Almost one year after Muographers 2018 General Assembly at the Italian Institute of Culture (IIC) in Tokyo, muographers returned to IIC to present topics in muography during the 31st General Assembly of the Italy Japan Business Group (IJBG).
IJBG is an organization that hosts events in Italy and Japan which focus on fostering improved business, scientific, cultural and diplomatic opportunities between these 2 countries. Participants included Akira Amari (Chairman of Japan-Italy Parliamentary Friendship Association), Shuji Miyamoto (Parlimentary Vice-Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, METI), H. E. Keiichi Katakami (the Ambassador of Japan to Italy) and H. E. Giorgio Starace (the Ambassador of Italy to Japan). The event lasted 3 days and included an Institutional and Political session and 4 Panel sessions.
There were 3 presentations on international scientific themes during the “Digital Economy” session; Dr. Osvaldo Catalano and Dr. Hiroyuki Tanaka presented muography projects and Dr. Massimo Cappi discussed astrophysics projects. Some of the other topics covered in this session were digital currency (Koh Yang, Mizuho Financial Group), performance/functionality vs. aesthetics/design (Andrea Boragno, Alcantara S.p.A), automated techniques to monitor safety conditions (Kensuke Kitani, SHIMABUN Corp.), Green renewable energies (Simone Bongiovanni, Studio Torta), and digitalised train systems (Nobuaki Mizuguichi, Hitachi).
Dr. Cappi from the Institute of Astrophysics, Italy (INAF) discussed Japanese and Italian space program and satellite program cooperation, particularly between INAF and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) and discussed examples of INAF’s cooperative programs with Japanese universities including the Nagoya University, Tohoku University, Osaka University, RIKEN and UTokyo.
UTokyo (Earthquake Research Institute) and INAF signed an academic agreement at the embassy of Italy in 2016 and Dr. Catalano (INAF) gave the next presentation of the session about the progress of the project that was one of the results of this collaboration. An INAF astrophysical telescope has been adapted to the use of muography in order to image the volcano Mt. Etna concurrently with the Universty of Catalina’s muography detector. He discussed the basic principles of muography and this new muography detector prototype which has just received funding by INAF for the next 3 years. Thus far, of the in Japan 5 volcanoes (out of 56 total volcanoes) have been imaged with muography and in Italy 2 volcanoes (out of 10 total volcanoes) have been imaged with muography.
Dr. Tanaka discussed how academic agreements, diplomatic events, and cultural ties play a role in tangible research results. He stressed connections between Italian and Japanese muography research, the sister cities of Naples and Kagoshima (the volcanoes Vesuvius and Sakurajima have both been imaged with muography). academic agreements with Italian institutes and organizations as well as the success of the Muographia exhibit which spawned the Virtual Muography Institute. More recently, the muography concert (a collaboration with Italian composer Federico Iacobucci) had its premier at IIC on December 1, 2018 and in January 2019 there will be a second performance in Osaka.