Takahashi is being honoured not only for his contribution to the industry but, more importantly, for his contribution to the success of the IISRP. He became an IISRP director in 2000, has served as Far Eastern Section President and as a member of the Finance Pension and Audit Committee, the IISRP's primary oversight committee. He has served on the IISRP's Executive Committee since 2005.Takahashi graduated from Oita University where he studied management at the School of Economics. Upon graduation in April, 1969 he joined Ube Industries where he has spent his entire career. During his 40 plus years at Ube, he has been promoted to higher managerial responsibilities and currently holds the position of Senior Executive Managing Officer and President of the Plastics Company of Ube. During his tenure he has helped to expand the synthetic rubber industry through his oversight of joint ventures in Southeast Asia.Akira SaitoSaito holds a masters degree in industrial chemistry from the graduate school of Yokohama National University. He started work as a rubber chemist in the R&D section of the Synthetic Rubber Division and has continued work as an engineer for 36 years on S-SBR, BR and thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) for Asahi Kasei Chemicals. His current position is as senior engineer. Saito has dedicated his work to the development, manufacturing, and processing of solution-SBR (S-SBR) for tyre treads, enabling high fuel economy and improved wet grip performance.Saito's technical background for synthetic rubber was developed during his invention of the world's first functionalised styrene-butadiene thermoplastic elastomer (SBS), modified with maleic acid. This invention gave SBS improved affinity with polar material, without losing the typical properties of SBS, and opened the way for a new product design concept for TPEs. His experience with functionalised groups and improving the affinity with polar materials became the foundation of his future work in functionalised S-SBR for silica tyres.Saito has been an IISRP Environmental Health (EHC) and Technical Operating (TOC) committee member for the Far East Section (FES) during 2003 to 2009. He also has chaired the EHC for the FES from 2006 to 2008. He holds 18 Japanese patents and has authored two publications.