It is a great honor for me to lead the Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies (EASTS) as its new president. I would like to recognize the great efforts of the past presidents, Professor Nakamura and Professor Cal, in the first 10 years of the Society’s existence and I would exert my best efforts for its development.
In 1992, when I was visiting professor at the University of the Philippines for the establishment of the National Center for Transportation Studies (NCTS), Professor Nakamura told me before my departure to establish an Asian society in transportation. I replied that I have to work first for the Philippines and it would be a very big task. At that time, I discussed with Professor Cal and established the Transportation Science Society of the Philippines (TSSP) and visited Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Singapore and discussed with many key persons regarding the establishment of the society. They had supported the proposal and thereafter, EASTS was founded in 1994 and had grown in the past 10 years.
An organization loses its momentum in expansion and energy after 10 years, and it usually starts to face problems and difficulties. There is a need to set new targets and be always reminded that the main principles of the Society are to increase and upgrade research activities, improve transport systems in the region and promote collaboration of young experts in the region beyond university and country. For my generation, collaboration was successful. The research output was good and the field of research had expanded but I feel that the collaboration is still not enough.
There is still a need for increased level of research activities and collaborative research among members from different countries in the region. I envision the Society to expand to include more countries in the Eastern Asia region as well as to invite transportation-related industries to support the Society as corporate members.