Mitsubishi Research Institute Releases 2020 Edition of Listings of Societal Issues


Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc.

TOKYO, December 22, 2020 – The Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc. (MRI) today released the 2020 edition of Resolving Societal Issues through Innovation - Listings of Societal Issues in English. This annual publication highlights the issues Japan faces such as aging society and natural disasters and their international implication including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  This edition reflects recent changes in the social environment and challenges such as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, advancement of leading-edge technologies, and the regulatory environment.
The Innovation Network for Co-creating the Future (INCF)(, a platform for collaboration among the industry, academia, governments and civil society, facilitated by MRI compiled this publication as part of its ongoing efforts to tackle pressing societal issues through entrepreneurial innovation. This marks its fourth edition.

The COVID-19 has impacted all the six focus areas of wellness; water and food; energy and environment; mobility; disaster prevention and infrastructure, and education and human resource development. In wellness, online medical consultations are expanding, and the use of new technologies including AI and big data is advancing. Social distancing and “stay-at-home” have limited physical activities and travelling opportunities, potentially resulting in declined mental and physical functionality.

In the past editions, the Listings mainly focused on pain points, or the challenges. This edition introduced new perspectives based on an idealized future society and the pursuit of new affluence. For example, various enterprises participated in SPACE FOODSPHERE, an initiative organized through industry-government-academia collaboration. The initiative develops food production technology, such as a highly efficient food production plant, a bioreactor for food, and augmented ecology to improve quality of life through meal solutions.

The publication emphasizes the positive impacts and new values that resolutions to some of the issues could bring, not just mitigation.

INCF invites researchers, entrepreneurs, and all interested parties to provide feedback and contributions to further improve this publication, which can serve as a reference for finding solutions to societal issues.

A PDF is available here.
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  • Foreword
  • Social issues by field
    1. Wellness 2. Water and Food 3. Energy and Environment 4. Mobility 5. Disaster Prevention Infrastructure 6. Education and Human Resource Development
  • Appendix
    Table of Issues, SDGs Index and Technological Index

About the Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc. (MRI)

The Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc. (MRI) is one of Japan’s foremost think tanks. MRI, commemorating the 50th year since its founding in 1970, has half a century of experience in providing public and private sector clients with research and consulting services over a wide range of fields, such as energy, environment, health care and ICT. MRI has supported Japan’s rapid growth and establishment of the country’s advanced policy and infrastructure. The Company’s researchers can provide clients both within Japan and abroad tailor-made insights based on their expertise and a broad network across Japan’s leading fields. MRI will continually envision a desirable future, resolve societal issues, and lead change in society to co-create a sustainable and abundant future. For more information, please visit

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Mitsubishi Research Institute, Inc.(MRI)
10-3, Nagatacho 2-chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8141
The Innovation Network for Co-creating the Future