Message from the Dean

Invitation to Leading Researches for Food, Health and the Environment.

Keietsu ABE

Keietsu ABE

Dean, Graduate School of Agricultural Science and Faculty of Agriculture, Tohoku University

Welcome to the Faculty of Agriculture and the Graduate School of Agricultural Science of Tohoku University.

Tohoku University was founded in 1907 as the third Japanese Imperial University. The Faculty of Agriculture was established in 1947 as the fifth Faculty of Tohoku University, just after the end of the World War II, under the growing social need to increase food production in the Tohoku Region in Japan. Since then, our Faculty and Graduate School have promoted academic education and basic research concerning “food, health and the environment”, and have developed applied research to establish new industries in the fields of agriculture, bio-science and biotechnology. Agricultural science covers broad fields such as the production of bio-materials including food and conversion of the materials to various chemical forms. Our education policy and research are based on the three tenets that have been defined by our University since its founding, “Research first, Open Door and Practice-oriented Research and Education”.

Today, we are facing various social issues in agriculture and related fields, such as the safety and stability of food production, conservation of the global environment and development of new forms of bioenergy. On the other hand, some of developed countries face decrease in population and its aging, which causes low efficiency of agriculture from the industrial and economical viewpoints. Among these issues, as a global community we must develop the capacity to sustainably feed the ten billion human inhabitants who will be living on our planet in the middle of this century. Safe and sustainable food production world-wide is essential for a healthy future. Thus, it is necessary to establish a balanced food supply compatible with maintaining the Earth’s natural ecosystems. Additionally, information technology is drastically transforming our society and industries including agriculture into the connected system, which will make agriculture highly efficient and sustainable.

To achieve these aims, we promote an advanced research approach that combines bioscience and agricultural economics. We also aim to create a biological production system that takes advantage of naturally available resources, and to develop such a system in harmony with nature. Our Faculty and Graduate School cover a wide range of academic subjects, from molecular biology to agro-ecology, and from pure chemistry to social sciences and applied technology. The Faculty has six Departments (Plant Science, Animal Science, Marine Biology, Resource Environmental Economics, Biological Chemistry and Life Chemistry); and the Graduate School has three Divisions (Biological Resource Sciences, Life Sciences and Bioscience and Biotechnology for Future Bioindustries). We also have a Field Science Center, consisting of an Integrated Terrestrial Field Station and Integrated Marine Station. The Field Science Center includes the largest experimental farm in Japan, whose area (2215 ha) accounts for 85% of the total land area occupied by Tohoku University.

The year, 2017, is the 70th anniversary of the founding of our Faculty. We have just relocated to the beautiful Aobayama New Campus from the aging Amamiya Campus, which was the headquarters of this Faculty for the last 65 years. When you alight from the East-West line of Sendai Subway at Aobayama station, leave from the south exit and head out into the natural beauty of the new campus, down the Campus Mall to the Agricultural Research and Administration Facility and Aobayama Commons (a building housing the lecture theatres, library facilities and restaurant). As one of the major research and teaching faculties of Tohoku University, our new start at this new campus brings us alongside the Faculties of Science, Pharmacy and Technology, which leads to cross-disciplinary research and education. We welcome you to join us in our flexible approach to, and high ambitions for, both education and research in the agricultural sciences.