FFTC cheerfully welcomes its new Deputy Director, Dr. Tomonari Watanabe, who recently arrived in Taipei from his homeland in Japan to start his stint with the Center. As the new FFTC Deputy Director, Dr. Watanabe will assist the Director in the daily operations of the Center, as well as handling projects which will be assigned to him. He will also be the point person on matters related to FFTC’s activities with Japan, one of the Center’s major country partners.
Dr. Watanabe, an entomologist whose field of expertise is on rice insect pests, is the former Director General (DG) of Japan’s Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences (NIAES), one of the core Institutes of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO). A Ph.D. in agriculture from Kyoto University in 1994, Dr. Watanabe started his career as a plant inspector at the Yokohama plant protection station at Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). From there he rose from the ranks and became a researcher at the Kyushu National Agricultural Research Station, and a Senior Researcher at the National Agriculture Research Center (NARC), where he also became its laboratory chief from 2004 to 2006. From 2010 to 2016, Dr. Watanabe was the Division head of NARC’s Agro Informatics before he was promoted as DG of NIAES, a position he held for five years.
Dr. Watanabe replaced Dr. Akira Hasebe, who was FFTC’s Deputy Director from 2018 till he retired on November 11, 2020.
A screenshot of the FFTC online staff meeting in which Dr. Tomanari Watanabe, the Center's new Deputy Director, was welcomed by the FFTC management and staff headed by Director Dr. Su-San Chang. Following the health protocol, Dr. Watanabe is currently quarantined in Taipei and will report to the Center on the first week of May.