Nobelist Yoshino Once Pushed to Edge of Giving Up Research

Science Society Technology

Tokyo, Dec. 11 (Jiji Press)--Japanese researcher Akira Yoshino was once pushed to the edge of giving up his research on lithium-ion batteries, for which he and two other scientists won this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

When Yoshino started his research on the batteries in 1981, he led a team of six including himself at Japanese chemical maker Asahi Kasei Corp. <3407>.

But the company soon reduced the team to four members. It planned to transfer the remaining researchers to other research projects if the team failed to produce results.

Yoshino, 71, now honorary fellow of Asahi Kasei, later confessed, "We only had half a year of life left."

According to Kenichi Sanechika, 64, who was a colleague of Yoshino at the time, Yoshino never talked about the time limit they faced even though the team was on the brink of dissolution.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press