August 22nd, 2016

 MEXT, through the Japan Science and Technology Agency, continues to assist youth participation in international science and technology competitions. MEXT has received notice that Japanese students who participated in the 13th International Geography Olympiad (iGeo) hosted by Beijing, China have won silver and bronze medals.

 (Joint press release by Japan Committee for International Geography Olympiad)

1. Medals received

 2 silver medals, 1 bronze medal

2. Participants

 4 senior high school students

3. List of Medalists

Keisuke Otsuru Age 18, 3rd year student at Shibuya Makuhari Senior High School, Chiba Prefecture Silver
Keisuke Matsufuji Age 17, 3rd year student at Shuyukan Senior High School, Fukuoka Prefecture Silver
Go Sato Age 18, 3rd year student at the Senior High School at Otsuka, University of Tsukuba, Tokyo Bronze
(The above are the participants’ ages as of the end of the competition.)
*Go Sato won the silver medal at the 2015 International Geography Olympiad.
*In addition to the individual medalists listed, the 4 Japanese students who participated this year managed to win the poster prize in the poster presentation competition. In the competition, teams from the different participating countries and regions compete against one another. All the teams are given a common theme dealing with geography. They have to deliver a poster presentation that features maps and charts that tie into the theme. Of the 44 countries and regions that participated in this year’s competition, only 4 were awarded the poster prize.

4. Number of Participants / Countries

 172 participants from 44 countries and regions

5. Place / Term

 Beijing, China (August 16th - 22nd, 2016)

6. Dispatch Organization

 The Japan Committee for the International Geography Olympiad


◆ General Information on the International Earth Science Olympiad

  • The International Geography Olympiad (iGeo) traces its roots to the Baltic Sea Region Geography Olympiad in 1965 organized by Estonian university students. The first International Geography Olympiad (iGeo) was held in The Hague, Netherlands in 1996.
  • The 2016 Beijing iGeo marks the 13th competition.
  • Japan started participating in the iGeo from 2008, sending 4 participants annually thereafter. This is Japan’s 7th time participating.
  • Japan commenced its participation in the International Geography Olympiad in 2008. Since then, the nation has sent four students annually. This year’s event marks the 7th. time that Japan has competed.
  • The Japanese team won its first gold medal at the 7th iGeo held in 2008 (Carthage, Tunisia), a bronze medal at the 8th iGeo in 2010 (suburb of Taipei, Taiwan), a bronze medal at the 9th iGeo in 2012 (Cologne, Germany), a silver and bronze medals at the 10th iGeo in 2013 (Kyoto, Japan), a silver medal at the 11th iGeo in 2014 (Krakow, Poland), and 3 silver and a bronze medals at the 12th iGeo in 2015 (Tver, Russia).
  • At this year’s competition, 172 people from 44 countries and regions participated. Japan won a total of 2 silver medals and a bronze medal.

◆ Japanese Results at the Past 3 International Geography Olympiads

  • 2013: 10th International Geography Olympiad, Kyoto, Japan:
     1 silver medal and 1 bronze medal (126 students from 32 countries and regions participated)
  • 2014: 11th International Geography Olympiad, Poland:
     1 bronze medal (144 students from 36 countries and regions participated)
  • 2015: 12th International Geography Olympiad, Tver, Russia:
     3 silver medals, 1 bronze medal (158 students from 40 countries and regions participated)

(Knowledge Infrastructure Policy Division , Science and Technology Policy Bureau)