PWRI Outline

Message from President

Koichi Fujita

I am FUJITA Koichi, and was appointed President of PWRI on Apr. 1, 2022. I am happy to have this opportunity to greet the visitors to our website.

There is no doubt that the earth is irreplaceable to us humans. However, the earth is, in its original state, so unready to provide for us that we must have some kind of “interface” to access the planet, through which we can enjoy its bounty, develop our societies sustainably, and improve our living environment. Since the birth of civilization, we humans have been engaged for eons in the creation of such interfaces, i.e., social infrastructure, and it is civil engineering that has supported the foundation of this endeavor.

PWRI was initially established in 1922 as the Civil Engineering Laboratory of the Ministry of Home Affairs, taking an important part in social infrastructure development. Since then, for a century, it has contributed to the nation’s growth as a core institute responsible for improving civil engineering.

We all agree that social infrastructure has been and will be indispensable in human society. However, what is expected from social infrastructure changes with the times. Over the past 100 years, PWRI has looked into the true social needs of the time and developed initiatives to fulfill them. This April, the institute has just turned a new page by starting its new medium- to long-term plan for the six fiscal years with three primary focuses as follows:

  1. Contribution to the creation of national land where lives and livelihoods are protected against natural disasters
  2. Contribution to the smart and sustainable management of social infrastructure
  3. Contribution to the creation of vibrant and attractive communities and lifestyles

The new plan addresses these focuses in response to urgent issues that Japan faces today: increasingly severe and frequent natural disasters, a vast volume of aging infrastructure, and the fast shrinking working-age population. PWRI flexibly consider a path that extends existing technologies, breaks through barriers, and incorporates digital and other emerging technologies, while crossing and fusing disciplines, without being bound by conventional thinking or frameworks, to achieve the goals expected by the public.

Since its establishment, the strength of PWRI has always been based on the two-way process between the laboratory and the field. Its engineers look into the needs on site by themselves and identify what they need to study. They always give back the results of research and development to the field and provide engineering support to those working on site. This mindset and behavior are deeply rooted in the institute’s DNA and passed on from generation to generation. Systems are in place to sustain and develop this strength, including close cooperation with MLIT, thereby providing a place where the next generation of engineers can develop proactively. PWRI will maximize this strength and further contribute to the efficient development of high-quality social infrastructure.

National Research and Development Agency Public Works Research Institute (PWRI)