JSS elects the President and Director-General every two years. They play important roles to support and develop activities of the JSS and help JSS contribute to enhance the discipline of statistics. Past Presidents and Directors-General were elected among statisticians as well as researchers in various related fields.
July 5, 2019
Shigeru Kawasaki (June 2019 – June 2021)
Professor, Nihon University.
Dear JSS Members,
It is my honor to be elected as the President of the Japan Statistical Society (JSS) for the term of 2019-2021. The JSS has a long history of promoting and contributing to the development of statistical science. I will promise to do my best to further the achievements of the predecessors with the support and close cooperation of Mr. Satoshi Yamashita, JSS Director-General, and other Board members.
In recent years, social expectations in statistical science are rising as essential knowledge and skills in the contemporary society. Almost ten years have already passed since Hal Varian, Chief Economist of Google, wrote that “the sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians” in 2009. More recently, it is quite often said that “information is the oil in the 21stcentury.” In many fields, “Evidence Based” practices are applied, such as Evidence Based Medicine and Evidence Based Policy Making. As these facts symbolize, statistical science bears essential roles in society more than ever before.
On the other hand, skepticism and criticisms about statistics sometimes arise in society. One notable example is the incident of errors in wage and salary statistics of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Labor that were disclosed in January this year. The Ministry failed to apply an appropriate formula for estimating the statistics since 2004 until 2017. As a result, the unemployment benefits linked to such statistics proved to be lower than the appropriate amount, and more than ten million past recipients of the benefits had to be compensated for the gap. This incident caused broad skepticism and distrust about official statistics at large among general public, and even about public administration. This single example very well shows us how deeply statistics are embedded in our society. It is necessary for statisticians to make sustained efforts to maintain public trust in statistics and statistical science and to respond to the high social expectations.
I am grateful to the past JSS Presidents, Directors-General, Board members and the JSS members for their contributions to in the development of statistics and statistical science as well as the JSS. To name a few, the JSS has been actively participating in the Japanese Federation of Statistical Science Associations (JFSSA) since its foundation. More recently, the JSS has been collaborating with the JFSSA in publishing the Japanese Journal of Statistics and Data Science (Springer) as the successor of the Journal of the Japan Statistical Society since 2018. There also have been remarkable developments for upgrading the quality of statistical education by the Special Committee of Statistical Education and the Examinations for the JSS Certificates. These and other efforts give impetus to the further development in statistical science. I will make every effort to promote the causes of the JSS by building on their achievements.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to ask for your support and cooperation in our efforts to maintain and strengthen the current momentum of statistical science and make it truly essential for society.
Satoshi Yamashita (June 2019 – June 2021)
Professor, The Institute of Statistical Mathematics.