The 13th JASTJ Awards Given to winners on May 10, 2018

  The 13th JASTJ Awards were presented to the winners on May 10 at the Press Center Building in Tokyo.

  The 2018 Grand Prize was awarded to the investigation team of Shinano Mainichi Shimbun Company, a daily local newspaper publisher based in Nagano prefecture, for their serial articles,つながりなおす依存症社会 (translation: Addiction and Reconnecting with Society). They conducted exhaustive interviews with people who were currently suffering or previously having suffered from drug, gambling, alcohol addiction and other related issues. Their findings brought the serious problems of modern society to the surface.

  In addition to the Grand Prize, three JASTJ Prizes and one Special Prize were awarded.

  Entries numbered 92 in total: 5 from newspapers, 55 books and magazine articles, 25 visual works, and 7 exhibitions and web works. After 14 entries were selected at the primary screening, each of the winners was chosen by the final selection committee.

  About 100 attended the awarding ceremony, celebrating the winners over nice dishes and drinks.


2018 JASTJ Awards Winners

【 JASTJ Grand Prize 】

つながりなおす依存症社会 (translation: Addiction and Reconnecting with Society)

  A series of articles published on the Shinano Mainichi Shimbun(*) from January 3rd to June 9th in 2017, written by the reporters of investigation team led by Kee Komatsu.

Reason for award:

  Some people cross the line of addiction, without clear awareness, with drugs, gambling, alcohol and others. The reporters interviewed people and their families, who were suffering, or had suffered, from problems associated with addiction. This series of articles has given insights into the human and the society.

(*) The newspaper is distributed to more than half households in Nagano prefecture and its circulation is approximately 470,000 copies per day.



【 JASTJ Prize 】 (three, in no particular order)

Book: おクジラさま ふたつの正義の物語 (translation: Whales:  Story of Two Principles of Justice), by Megumi Sasaki (published by Shueisha).

Reason for award:

  Whaling and dolphin fishing are controversial topics in today’s world. In particular, Japan’s whaling and dolphin fishing practices have been internationally criticized. The author researched historical background and cultural differences among people who conduct whaling and dolphin fishing, and, the people who try to stop such practices. Sasaki interviewed fishermen and the members of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and many other stakeholders. The book is based on the movie Sasaki produced, which took many years and tremendous efforts.


Book: 我々はなぜ我々だけなのか アジアから消えた多様な『人類』たち(translation: Why Are We Alone? – Human Species that Disappeared from Asia), by Hiroto Kawabata (published by Koudansha).

Reason for award:

  As new discoveries continue, the author introduces the mystery of evolution of various Asian-origin species, based on fossil evidence. Kawabata spent much time with scientists team in the field, including fossil excavation. This book is full of intellectual excitement.

Dr. Yosuke Kaifu of National Museum of Nature and Science (left) and Mr. Hiroto Kawabata, the winner.


TV program: 中国“再エネ”が日本を飲み込む!? (translation: Will China’s Renewable Energy Businesses Engulf Japan!?), by Yasuyuki Ambe, Takayoshi Aizawa, Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), aired on December 4, 2017.

Reason for award:

  The producer and the team tackled the topic of China’s move to enter Japanese renewable energy market. They filmed a documentary covering several interviews with Chinese business people visiting Japan for inspections where they plan to build energy plants, also with their Japanese counterparts. This program made Japan realize being fallen far behind from the renewable energy global trend and rethink Japan’s energy policy.


【 JASTJ Special Prize 】

Exhibition: 世界一小さな科学館「理科ハウス」(translation: The Smallest Science Museum in the World, “LiCaHOUSe”)  by Yumiko Mori.

Reason for  award:

  Yumiko Mori made a unique, handmade science museum in the residential area of Zushi city in Kanagawa prefecture. Entrance fee is only one dollar for adults and free for kids! In this museum, everyday parts of a “home”, such as staircase or toilet, are modified to show unique design approaches. The goal is to make science interesting, and give opportunities to local residents to enjoy science. The museum also hopes to nurture children’s curiosity toward science.

Ms.Yumiko Mori, the winner (right) and Ms.Azumi Yamaura, the specialist in a museum.