About the Association

Japan Antibiotics Research Association
Former Japan Penicillin Research Association

Since its inception in August 1946, Japan Antibiotics Research Association (initially known as Japan Penicillin Research Association) has sought to promote, disseminate and raise awareness of basic research, clinical research, production technology and other research and development activities on antibiotics and related pharmaceuticals, beginning with the establishment of penicillin production technology and its proper clinical applications in Japan.

Pursuant to the laws related to the reform of public interest corporations, which went into force on 1 December 2008, the Association was registered as the Japan Antibiotics Research Association on 1 November 2011, following the Prime Minister’s approval of transition into a public interest corporation.

On that occasion, we also modified our articles of incorporation to clarify the Association’s objectives as follows, under our purpose of “delivering people from the threat of infectious diseases”:

  • In terms of diseases, our scope of work includes infectious diseases caused by all kinds of pathogens such as microbes and viruses;
  • In terms of pharmaceuticals, our scope of work includes drugs used for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the above-mentioned infectious diseases;
  • In terms of activities, our scope of work includes projects aimed at promoting research and development and disseminating proper use regarding the above-mentioned pharmaceuticals.

The Association is currently involved in the activities listed below, with the aim of helping to conquer infectious diseases, with the participation and sponsorship as special members of businesses committed to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases including through research, development, production, sale, and provision of information on the proper use of antibiotics and other anti-infective drugs.

Activities of the Association


International journal in English: The Journal of Antibiotics (issued on the 27th of every month)
Journal in Japanese: The Japanese Journal of Antibiotics (issued on the 25th of March, June, September and December)

Our English journal, with subscribers in over 40 countries including in Europe, America and Asia, publishes articles on leading basic research mainly related to bioactive substances generated by microorganisms including antibiotics.

Our Japanese journal features original articles, research bulletins and reviews on antibiotics and other anti-infective or bioactive substances, including susceptibility surveys and clinical research on antibiotics, supplemented by records of various sessions and lectures as appropriate.


Sumiki-Umezawa Memorial Award
Japan Antibiotics Research Association Encouragement Award

Sumiki-Umezawa Memorial Award is conferred on promising researchers or groups of researchers in recognition of outstanding research on bioactive substances including antibiotics.

Japan Antibiotics Research Association Encouragement Award is granted in support of junior researchers (under 40) who conduct eminent research mainly related to clinical subjects in the field of antibiotics and related pharmaceuticals.

The award winners are chosen by the selection committee from among the applicants or recommended candidates. The award ceremony is held annually in November.

3.Scientific lectures

Scientific lectures are organized from time to time for special member companies and other experts related to the Association on selected topics that are useful for the research & development and proper use of anti-infective drugs, such as recent developments in research & development and technology pertaining to pharmaceuticals, and recent trends in pharmaceutical regulations and other matters related to medical care.


Study groups are formed as appropriate regarding specific issues for the research & development and proper use of antibiotics and other anti-infective drugs by special member companies and related experts facing common problems including for information exchange and cooperation in surveys.

We also serve as an intermediary between special members to facilitate research, including by ensuring the exchange and distribution among special members of antibiotics and other anti-infective drugs in the form of bulk powder for research purposes.

In addition, referencing and making copies of the books, publications and other materials held by the Association is possible upon request.

Brief history

August 1946
Japan Penicillin Research Association established.
April 1947
Initial issue of Journal of Penicillin, our official journal.
May 1947
Japan Penicillin Research Association authorized as an incorporated foundation.
October 1948
Official journal renamed Journal of Antibiotics.
January 1951
Renamed Japan Antibiotics Research Association.
January 1953
Initial issue of the English journal (Ser. A), separate from the Japanese journal (Ser. B).
October 1967
Decision on the internationalization of the English journal. First International Editorial Board meeting.
January 1968: Issue of The Journal of Antibiotics as an international journal in English starting with Vol. 21, No. 1. The Japanese journal renamed The Japanese Journal of Antibiotics.
December 1971
Antibiotics Hall completed (Kamiosaki, Shinagawa Ward; present office).
November 1987
First Sumiki-Umezawa Memorial Award ceremony.
May 1996
Ceremony to mark 50th anniversary of Japan Antibiotics Research Association.
November 1999
First Japan Antibiotics Research Association Encouragement Award ceremony.
June 2006
Ceremony to mark 60th anniversary of Japan Antibiotics Research Association.
March 2008
Launch of a publication partnership between The Journal of Antibiotics and Nature K.K.
November 2011
Authorized as a public interest corporation.
April 2012
JA Medal established (renamed JA Ōmura Award in 2017).
November 2016
Ceremony to mark 70th anniversary of Japan Antibiotics Research Association.
September 2019
Japanese Penicillin Ampule was registered as No.276 Essential Historical Material for Science and Technology (MIRAI Technology Heritage) by The National Museum of Nature and Science.
March 2024
Japanese Penicillin Ampule was registered as No. 065 Chemical heritage by The Chemical Society of Japan.

Past Presidents

(Year of appointment)
August 1946
Minoru Katsumata
August 1947
Rokuzo Kobayashi
June 1955
Saburo Kojima
January 1963
Yusuke Sumiki
May 1970
Hamao Umezawa
March 1987
Kenji Maeda
May 1993
Kihachiro Shimizu
May 2004
Masanao Shimizu
April 2007
Jingoro Shimada
May 2011
Yoshinobu Sumiyama
May 2017
Satoshi Iwata