Greeting from Director General


Welcome to Quantum ICT Collaboration Center website.

Director General, Quantum ICT Collaboration Center Sasaki Masahide

Quantum ICT Collaboration Center was established in April 2021 with the aim of delivering new information security pioneered by quantum technology to society.
The entity of information running around the Internet is a vast series of electric and optical pulses representing the symbols 0 and 1. It was around the middle of the 20th century that the abstraction of information with these two numbers was completed. Since then, this framework has been used till today. However, this framework has now been renovated by the ultimate physical law of quantum mechanics, and is about to leap into a new paradigm.
In the world of quantum mechanics, it is quite natural that the ultimate information is carried by a superposition state of the 0 and the 1, referred to as quantum bit (qubit), not by a definite and unambiguous bit of the 0 or the 1. In the mid-1990s, quantum computers composed of quantum bits were shown to instantly crack current cryptographic systems, shocking society. Today, cloud services using small-scale quantum computers have been available.
While modern cryptography faces potential threats by quantum computers, quantum cryptography provides, in principle, unbreakable security even against unbounded computer resources. Quantum cryptography has already been put to practical use, and infrastructure construction is beginning in various countries.
In the future, information and communication systems will be rebuilt on the basis of the quantum. In fact, new applications and services are beginning to be created by fusing quantum computers and cryptography with conventional technologies.
Based on this background, our center is constructing an open collaboration environment in order to carry out various activities from research and development to social implementation, standardization, and human resources development together with as many people as possible. We would like to work with everyone in various fields and industries to create a new cross-disciplinary area "Quantum security field" and to implement the results in society.
Thank you very much.

Profile and status

I was fascinated with the mysterious world of “Quantum” when given lectures of quantum chemistry in my first year of university. Since then I have been involved in research on the quantum world. I majored in condensed matter physics at graduate school, and after graduating I got a job at a steel company and engaged in the development of semiconductor devices. Around that time, I took a book of quantum communication at a bookstore by chance, and was delving into study on quantum communication and started writing papers on weekends.

After working for the steel company for four years, I joined Communications Research Laboratory of Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (currently NICT) in 1996. The theme given to me was research and development of optical devices, but I made time to continue research on quantum communication as well. At that time, Peter Shor discovered quantum computing algorithm, and the field of quantum information science began to grow rapidly. Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications was first to recognize the potentials of quantum communication and cryptography, and started feasibility study with Communications Research Laboratory. It was around 1998.

Then, in 2001, the Quantum Information Technology Group was established, and at the same time, a national project on quantum information and communications technologies was launched. I was blessed with the opportunity to organize the project, and since then I could have been working on research and development of quantum communication and quantum cryptography with colleagues from industry, academia and government. In 2010, we built a quantum cryptographic network (Tokyo QKD Network) in the metropolitan area and realized the world's first demonstration of completely secret transmission video conferencing. The technologies developed in the Tokyo QKD Network have now been adopted as the international standards one after another since 2019.

For social implementation of quantum communication and cryptography, it is essential to properly integrate them with other relevant but non-quantum technologies such as modern cryptographic technology, coding technology, network technology, and satellite communication technology. For that purpose, it is necessary to learn these relevant technologies, and often to update these technologies by ourselves for merging them with quantum communication and cryptography, which ate time consuming and involved tasks. At first glance, these tasks seem more practical and technical issues, far away from basic research, but on the contrary, require genuine integration of different fields. Through such efforts, we can get a clue to discover the very universal principles of information and communications technologies.

Right now, at our center, daily held are meetings and seminars on various themes ranging from basic research to applied research and social implementation. Participants’ spectrum ranges from research and business departments of industry-academia-government organizations, intellectual property and standardization divisions, and administrative offices. The forefront of R&D and business of quantum technology is full of dynamism that changes the technology and business landscape on a weekly basis.

We hope to share an exciting time with you and work together.

Director General, Quantum ICT Collaboration Center Sasaki Masahide
1996 COE, Research Fellow, Communications Research Laboratory, Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications
2001 Group Leader, Quantum Information Technology Group, Fundamental Research Division
2016 NICT Fellow
2021 Director General, Quantum ICT Collaboration Center
Ph.D. (Science)