Academic and basic research are the foundation for developing new knowledge frontiers and the source of stimulating innovation, and contribute to the expansion of intellectual assets shared by all of humanity.
MEXT works to promote academic research at universities and inter-university research institutes to generate a diversity of knowledge based on creative ideas, striving to secure basic funds that support academic research and to expand the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI), while reviewing the screening system and actively implementing institutional reforms such as establishing a fund to allow multiple-year useof research funds. Moreover, MEXT promotes major international research projects for the development of necessary infrastructures for research activities through the creation of international research hubs under the Large-scale Academic Frontiers Project. Outcomes of the project include research work on the neutrino using Super-Kamiokande that was led by Dr. Kajita Takaaki of the University of Tokyo, who won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2015, as well as the Science Information Network (SINET5) that makes vast research data available to researchers around Japan via a stable, high-speed information network.
 Basic research also plays a crucial role in the nation's social and economic development through stimulating innovation. MEXT promotes innovation-oriented basic research with competitive grants such as the Strategic Basic Research Programs. The National Research and Development Institute, RIKEN, has been carrying out R&D for realizing innovation as a comprehensive research institution for research in a diverse range of scientific disciplines. MEXT also promotes the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI), aiming to create research environment of a sufficiently high standard to give them a highly visible presence within the global scientific community that will be of strong incentive to frontline researchers around the world to want to come and work at these centers.
 Dr. Yoshino Akira won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2019 and the total number of Japanese Nobel Prize winners has reached 27.(*) Since the beginning of the 21st century, in particular, the number of Japanese winners in the three fields of science is 18, the second largest in the world, following the United States. It is important to continuously offer diverse support and further enhance related measures in order to ensure sustainable achievement of academic and basic research in Japan.
(*) Including Dr. Nambu Yoichiro (2008) and Dr. Nakamura Shuji (2014), who are US nationals, and excluding Mr. Ishiguro Kazuo