National

Nobel winner Akira Yoshino says time in Sweden 'passed in a flash'

Kyodo

Japanese scientist Akira Yoshino returned home on Sunday after receiving the Nobel Prize in chemistry at a ceremony in Sweden, saying his time there “passed in a flash.”

Suggesting he got a sense of fulfillment from his trip to Stockholm from Dec. 5, Yoshino, who won the prize for his contribution to the development of lithium-ion batteries, also said that he felt “relief” that it all went well.

During a news conference at Narita Airport near Tokyo, the 71-year-old honorary fellow at chemical company Asahi Kasei Corp. said children at a local school he visited to give a lecture were particularly impressive.

“I strongly felt their interest in environmental issues,” he said. “It is our responsibility to pave the way (for solving problems).”

He shared this year’s prize with U.S. scientist John Goodenough and Britain’s Stanley Whittingham.

Based on prior research by Goodenough and Whittingham, Yoshino, Japan’s 27th Nobel laureate, in 1985 created the first commercially viable lithium-ion batteries, lightweight rechargeable power sources currently used in a wide range of electronic devices, including smartphones and laptop computers.