Tetsuhiro Hosono resigned as commissioner of the Japan Patent Office (JPO) on August 23, 2010, and was replaced by Yoshiyuki Iwai.
In his inauguration speech address, Iwai said he will continue to overhaul the patent system to meet the demands for an accelerated patent examination by increasing the number of examiners and outsourcing searches for prior art. He also aims to harmonize the application format and increase work share capacity between the five major International Offices of Japan, US, Europe, China and Korea.
Iwai graduated with a law degree from the prestigious Tokyo University and joined the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) in 1978. After working in a number of different government posts, he was appointed Deputy director-general of the Ministry of Defense in 2009 until his appointment to the JPO.