The World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI) was launched in 2007 by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in a drive to build within Japan “globally visible” research centers that boast a very high research standard and outstanding research environment, sufficiently attractive to prompt frontline researchers from around the world to want to work in them. These centers are given a high degree of autonomy, allowing them to revolutionize conventional modes of research operation and administration in Japan.