Histrory of the Vacuum Society of Japan

Masatoshi Ono

In May 1958, the "Shinku Kyokai" (Vacuum Society) was organised by unification of the Research Committee on Vacuum Technology and the Vacuum Equipment Society. The former started in 1950 for publishing a journal named "Shinku Gijutu"(Vacuum Technology) and for having meetings on scientific and technological presentations. The latter was formed in 1954 to promote development and standardization of vacuum equipment.

The Society was renamed "Nihon Shinku Kyokai" (The Vacuum Society of Japan) in February 1971 during preparations for hosting the IUVSTA Congress held in Kyoto in March 1974.

Five Divisions and the Kansai (the district including Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe) Branch of VSJ are under the control of the board of directors, headed by the President and Vice Presidents, and assisted by an Advisory Committee. At present (September 2003) the organization is actively serving 1,255 individual members and 192 corporate members.

The Research Division had the first Annual Conference of the Society in the fall of 1960, and the first summer school on vacuum technology in 1961. At the Conference in November 1999, 81 papers were presented. The Kumagai Vacuum Science Award and the Kumagai Vacuum Technology Award, named after the distinguished past president, Professor H. Kumagai, are given for achievements of the members, and also the Vacuum Progress Award is presented to young researchers during the Conference. This division also played a main role in preparation of the Yokohama Congress of IUVSTA in 1995. In September 1999, the VSJ hosted the first Vacuum and Surface Sciences Conference of Asia and Australia (VASSCAA) held in Tokyo, in cooperation with the Vacuum Society of Australia, Korean Vacuum Society, Indian Vacuum Society, and Chinese Vacuum Society.

VSJ conducts a symposium on vacuum science and technologies twice a year and a forum for surface science jointly with the Surface Science Society of Japan. VSJ joins also the vacuum session of the Annual Spring Symposium of the Japan Society of Applied Physics.

Although the scope of the Research Division is almost the same as IUVSTA, the Sputtering and Plasma Processes Division was formed in 1999 to enhance activities in the field and to organize the biennial International Symposium on Sputtering and Plasma Processes.

The Editorial Division started monthly publication of a journal named "Shinku" (Vacuum) in 1958. Titles, abstracts and figure captions of the papers in the journal are written in English. Currently each issue of the journal contains about 60 pages and over 5,000 copies are printed for distribution.

The Standards Division is responsible for establishing and revising a part of the Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) related to vacuum technologies, including terminology, measurement and equipment.

The Industry Division was formed in 1973, and gave birth to the Japan Vacuum Industry Association (JVIA) in 1985 and serves corporate members by holding lecture-meetings on vacuum technology and arranging visits to related laboratories and factories. VSJ also cooperates with JVIA to hold an annual Japan Vacuum Show or an International Vacuum Exhibition.

The Kansai Branch conducts the annual Conference of VSJ every other year, and convenes forums and an annual summer school of its own on vacuum technology.