Dr. Mutsuo Iwamoto is the Councilor Executive of the Japan Association for Techno-innovation in Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (JATAFF), formerly Society for the Techno-innovation of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (STAFF). STAFF was established in 1989 as a nongovernment organization to promote and coordinate R&D for advanced technology that has potential for techno-innovation for agriculture-related industries. The research institute under STAFF played an important role in the success of the rice genome coding project conducted by the International Rice Genome Consortium and supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF).
Dr. Iwamoto was president of the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) from 2003 to 2005. He had previously served as director general of the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Research Council (AFFRC) Secretariat under the jurisdiction of MAFF in Tokyo from 2001 to 2003; as research councilor at the AFFRC Secretariat; and as director general of the Tokai Regional Agricultural Administration from 1999 to 2001.
He started his academic career at the Department of Agricultural Process Engineering in Kyushu University, where he obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. After working as a research associate, he joined the National Food Research Institute in 1973 and worked in technology development for quality control of food and agricultural products in postharvest. After serving as director of food engineering of the Institute from 1989 to 1993, he moved to MAFF headquarters to take over planning and management of R&D programs, and for personnel management at the AFFRC Secretariat.
Dr. Iwamoto’s major research subjects are on diverse areas related to food technology, specifically in the development of non-destructive measuring methods for food quality in general. As a pioneer of near-infrared spectroscopy in Japan, he made great contributions to the field, earning him various awards including the internationally recognized Thomas Hirschfeld Award.