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50th Anniversary

50th Anniversary

A 50th Anniversary Message from the KEK Director General


KEK was established in 1971 as the first inter-university research institute with the idea of establishing large-scale research facilities that would not be owned by a single university but would allow university researchers from all over the country to together use them and achieve results. KEK has been promoting the development of science in accordance with this concept for about 50 years – since its establishment. It can be said that the principle of "University Collaboration" has been the foundation of KEK's existence and has been the cornerstone of its history. Under this philosophy, KEK has contributed to the improvement of the level of research in Japan by carrying out academic research in many fields together with universities.

It may come as a surprise that particle accelerators have made a significant contribution to the recent remarkable development of science and technology in Japan. Particle accelerators, which accelerate electrons and protons, have provided an indispensable research tool for basic science research as well as for the understanding of materials science and life phenomena since their history began in the 1930s. Collaborations between Japanese and foreign researchers have produced important results that have deepened our understanding of subatomic particles, and research using synchrotron radiation and intense neutrons has led to cutting-edge results in the field of materials and life sciences.

Eighty years after their inception, accelerators are still playing a powerful role as a driving force behind the frontiers of new science and applied research, and they continue to make great strides in several important areas. In order for Japan to maintain a high level of science and technology, it is extremely important to establish guidelines for how to maintain and develop accelerator technology, for how to relate the results to science and technology, and to develop the organization and human resources for this purpose.

KEK's research has changed dramatically with the progress of large-scale research and internationalization. Society's demands on research institutions are also changing dramatically. The era of Japan's upwardly trending economic situation is long gone. Nevertheless, in the next half-century, KEK, together with universities, will be responsible for academic research in many fields and for contributing to the improvement of the level of research in Japan. KEK is at a major crossroad in terms of how it must change. With your support, KEK will continue to strive to be a research institute that plays a major role in the frontiers of science and technology in collaboration with university researchers.

Commemorative Projects

KEK will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2021.

Keep Accelerating

As an inter-university research organization, KEK has provided opportunities for domestic and international researchers to collaborate, developed cutting-edge research in accelerator science and related fields, and continued to explore the origin of the universe and the roots of matter and life since its establishment in 1971. We will continue to push forward with our research activities, aiming to "pursue the truth" through the free ideas of our researchers.

50th Anniversary Logo


Along with the catchphrase "Keep Accelerating" , the "0" in the number 50 represents the ring of an accelerator and the yellow circle represents the light from the collision of electrons and positrons as well as the glittering future.