course seeks students who are willing to tackle these unexplored research issues. Our goal is to develop students to become general engineers who can work in any research field by honing their own skills with fusion science research as their axis. We look forward to your challenge.

History and Organization – SOKENDAI

1988 Oct The SOKENDAI (Graduate University for Advanced Studies) was established with a three-year PH.D. program system.
1989 May The National Institute for Fusion Science (NIFS) was established in Nagoya.
1992 Apr The Department of Fusion Science established at the School of Mathematical and Physical Science were established.
Atsuo Iiyoshi inaugurated as the first Chair of the Department.
1997 Jul NIFS moved to Toki city, in Gifu Prefecture.
1997 Dec Construction of the LHD was completed.
1999 Apr Masami Fujiwara inaugurated as the second Chair of the Department.
2003 Apr Osamu Motojima inaugurated as the third Chair of the Department.
2004 Apr A National Unicersity Corporation reformulated SOKENDAI.
2006 Apr The 5-year Ph.D. program system was introduced.
2009 Apr Akio Komori inaugurated as the fourth Chair of the Department.
2015 Apr Yasuhiko Takeiri inaugurated as the fifth Chair of the Department.
2021 Apr Zensho Yoshida inaugurated as the sixth Chair of the Department.
2023 Apr Satoru Sakakibara inaugurated as the first Chair of the Program


About Us


SOKENDAI is a graduate university which provides superior doctoral studies programs in international research fields and learning environments. Students develop an outstanding knowledge of scientific frontiers while working with leading researchers in the world. SOKENDAI was established in 1988 as the first independent graduate university in Japan that does not provide undergraduate courses.

The administrative office of SOKENDAI is in Hayama-cho, Kanagawa Prefecture. Other campuses where academic activities are promoted in fields ranging from the arts and humanities to science and engineering are located in various areas of Japan.

To develop fusion power as a future energy source, scientific understanding of high temperature plasma physics and advanced engineering for realizing a fusion power plant are absolutely necessary. For these purposes, we promote a complementary approach of high temperature plasma experiments, integrated theoretical research, numerical simulations using a supercomputer, and material studies.

The unique point of the program is that students learn a wide range of cutting edge scientific and engineering knowledge such as plasma physics, atomic physics, electrical and mechanical engineering, superconductivity engineering, material engineering, vacuum engineering, and information engineering. This is because fusion science requires highly integrated synthetic research.