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BY WALKER L. CISLER
GORO INOUYE, elected in 1977 as a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Engineering, died in Tokyo on November 18, 1981, at the age of eighty-two. He was an internationally known and highly respected Japanese electric ...
GORO INOUYE, elected in 1977 as a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Engineering, died in Tokyo on November 18, 1981, at the age of eighty-two. He was an internationally known and highly respected Japanese electric power engineer and executive. He had been Chairman of the Japanese National Committee of the World Energy Conference and, at the time of his death, was Honorary Vice-Chairman of the International Executive Council of the World Energy Conference. He was tireless in his efforts to improve the standard of living not only of the Japanese, but of peoples of all the world through the efficient generation of electric power and its effective application and use.
Goro Inouye was born on August 16, 1899, in Tokyo, Japan. He received a degree in electrical engineering, graduating from the Faculty of Technology at the Imperial University of Tokyo in 1923. He then joined the Toho Electric Power Company, predecessor of the present Chubu Electric Power Company, Inc., in Nagoya. He became President in 1951 and was Chairman of the Board from 1961 to 1967. Among many other assignments related to the field of electric power, he became Vice-President of the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan, President of the Japan Electric Association, and President of the Chubu Economic Federation of Nagoya.
He was instrumental in the development of a 500-kilovolt high voltage transmission system and facilities in the Nagoya area, in the development of the Hatshagi pump storage plant, including one of the largest hollow gravity dams in the Far East, and in the 30-electrical-megawatt gas turbine power supply in the Japanese system. He was a pioneer in Japan in research and development of the fast breeder reactor, advanced test reactor and in nuclear fuel cycle technology. He contributed greatly to international cooperation by his participation in consummating agreements on fast reactors between the Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (PNC) and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (1969), Gesellschaft fur Kernforschung (1971), the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) (1970), and also with Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL) on heavy-water reactors (1971).
His close relationship with the World Energy Conference began in 1962 when he visited Melbourne as the leader of the Japanese Delegation to the Sixth World Power Conference to propose having a sectional meeting of the conference in Japan in 1966. In the next ten years he was very active internationally in energy and economic fields. In 1964 he was appointed Vice-Chairman of the International Executive Council of the World Energy Conference in recognition of his responsibilities as Chairman of the Japanese National Committee. The Tokyo Sectional Meeting in 1966, over which he presided, was considered a great success. After that meeting, he took part in organizing another world event, the 1970 World Exposition in Osaka, Japan, which also was most successful. He served as Vice Chairman of the Japan Association for the 1970 Exposition. After having served two successive terms of six years as Vice-Chairman of the International Executive Council of the World Energy Conference, he became Honorary Vice-Chairman in 1970.
Mr. Inouye received many special honors. In 1956 the Japanese Government presented him the Blue Ribbon Medal. In 1969 the Emperor of Japan presented him with the First Class Order of the Sacred Treasure. In 1970 he became an officer of the French Legion d'Honneur, and in 1979 the Emperor of Japan awarded him the First Class Order of the Rising Sun.
The diversity of his interests is exemplified by the positions that he held, among them the following:
President, Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan
Trustee, Thomas Alva Edison Foundation
Vice-Chairman, Japan Science Foundation
Director, Overseas Technical Cooperation Agency
President, Japan Meteorological Association
Director, Japanese National Committee on Large Dams
Director, Japan Atomic Industrial Forum
Director, Chubu Nippon Broadcasting Co., Ltd.
He was truly a man for all seasons! But, perhaps most remarkable of all was the versatility in engineering capabilities exhibited by Mr. Inouye when, relatively late in life, he recognized the great advantage to Japan that nuclear energy offered to an energy-poor country. He became most knowledgeable in the new technology and led his country to an advanced position in nuclear power production. He retired as Chairman of the Board of Chubu Electric Power Company in 1976. He had been appointed President of the Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation by the Japanese Government and held the office until 1972 when he was appointed Acting Chairman of the Japanese Atomic Energy Committee. He held this position until he resigned in November 1978.
Gora Inouye was a gifted leader and exceptional technological counsellor, and his contributions to the improvement of the daily lives of people everywhere will leave a goal to be sought by all of us. He was a man of deep human instinct. His energetic encouragement of international cooperation and goodwill should serve as an inspiration to achieve understanding and to promote a spirit of helpfulness among all nations.