Embassy of Japan
Conferral of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star upon Dr. Norman P. Neureiter, Senior Advisor for two Centers at the American Association for the advancement of Science (AAAS): the Center for Science Diplomacy and also the Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy, the latter of which he had previously served as Director for five years.
On November 3rd, 2010 the Government of Japan announced the foreign recipients of the 2010 Autumn Imperial Decorations. Among 58 recipients, Dr. Norman P. Neureiter received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star in recognition of his significant career contributions in promoting science and technology cooperation and exchange between Japan and the United States.
Dr. Neureiter first started working with Japan in 1963, when he joined the National Science Foundation (NSF) in their office of International Affairs. There he became the first permanent US program director of the US-Japan Cooperative Science Program. He was based in Washington and spent two months in Japan over two years. The program was managed by a Joint Committee chaired by Dr. Harry Kelly on the US side and Professor Kaneshige on the Japan side. It had been created at a White House dinner in 1961 in a toast by President John F. Kennedy on the occasion of a visit by Japanese Prime Minister Ikeda.
From 1989-1994 Dr. Neureiter lived in Tokyo and served as a Director of Texas Instruments Japan and Vice President of Texas Instruments Asia. It was during the difficult period of serious trade frictions over semiconductors between the US and Japan. In 1996 the issue was finally resolved peacefully in a broad agreement calling for cooperation among the world's semiconductor companies, with periodic meetings of representatives from each of the major regions of the world: US, Europe, Japan and Asia-Pacific.
Dr. Neureiter was asked in 1994 by OSTP to chair the U.S. side of an important advisory committee established under the U.S.-Japan Science Cooperation Agreement of 1988. The Committee was called the Joint High-level Advisory Panel (JHLAP) and it reported to OSTP in the U.S. and to the Council for Science and Technology Policy (CSTP) in Japan on the industry views concerning the cooperative projects.
From 1994-2000, he served as the US co-chair of the JHLAP. His Japanese counterpart was the Executive Member of CSTP, first Professor Wataru Mori and secondly Professor Hiroo Imura. There were 6-7 industrial scientists on each side of the Committee.
The JHLAP Committee had been established at a very sensitive time in U.S.-Japan trade relations, particularly in fields of high technology. The role on the Committee was to represent the views of major U.S.; industries working in or with Japan during that period and to discuss at the industry-industry level with Japanese counterparts the nature of these problems and to try to find solutions to them and so advise both governments. This effort was a significant contribution to the easing of trade frictions between the countries and also in preserving a good environment for S&T cooperation between U.S. and Japanese federal agencies and universities in a broad range of fields.
Furthermore, when U.S. President Clinton and the Prime Minister of Japan in 1999 agreed at a summit meeting that U.S. and Japanese scientists should work together on addressing global problems, particularly as they affected the developing world, Professor Imura and Dr. Neureiter were asked to lead a small group of scientists from each country in preparing a report for the two statesmen with concrete proposals for cooperative work in about ten specific areas.
In Dr. Neureiter’s work as the first S&T Adviser to the US Secretary of State (from 2000-2003), much of his time was spent inside the State Department working to assure that the scientific dimensions of foreign policy issues were fully considered in the decision-making process, since so many policy decisions did have scientific or technical aspects that required attention. He also succeeded in greatly increasing the number of professional scientists working in the State Department through the AAAS Policy Fellows program.
In 1998, the U.S. had dropped out of the ITER consortium of Russia, the EU, and Japan. In the Department of State as S&T Adviser to the Secretary he worked closely with the President’s Science Adviser Dr. Marburger, and with the responsible people from the Department of Energy to get the U.S. to rejoin the ITER consortium. (At that time India, South Korea and China were also talking about joining.). Once the presidential policy decision was taken, he continued to participate in the international policy meetings that took place to move the project forward until his term at the State Department ended in 2003. Without U.S. participation it is likely there would be no ITER project today.
It should be remembered that the terrorist attack of 9/11 occurred during this period and the U.S. spent considerable effort mobilizing its scientific resources for use in protecting critical infrastructure, in detecting and countering terrorist attacks, and securing U.S. borders and ports from imports of WMD devices--biological, chemical, nuclear or radiological. He worked with the President's Science Advisor, Dr. Marburger, to assure that "safe and secure society" was approved at a U.S.-Japan Joint High Level Committee meeting so that the two countries could begin to cooperate in these fields.
Dr. Neureiter’s present position at AAAS is Senior Advisor for two Centers: the Center for Science Diplomacy and also the Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy, the latter of which he had previously served as Director for five years.
Dr. Neureiter continues to be very interested in US-Japan relations and science cooperation and has attended the STS forum twice and tries to visit Japan at least once a year for professional visits and discussions, most recently about science diplomacy.