White Paper on Science and Technology 2008 (Provisional Translation)

- The State of Science and Technology in Transcending the Storm of Fierce International Competition -

Part 1:The State of Science and Technology in Transcending the Storm of Fierce International Competition

Chapter 1: Intensification of International Competition and the Need for Innovation

  1. Progress in Advancing Information Technology and Globalization
  2. Rise of BRICs Led by China and India
  3. Soaring Raw Material Prices and Commoditization of Technology
  4. Shifts toward Aging Society with Declining Birthrate
  5. Need for Science and Technology-based Innovation

Chapter 2: Progress in R&D System Reforms in Other Countries and Other Issues

1.Progress in R&D System Reforms in Other Countries

  1. Shifts toward International Competitiveness- and Innovation-oriented S&T Policies
  2. Enactment of the America COMPETES Act, Revision of China’s Science and Technology Progress Law, and Other Issues
  3. R&D Budget Increase Plans in Other Countries
  4. Global Competition for Human Resources
  5. Implementation of Flexible and Effective R&D Systems
  6. Enhanced Measures for Intellectual Property Rights Protection and International Standardization

2.Science and Technology-related Challenges Facing Japan

  1. Indicators of Rapid Catch-up by Asian Countries
  2. Trends in S&T Capabilities by Field
  3. Challenges concerning International Competitiveness of Tertiary Industries and Science-based Industries
  4. Weakening of Foundation of Human Resources
  5. Challenges concerning Dissemination of Research Results to Society

Chapter 3: State of Science and Technology in the Age of Fierce Competition

1.Enhancement of Government R&D Investments

2.Fields Prioritized for Intensive Resource Allocation for Strengthening International Competitiveness

  1. Promotion of R&D in New Fields
  2. Development and Recruitment of Internationally Competitive Human Resources

3.R&D Capability Enhancement through Efficient Use of Resources

  1. Public R&D Institution Reform
  2. Measures to Be Taken for Effective Use of Research Funds
  3. Promotion of High-risk Research

4.Steady Dissemination of S&T Outcome to Society

  1. Elimination of Institutional Bottleneck to Dissemination of S&T Outcome to Society
  2. Promotion of Dissemination of Research Outcomes at Universities to Society
    (Promotion of Diverse Partnership between Industry, Academia, and Government)
  3. Intellectual Property Strategies for Globalization
  4. Initiatives toward Enhanced MOT Capabilities
  5. Enhancement of International Standardization Measures

Part 2: Measures Implemented to Promote Science and Technology

Chapter 1: Development of Science and Technology Policies

1.The Science and Technology Basic Plan

2.The Council for Science and Technology Policy

  1. Major Measures Implemented in CSTP in FY 2007
  2. Setting of Strategic Priorities and Comprehensive Promotion of S&T Measures
  3. Major Items Discussed at the Expert Panel

3. S&T Administrative Structure and Budget

  1. S&T Administrative Structure
  2. S&T Budget

Chapter 2: Strategic Priority Setting in Science and Technology

1.Promotion of Basic Research

2.Priority Setting in Research and Development for Policy-oriented Subjects

  1. Life Sciences
  2. Information and Communications
  3. Environment Field
  4. Nanotechnology and Materials
  5. Energy
  6. Monodzukuri Technology
  7. Social Infrastructure
  8. Frontier Science

[Interdisciplinary Areas]

  1. Key Technologies of National Importance
  2. Science and Technology for a Safe and Secure Society

Chapter 3: Science and Technology System Reform

1.Fostering, Securing, and Activating Human Resources

  1. Establishment of Environment that Enables Individuals to Play Active Roles
  2. Strengthening Universities' Human Resource Development Function
  3. Development of Human Resources that Meet Social Needs
  4. Expanding the Range of Human Resources for the Next Generation S&T

2.Creating Scientific Development and Persistent Innovation

  1. Developing a Competitive Environment
  2. Enhancing Competitiveness of Universities
  3. Enhancing Systems for Creating Innovations
  4. Building Regional Innovation Systems and Creating Regions Full of Vitality
  5. Effective and Efficient Implementation of R&D
  6. Elimination of Institutional and Operational Bottlenecks for Smoother S&T-related Activities and Dissemination of Research Results

3.Reinforcing the Platform for Promoting Science and Technology

  1. Strategic and Prioritized Improvement of Facilities and Equipment
  2. Enhancement of the Intellectual Infrastructure
  3. Creation, Protection and Utilization of Intellectual Properties
  4. Active Efforts toward Standardization
  5. Improvement of Research Information Infrastructure
  6. Promotion of Activities of Academic Societies
  7. Promotion of Research and Development at Public Research Institutions

4.Strategically Promoting International Activities

  1. Systematic Efforts for International Activities
  2. Cooperation with Asian Countries
  3. Cooperation with European Countries and North America
  4. Cooperation with Other Countries
  5. Approaches to International Projects
  6. Cultivation of Environment and Researcher Exchanges for Enhancing International Activities

Chapter 4: Science and Technology Supported by Society and the Public

  1. Responsible Approaches to Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues in Science and Technology
  2. Accountability for Science and Technology and Improvement of Information Dissemination
  3. Improving Public Awareness concerning Science and Technology
  1. The Science and Technology Basic Law
  2. The Science and Technology Basic Plan (2006-2010)

(C) 2008 Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). All rights reserved. This White Paper on Science and Technology is an English language translation of the original Japanese. No part of publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. Some materials (images, graphics, photos, text, etc.) specifically identified in this White Paper are licensed from third parties. Authorization to reproduce such material must be obtained from the copyright holders concerned.


Research and Coordination Division, Science and Technology Policy Bureau

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(Research and Coordination Division, Science and Technology Policy Bureau)