Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Kyoto University, Japan, 1959. Master of Science in Engineering, Kyoto University, Japan, 1961. Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, Kyoto University, Japan, 1966.
Doctor of Science (honorary), Nottingham University, England, 1999.
He contributed to various fields: machine translation, natural language processing, pattern recognition, image processing and library science. He was the 23rd President of Kyoto University (1997–2003) and the 14th Director of National Diet Library in Japan (2007–2012). In Kyoto University, He became an assistant professor in 1967, an associate professor in 1968, and a professor in 1973.
He served as the 23rd President of Kyoto University (1997–2003).
After retirement from the university, he was appointed to the Director of National Diet Library in 2007 and held the position until 2012. He was the 20th Director of the Information Processing Society of Japan (IPSJ) (1999–2000).
He is the first President of the Asia-Pacific Association for Machine Translation (AAMT), and in each year from 2006, AAMT Nagao Award is awarded to individuals or groups who made contribution to machine translation. 1993: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Emanuel R.
Fellow: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (Emanuel R. Piore award 1993). Member: Asia-Pacific Association for Machine Translation (president 1992-1996), Japan Library. Association 2002-2007, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Japan Council (chair 2005-2007), Japan Association National Universities (president 2001-2003), Association Natural Language Processing 1994-1996, Information Processing Society Japan 1999—2001, (Contributions award 1997), International Association Pattern Recognition (vice president 1986-1988), Cognitive Science Society Japan (president 1988-1990), International Association Machine Translation 1991-1993, (Medal of Honor 1997), Institute Electronics Information Communications Engineering Japan (vice president 1993-1998, president 1998-1999, Distinguished Achievement and Contributions award 1997), Japan Science Council of Japan.
Married Mikiko Nagao, December 5, 1964. Children: Noriko, Fumiko, Takashi.