Yoshino Expresses Joy over Winning of Nobel Prize

Science Society Technology

Tokyo, Oct. 9 (Jiji Press)--Japanese researcher Akira Yoshino, one of the three laureates of this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry, expressed joy on Wednesday over his winning of the prestigious award.

Lithium-ion batteries "were born and raised with the information technology revolution, an incredibly huge wage of innovation," Yoshino, honorary fellow of major Japanese chemical maker Asahi Kasei Corp. <3407>, said at a press conference in Tokyo. "I think I'm happy."

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the same day Yoshino, 71, and two other scientists--John B. Goodenough, 97, of University of Texas and M. Stanley Whittingham, 77, of Binghamton University, State University of New York--are the winners of the 2019 chemistry prize, for their contributions to the development of lithium-ion batteries.

Sales of lithium-ion batteries were extremely low in the first three years after they were developed, and the period was tough both physically and mentally, the Japanese chemist recalled. "But sales suddenly started to shoot up in 1995, when the IT revolution began."

Lithium-ion batteries were used in mobile phones, helping promote the devices across the globe. Still, Yoshino himself did not like a mobile phone and had refused to have it until he started to use a smartphone five years ago.

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Jiji Press