National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Asia-Pacific Regional IAU Meeting to Be Held in Japan in Summer 2023

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BIG PALETTE FUKUSHIMA, venue for the next APRIM meeting in 2023.

APRIM (Asia-Pacific Regional IAU Meeting), an international meeting of the IAU, will be held in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture in the summer of 2023. The announcement was made on May 26, 2021 at a meeting of the IAU subcommittee under the Committee for Physics, Science Council of Japan. This will be the third APRIM held in Japan following those held in 1984 and 2002.

Established in 1919, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is an international astronomical organization that brings together more than 14,000 professional astronomers from 82 countries and regions. The subcommittee on the IAU under the Committee for Physics, Science Council of Japan (hereafter called the “subcommittee”) acts as the Japanese liaison to the IAU.

Taking place once every three years, APRIM is one of the largest regional meeting of the IAU, where astronomers in the Asia-Pacific region gather to discuss common interests. Each meeting is attended by 500 to 1000 people, which makes it the second largest international meeting on astronomy after the IAU General Assembly. The first APRIM was held in New Zealand in 1978. Since then, the meeting was regularly held until the COVID-19 pandemic forced APRIM 2020 in Australia to be canceled.

Japan has hosted the meeting two times, the 1984 meeting in Kyoto and the 2002 meeting in Tokyo. Because there has been no APRIM held in Japan since 2002, the subcommittee continued discussion of the possibility of hosting the next APRIM in 2023. During this discussion, it was determined that the subcommittee chair would be responsible for the hosting, and that Fukushima Prefecture would be proposed as the venue, aiming to support the post-earthquake recovery.

To be selected as the venue for the next meeting, the proposal needed to go through the hosting competition, where members of the Scientific Organizing Committee (22 members from 17 countries) of APRIM 2020 reviewed every proposal, and then to be approved by the IAU Executive Committee. In April 2021, the subcommittee entered the competition with the cooperation of the proposed venue and with the support of astronomy-related organizations in Japan and educational institutions such as the University of Aizu and the College of Engineering of Nihon University (located in Koriyama).

After the review, Koriyama in Fukushima Prefecture was selected as the host venue for the next APRIM on April 21, 2021, and then following some adjustments, it was officially announced at the subcommittee meeting on May 26.

The next APRIM will be held at BIG PALETTE FUKUSHIMA, in Koriyama in the summer of 2023.

The opening ceremony of APRIM 2017 held in Taipei. (Credit: ASROC)

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