The science and technology policy in Japan is administered comprehensively in a planned manner pursuant to the Science and Technology Basic Plan, which is determined every five years based on “The Science and Technology Basic Law” (Law No. 130, effective on November 15, 1995). Currently, the 3rd Science and Technology Basic Plan (Cabinet Decision of March 2006, hereinafter “Basic Plan”) is in effect from FY 2006 until FY 2010. The Basic Plan clearly indicates six major objectives to be achieved with the S&T policy, based on the dual guidelines of “S&T to be supported by the public, returning benefits to society” and “Emphasis on fostering human resources and competitive research environments Shift of emphasis from ‘hard’ to ‘soft’ resources; greater significance of individuals at institutions.” In addition, to realize these goals, efforts are made to enhance basic research while developing human resources and focusing on individual fields. Furthermore, the Basic Plan calls for maintaining the ratio of government investment in R&D against GDP at the level of major Western countries during the period of the Third Basic Plan, meaning that the total investment should be around 25 trillion yen. (The ratio of the governmental R&D expenditure during the term of the Third Basic Plan against GDP is 1%, assuming the average growth rate of nominal GDP is 3.1% during the same period.) However, since FY 2010 is the last year for the current 3rd S&T Basic Plan, governmental discussions are already underway regarding the Fourth S&T Basic Plan.

Recent Policy

(Office for Public Relations and Press, Management and Coordination Division, Minister's Secretariat)