Fast Retailing Chief Yanai to Donate 10 B. Yen for Nobelists

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Kyoto, June 24 (Jiji Press)--Tadashi Yanai, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Fast Retailing Co. <9983>, the operator of Uniqlo casual clothing stores, said Wednesday that he will donate 10 billion yen in total over 10 years to support research by two Japanese Nobel Prize laureates.

The two researchers are Kyoto University professors Shinya Yamanaka and Tasuku Honjo, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2012 and 2018, respectively.

Yamanaka plans to construct from 2021 a facility to create induced pluripotent stem, or iPS, cells for regenerative medicine. He hopes to put into practice around March 2025 a technology to offer iPS cells derived from patients themselves to prevent rejection for about 1 million yen. Currently, stockpiled iPS cells originating from third persons are used for treatment.

Of the total donations, 4.5 billion yen will finance the project while 500 million yen will be used for Yamanaka's research on the novel coronavirus using iPS cells, including the development of a vaccine.

Meanwhile, the remaining 5 billion yen will be used to for the "Yanai foundation," to be set up at the university to support research by Honjo, who developed cancer immunotherapy, and nurture young researchers. This comes as Honjo, who was brought up in Ube, Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan, asked for support from Yanai, who was born in the same city.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press