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◆Greeting from CRN Director


The motto of CRN is "Children are our future," which was coined by the founder, Dr. Noboru Kobayashi.

While this may be hard to imagine in Japan where the birthrate is declining, children under 18 comprise one-third of the world's population at present. Children already account for a large proportion of the world's citizens today, and they will become the protagonists of tomorrow.

But children have very little say over their lives in the future; nor are they given a sufficient voice or adequate rights. Moreover, some children suffer abuse or neglect, or fall victim to exploitation or human trafficking.

There are many adults working for the benefit of these protagonists of the future in a wide range of fields. They are concerned with the sound development of mind and body, child care and early childhood education, social welfare, a safe environment, sports, the arts, and play. Each of these fields also presents a host of specific issues that need to be resolved. Creating a better future for children entails the cooperation of these people working in various fields across national borders.

Pierre Larousse published his French-language encyclopedic dictionary with the aim of providing correct knowledge to all people as a way of assuring the happiness of everyone. The cover features an illustration of a young woman blowing dandelion seeds with the words, "Je sème à tout vent" (I sow to all winds). This motto expresses the wish to spread knowledge far and wide, irrespective of ethnicity or religion.

Following the example of Larousse, CRN will continue to fulfill its mission of providing useful information to all those who work to make children's lives better.

Yoichi Sakakihara,
Director, Child Research Net (CRN)

◆Greeting from CRN Honorary Director


The concept of Child Research Net (CRN) all started in May 1992 at the international conference, "Children at Risk," held in Bergen by the Norwegian Centre for Child Research. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Ellen Key, a great thinker and educator, had called for making it the "Century of the Child," but unfortunately her aim had not yet been realized. There were still children at risk throughout the world and the purpose of the conference was to consider the problem and possible initiatives.

After the conference about twenty of us from various countries got together to discuss what to do. And it was agreed that researchers and practitioners all over the world in the field of child research should be linked via the Internet to discuss and find solutions.

Children are born as "biological beings" and grow up as "social beings." I had been thinking since the 1970s that we needed to address children's issues by integrating the human sciences and natural sciences in an interdisciplinary manner - we needed "Child Science."

Responding to the interest in Child Science and international trends, CRN was established in 1996, with the support of Mr. Soichiro Fukutake, then President of Benesse Corporation and Dr. Takemochi Ishii, a close friend and classmate from the Tokyo University Medical School.

In 2013, CRN marked its seventeenth year. I announced the end of my tenure as of March 2013 due to advanced age and hereby passed the torch to Dr. Yoichi Sakakihara. Guided by Dr. Sakakihara's vision, we can expect CRN to become even more active and vigorous in the future. We hope that you will continue to extend your guidance and support to CRN. Thank you.

Noboru Kobayashi,
Honorary Director, Child Research Net (CRN)