Dr Nagao graduated from Kyoto University, Department of Electrical Engineering in 1959, and obtained MS and PhD degrees
from Kyoto University. After being an assistant and associate professor he became a professor in 1973 at Kyoto University. He was the President of Kyoto University from 1997-2003. He was the President of the National Institute of Information and Communication Technologies from 2004-2007. Then he became the President of National Diet (Congress) Library from 2007-2012. He served as President of the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers of Japan (1998-1999), as President of the Information Processing Society of Japan(1999-2000) and President of some other academic societies in Japan. He established the International Association for Machine Translation (IAMT) in 1991 and the Natural Language Processing Society of Japan in 1994, and took offices as the first President.
He obtained many awards including IEEE Emanuel R. Piore Award, Medal of Honor of the International Association of Machine Translation, Lifetime Achievement Award of ACL, Honorary Doctor of the University of Nottingham, Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur from French President, Japan Prize, Person of Cultural Merit from Japanese Government and several high class Japanese prizes.His research activities are in the areas of pattern recognition, image processing, natural language processing, machine translation, digital library and artificial intelligence in general. He is the first researcher for human face recognition and one of the first who developed practical machine translation systems in the world. His system was a big influence on the systems developed afterwards. He proposed a new machine translation principle called example-based machine translation in 1984 which is widely used nowadays in many places in the world. He developed the first practical digital library in the world in 1994 which included many highly creative structures for the organization of text materials for convenient access to wanted information, and gave an impact upon digital library research in Japan and over the world.