Prof. Yong-Kweon Kim, A treasure house of Japan-related knowledge … ‘SNU Haedong Japan Technology Information Center’ (DaedukNet, 20180725)

2018-08-02l Hit 497

Total archive of books, newspapers, etc… various online and offline service provided, center opened to insiders and outsiders to share information… expecting more active use

In the reading room, the shelves are densely packed with books related to Japan. Technical books on Artificial Intelligence and IoT, and publications like Science Technology White Paper and Medium, Small-size Business White Papers are easily spotted. Various newspapers such as Nikkei, and Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun Ltd. can be also seen. On the left and right, there are spaces to use computers as well as meeting rooms.

If you go up one floor, there is the main library. It is where around 3000 books covering different fields of engineering are kept. When you go up one more floor, you can find the periodical publications library. There are around 100 different types of periodicals. It can be called with no doubt, as Korea’s best treasure house of Japan-related knowledge.

We visited the Haedong Japan Technology Information Center of Seoul National University School of Engineering (Yong-Kweon Kim, Head of center). Haedong Japan Technology Information Center was founded in 2010 with donation from Jung-sik Kim, CEO of Daeduk Electronics. It reflected CEO Kim’s wish that the donation would help the students acquire advanced technology of Japan and contribute to making a strong tech country. Here you can find various Japanese technical books, Japanese government and industry white papers, and technical reports.

The center provides Japan’s latest technology and engineering-related materials in overall through online and offline. You can not only simply search for books, but also acquire various information through Japanese publications, Korean abstracts, and weekly briefings.

“Japan, fast advancement in publications, have to acquire useful information”

“Japan’s publication culture is one of the best in the world. It is hard to find any book in the world that has not been translated into Japanese. They also rapidly analyze the trends of new technology such as robots and artificial intelligence that represent the fourth industrial revolution. We have to learn useful knowledge for the advancement in our country’s industry apart from the historical animosity. (Wonkyu Lee, general manager of Haedong Japan Technology Information Center)

Currently, Yong-Kweon Kim, professor of SNU electrical and computer engineering, is serving as the head of Haedong Japan Technology Information Center. Also, general manager Won-kyu Lee and one librarian resides at the center to take care of the duties.

Wonkyu Lee, the general manager, is an expert of Japan who has been working on Japan-related business for a long time and served as a corporate representative in the past. While he was working as a business consultant, he was impressed by CEO Jung-sik Kim’s passion and commitment, which made him join the center.

In the early days of the center, it operated as a library. After manager Lee joined the team, the center became more active. The homepage transformed in to a reactive website to be used more conveniently on mobile phones, weekly briefings and newsletters were posted, and Korean abstracts of Japan industry news were provided. It is also worth noting that the science industry is divided into 28 different categories and the recent trends of each are provided.
Manager Lee said, “It is not easy to run the center. It is a pity that the center is not actively used due to the current generation’s unfamiliarity with Chinese characters, historical antipathy toward Japan, and lack of workers.”

However, even in this hard situation he has a strong belief that the contents are useful. With these contents, positive feedbacks are coming from outside. After introducing the latest trend of the Japanese industry at the academic conference held in the center, attending students showed interest in learning the trends of Japanese industries and acknowledged the need of research.

There are increasing inquiries from outside asking for resources after searching the portal. Japanese figures such as the Japanese embassy are also showing interest. CEO Jungsik Kim periodically contacts manager Lee to give support and freelancing authors that they work with are also reliable supporters.
Recently, manager Lee is contemplating on how to connect and activate the link with outside sources, such as industries. From the idea that it might be hard for middle and small sized companies to find and handle overseas industry information, he is planning to provide them needed information.

Manager Lee said, “The corporates are planning to make connections with related facilities and associations since they need the recent trends of the industry and technology. I am actually motivated a lot from receiving feedback of our weekly briefings that we send out to companies and watching the whole company workers read them. “

Recently, there were discussions on how to operate this as a non-profit center. Making it profitable and implementing a membership system are some of the solutions to consider. The future direction is also being contemplated.

“You can find the recent trends of the Japan industy and the advancement directions of the newest future technology online and offline. I wish more people can utilize the center to find useful information and understand the latest trends in technology.”

You can sign up for a mailing service that is issued by the Haedong Japan Technology Information Center of SNU by sending a resource request email to The center is open 9am to 6pm from Monday to Friday. For more information, call 02-880-8279.

Translated by Kyungjin Lee, English Editor of Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,