Hokkaido University Research Profiles


8. Decent Work and Economic Growth: 9

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  • 1. No Poverty
  • 2. Zero Hunger
  • 3. Good Health and Well-being
  • 4. Quality Education
  • 5. Gender Equality
  • 6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  • 7. Affordable and Clean Energy
  • 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • 10. Reduced Inequality
  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  • 13. Climate Action
  • 14. Life Below Water
  • 15. Life on Land
  • 16. Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
  • 17. Partnerships to achieve the Goal
  • MIRASAL, a Device for Visualizing the Freshness of and Best Timing for Eating Food Animals

    A device for evaluating the freshness of and the best timing for eating food animals to ensure safety and security

    In collaboration with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), we have developed a visualization device called MIRASAL to evaluate the freshness of and the best timing for eating food animals by using a simulation method to determine the concentration of degraded components in any part of a food animal (aquatic or livestock animal), which changes over the course of time after the animal has died.


    At the wholesale markets in fish and shellfish production and consumption areas, freshness is an important criterion in the determination of transaction prices, and the K value has been proposed as an evaluation index. However, since the K-value is calculated by sampling any part of a postmortem marine animal and analyzing the components after various pretreatments, real-time evaluation (understanding) at the distribution site is not possible. Aiming to solve this problem using an appropriate simulation method, we have developed a device that can evaluate the freshness and the best timing to eat fish and shellfish based on various information such as the type and size of the fish and shellfish, the elapsed time since death, and the storage temperature, using the method described above. We are currently working on the acquisition of the rights to the invention and for improvement of its portability (for use with smartphones, etc.). This device “MIRASAL” can also be applied to livestock animals such as beef, chicken, and pork.

  • Applied Research on Content Tourism

    International comparative study on the propagation and acceptance of culture through content tourism and its application to the planning of tourism town planning measures

    We are conducting an international comparative study of content tourism from the perspective of the propagation and reception of pop culture to clarify the role that such tourism plays in understanding others. The knowledge gained through this research is also returned to the fields of tourism and urban planning in the form of specific measures.


    Through this research, we are conducting an international joint research project on content tourism (the act of actually visiting a place that is given meaning by a “story” or “work” and its constituent elements, and experiencing the relevant content) with the following three objectives:
    First, we will clarify the role that such tourism plays in understanding others by rethinking content tourism from the perspective of the propagation and receipt of pop culture. Secondly, based on this, we will consider how to create a model exchange-oriented tourism town with content at its core. Thirdly, we will focus on the East Asian region, where Japan's geopolitical situation calls for international mutual understanding, and consider the possibilities and challenges that content tourism, triggered by Japanese content, has for Japan's cultural security.

  • Boundary Element Analysis Framework and Distributed H-matrix Method

    Realizing cutting-edge, large-scale, high-precision analysis

    We have developed a software framework for high-performance boundary element analysis in a parallel computing environment. We have also developed a distributed parallel H-matrix library, which is effective to accelerate a BEM analysis, and evaluated its performance on programs in various applications.


    In this study, we developed a parallel boundary element analysis framework as part of the JST CREST project on “Application Development and Execution Environment with Automatic Tuning Mechanism.” By using this framework, it is possible to develop boundary element analysis programs for large-scale parallel computing systems with a small programming cost. We also developed a library of H-matrices, which approximates dense matrices with less data using low-rank approximation. This library can be used for analysis of N-body problems in addition to boundary element analysis, and is already being used for earthquake simulation on supercomputers. There is no other H-matrix library that supports hybrid parallel processing utilizing multiple threads and processes, and this is a unique feature of this research.

    Takeshi Iwashita Professor
  • Cooperation and Value Creation in Community-based Workspaces

    Development process of coworking

    In recent years, working systems of individuals who do not necessarily have the same occupation or affiliation but interact and cooperate with each other according to the situation in organizations and local communities, as well as the workplaces that they share, have been attracting attention. This research is aimed to clarify the process of cooperation and value creation in such workplaces.


    The purpose of this study is to elucidate the process of cooperation and value creation in a community-type workspace. A community-type workspace is an open workspace where individuals share information and knowledge with other through communication, and create value through collaboration according to the situation. A coworking space is a typical example of such a place, and in recent years, it has been becoming more and more popular in Europe, the U.S., and the rest of the world. In the background, there is a movement of questioning the highly uniform interaction and cooperation among members in closed spaces, a system that is still dominant in organizations and local communities, and to achieve both individual autonomy and solidarity. This research is expected to provide knowledge that will contribute to the design and operation of such workspaces, as well as their organizational and social utilization, which are still largely unknown.

  • Economic Development of the Russian Far East and Far North Regions

    Exploring possibilities for collaboration with local governments and companies in Hokkaido

    We are conducting international joint research on the feasibility of sustainable economic development in the Far East and Far North regions of Russia. The problems faced by these regions have much in common with those of Hokkaido, and there are many points that can be helpful in considering Hokkaido's economic development.


    Russia's Far East and Far North regions share similarities with Hokkaido in that development has been driven by resource utilization and national defense needs. They are also similar in that the development of the manufacturing industry has lagged behind that of other regions in the country. The purpose of my research is to clarify what kind of sustainable economic development is possible in such a region. While performing quantitative and statistical economic analysis based on socioeconomic indicators myself, I am conducting this joint research through international and interdisciplinary collaboration with experts in geology, sociology, political science, international relations, environmental studies and other fields. Conducting field surveys with these experts also has great significance for this research. Since these regions are looking for ways to develop their economic relations with neighboring countries, it provides many potential business opportunities for Hokkaido.

  • Event Information Recommendation System

    A system that collects data from a few weeks before an event to the day of the event and recommends appropriate event information.

    Although event information was only valid for a short time and it was hard to handle it with conventional information recommendation technology, we have developed a flexible recommendation method by combining multiple factors such as user interest and geographic characteristics.


    The system estimates the genres and information sources that a user prefers based on the user’s past information browsing history, and assesses the event information that the target user is interested in by referring to the browsing trends of users with similar interests. It also takes into account the geographic characteristics of the user and finally presents the information to him/her. The timing of information distribution is adjusted throughout the system so that the overall system performance can be improved.

  • Quality Control in Crowdsourcing

    Highly accurate decision-making using people’s confidence rating

    We are conducting research to guarantee the quality of work results in crowdsourcing, which allows us to commission jobs to many people via the Internet. The use of workers’ confidence rating on the work results will be effective to ensure high-quality work results.


    With the advent of crowdsourcing services in recent years, it has become easy to commission jobs (tasks) to a large number of people via the Internet, and these services are being used in various fields of information science (image recognition, natural language processing, information retrieval, databases, etc.). In crowdsourcing, it is important to check the work quality because not all workers necessarily have the required skills and diligence to work on a task. We have proposed a method to ensure the work quality by asking workers to report their confidence (degree of conviction) in their work results. The technical feature of this method is that it does not trust the confidence rating reported by workers as it is, but performs statistical quality control assuming the existence of over- and under-confident workers.

  • Reorganization of Public Facilities in an Era of a 30% Population Decline

    Grand design of “Machi no Seitai” and living areas

    In Hokkaido, it is expected that more than a hundred villages will disappear in the near future. “Machi no Seitai” is an attempt to optimize the size of local cities in a broad sense, in view of the era of a 30% population decline, while focusing on the reorganization of public buildings that remain unused or underutilized in local regions.


    The town of Kamishihoro in Kato-gun, Hokkaido, like other municipalities in Hokkaido, is facing a rapid population decline: from 10,309 in 1965 to about half that number in 2010. It is estimated that the population will decline to 3,222 by 2040. In 2012, taking this situation into consideration, the city established 10 themes for the creation of a city with a population of 5,000; and the first of these was to create a grand design for the layout of public facilities.
    The reorganization of public facilities in urban municipalities is generally implemented to ease financial pressures by controlling the number of facilities. However, Kamishihoro Town has different challenges and objectives. We are exploring the question of that kind of affluent lifestyle that can be achieved in a small town with a population below 10,000, and the role of public facilities to this end.

  • Research on Internal Communication in Organizations

    Communication in risk and strategic systems

    I am interested in the risk communication that is formed within management organizations. Risk can be broadly classified into pure risk and dynamic risk, and I am examining how these elements shape communication within organizations and define individual and group behavior.


    The primary purpose of my research is to identify the unique communication phenomena that form within organizations. In my research on pure risk, I explored internal/external organizational public relations, especially as pertaining to product accidents and the internal risk communication in organizations handling hazardous materials. I believe that communication that is created/disturbed/diffused/structured within an organization and that has some kind of inherent meaning/value for the organization will lead to novel organizational strategies, and that is what characterizes my research and makes it unique. In this regard, I have recently been examining how social organizations (e.g., photography) are organized and the intentions of it.