It has been more than a year since the start of the Nanophoton email newsletter. “Satoshi Kawata, the chairman of the board of directors of Nanophoton, asked me, “Why don’t someone interview the editor-in-chief of the newsletter for the first anniversary project? Satoshi Kawata, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nanophoton, asked me if I would like to interview the editor-in-chief of the newsletter. The interviewer was Mr. Hiroaki Minoura, a sales GM with a liberal arts background who “writes the best reports” (according to Chairman Kawata). (Email Newsletter editor-in-chief/freelance writer Takeshi Nemoto)
Minoura GM Tell me about your background.
Nemoto I now live in Hyogo Prefecture, but I was born in Kanagawa Prefecture. I grew up in Atsugi City, Kanagawa Prefecture, and entered Kyoto University, which gave me a connection to the Kansai region. I went on to graduate school, but dropped out in the middle of my doctoral course and joined the Mainichi Newspapers.
Minoura You’re a newspaper reporter and you’re a science major?
Nemoto That’s right. I majored in biophysics and did experiments dealing with DNA and proteins. I joined the Mainichi Newspapers in 1997 and was initially assigned to Tsukuba City in Ibaraki Prefecture. I also covered research in Tsukuba Science City.
Nemoto After a total of five years in Ibaraki Prefecture, I was transferred to the Osaka head office, where I mainly worked in the Science and Environment Department, covering science, medicine, nuclear power plants, disasters, etc. After 23 years as a reporter, I took advantage of the company’s early retirement program to leave the company in March last year, and I am now working freelance as a writer.
Minoura We are working together at Nanophoton. How did you come to work with us?
Nemoto I had gotten to know Chairman Kawata when I was a reporter. As I recall, the STAP cell fiasco in 2014 was the trigger. After that, I was able to participate in the “Heisei Koan no Kai” , which is led by Chairman Kawata and is a group of researchers, journalists, and other people in various positions who get together once every six months for discussions.
Nemoto When I told Chairman Kawata that I was going to retire early, he asked me if I would like to work for Nanophoton. At that time, Nanophoton was working on improving its website, so I think the timing was just right.
Minoura You have interviewed a variety of employees. What do you keep in mind when you conduct interviews?
Nemoto I would like to find out who this employee is, what their background is, why they are at Nanophoton, and what they are doing at Nanophoton. I would like to find out what they enjoy and what they find challenging in their daily work.
Minoura What kind of company is Nanophoton from an outsider’s point of view?
Nemoto As Chairman Kawata has said, this is a company of scientists, and perhaps because many of us have PhDs or science degrees, I have the image of a company with the atmosphere of a university laboratory. I think my intellectual curiosity would be satisfied and I would enjoy working there. Also, as some of the employees said, I like the company’s culture of being able to work in small groups.
Minoura Has your image of nanophotons changed from before you started the newsletter to now?
Nemoto It has changed. I now have a more concrete image of the project. Before I started, I only had a vague idea that they were making microscopes using the latest technology, but after interviewing many people, my image became clearer.
Nemoto When I learned specifically about the excellent aspects of the system, such as being able to see things that I couldn’t see, or being able to look at samples without destroying them, I wanted to actually measure things around me. This is where the project we call “free research for adults” was born. I wondered how plastic packaging, which I heard has a multilayered structure, would look under a Raman microscope, because I knew more about Raman microscopy. Until then, I had no idea of measuring things around us.
Minoura Are there any projects that you would like to work on in the future?
Nemoto I hope to delve into nanophotons to the fullest and write a story-like history of nanophotons. Chairman Kawata said that this new corona disaster is the seventh crisis, but I heard that it is the story of each crisis. ……
Minoura One last question. What do you hope Nanophoton will be like in the future?
Nemoto I would like to see it become more widely known in the world. I would like to be able to help make that happen.
Minoura Thank you very much.