18 June 2018

The 2018 Philipp Franz von Siebold Award winner

Kanako Takayama

The legal scholar Kanako Takayama is one of Japan's most respected law experts. She is recognised as a pioneer in research on international and European criminal law.

Takayama is being honoured for her services in fostering German-Japanese relations in the field of legal studies. Her dedication to inspiring and mobilising young people is outstanding: she succeeds in getting young lawyers in Japan interested in German law and organising them in a German law forum for young scholars. Her international reputation attracts doctoral students from throughout the entire Asian region to her faculty.

Preisverleihung Philipp Franz von Siebold-Preis 2018
From left to right: Kanako Takayama, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier
(Photo: Humboldt Foundation/David Ausserhofer)

Kanako Takayama has been a full professor at the Faculty of Law at Kyoto University in Japan since 2005. After studying law at the University of Tokyo, she began her professional career there as a research assistant in 1993. She then became a lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Seijo University, in 1996. She was subsequently granted a Humboldt research fellowship which took her to the University of Cologne where she worked as a visiting scholar from 1998-2000. Following this she was an associate professor at the Faculty of Law at Seijo University before switching to Kyoto University in 2002.

In addition to conducting research, Kanako Takayama is also involved in social matters. She supports women's rights and has repeatedly taken a public stand on current affairs in Japan, such as in her capacity as an expert in connection with the drafting of guidelines for stem cell research or against child pornography. 
In 2006 she received the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2017 she became the youngest scholar in the field of the humanities and social sciences to be appointed to the Science Council of Japan to date. In addition, she is the first and only woman to serve on the Executive Board of the Criminal Law Society of Japan.

The Philipp Franz von Siebold Award

The Philipp Franz von Siebold Award was established in 1978 by Germany’s then Federal President Walter Scheel during a state visit to Japan. It is presented every year to a Japanese researcher or academic in recognition of outstanding contributions to improving a mutual understanding of culture and society in Germany and Japan. The award is valued at €50,000.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Every year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables more than 2,000 researchers from all over the world to spend time researching in Germany. The Foundation maintains a network of well over 28,000 Humboldtians from all disciplines in more than 140 countries worldwide – including 55 Nobel Prize winners.

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