Arima was born 1930 in Osaka. He studied at the University of Tokyo, where he received his doctorate in 1958. He became a research associate at the Institute for Nuclear Studies, the University of Tokyo in 1956. He became a lecturer in 1960, and an associate professor at the Department of Physics in 1964. He was promoted to a full professor in 1975. He was president of the University of Tokyo during 1989-1993. In 1993, he moved to Hosei University. Since 1993, he has been scientific adviser of the Ministry of Education and from 1993 to 1998 president of RIKEN.
He was a visiting professor at Rutgers University, New Jersey (1967–1968), and a professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (1971–1973). In 1974, he founded the interacting boson model with Francesco Iachello.
In 1998 he entered the Diet of Japan as a member of the House of Councillors for the Liberal Democratic Party. He was Minister of Education until 1999 under the government of Keizo Obuchi. After the cabinet reshuffle in 1999, he served as Director of the Science Museum. From 2000 he was chairman of the Japan Science Foundation.
Awards and Honors
- Nishina Memorial Prize (1978)
- Honorary Professor, the University of Glasgow (1984)
- Humboldt Award (1987)
- Haiku Society Prize for a book of poetry (haiku poems) (1988) 
- John Price Wetherill Medal of the Franklin Institute (1990)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (1990)
- Military William Order (1991)
- Honorary Doctor, Drexel University(1992)
- Honorary Professor, the University of Science and Technology, China (1992)
- Honorary Doctor, Chung Yuan Christian University, Taiwan (1992)
- Bonner Prize of the American Physical Society (1993)
- Japan Academy Prize (1993)
- Honorary Doctor, the State University of New York at Stony Brook (1994)
- Honorary Doctor, the University of Groningen (1994)
- Honorary Doctor, the University of Birmingham (1996)
- Grand Officier of the Legion of Honour (1998)
- Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1999) 
- Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) (2002)
- Person of Cultural Merit (2004)
- Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun (2004)
- Order of Culture (2010)
- Arima, Iachello Collective nuclear states as representations of a SU(6) Group, Physical Review Letters 35, 1069–1072 (1975).
- Arima, Iachello The interacting boson model, Cambridge University Press, 1987.
- Arima, Iachello Interacting boson model of collective states, Part 1 (the vibrational limit) Annals of Physics 99, 253-317 (1976), Part 2 (the rotational limit) ibid. 111, 201-238 (1978), Part 3 (the transition from SU (5) to SU (3)), ibid. 115, 325-366 (1978), Part 4 (the O(6) limit) ibid. 123, 468-492 (1979).
- Arima, Iachello The Interacting Boson Model, Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science 31, 75 (1981).
- Biography, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
- Curriculum Vitae, Japan Science and Technology Agency.
- Arima Einstein's Century: Akito Arima's Haiku, Brooks Books, 2001.
- "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter A". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 10 May 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
|Minister of Education
|Director-General of the Science and Technology Agency