Japan TechnologyOctober 23, 2020
Japan’s science and technology infrastructure faces many challenges. The nation’s population is declining, which will likely reduce economic growth and therefore probably decrease both the amount of investment in S&T and the number of people working in the field. In addition, the rise of the BRIC countries in S&T, especially China, has been remarkable over the last several years. For policy makers and scientists, one of the primary objectives of S&T diplomacy is to tap into the growing science base beyond a nation’s borders including research facilities and human resources. Japan can’t allow itself to fall outside the research network generated by this brain circulation.
Thus, another important objective for Japan’s S&T diplomacy is to remain one of the critical points in this global network. Nevertheless, Japan is opening itself up to the rest of the planet too slowly compared to other catching up countries, such as South Korea. By using technology and science diplomacy, Japan may expand its volume of global research collaborations with lively nations around the world and might revitalize its creation system. The electoral recovery of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party last December finished 3 decades of rule by Japan’s Democratic Party. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who directs the new administration, has highlighted the need to reconstruct Japan’s diplomacy in the face of unsolved significant issues in many vital areas that affect associations with the US, China, and South Korea, among others.
This is a notable step as it was the first basic plan that designated S&T diplomacy as an issue of national importance. Japanese Science Diplomacy prior to 2008 – Executive members of the Cabinet Offices Council for Science and Technology Policy issued a proposition in 2007 together with the hope that the state would be aware of the increasing importance of cooperation between S&T and diplomacy, and Japan would increase its presence on the planet.
Evidently, before the CSTP issued the proposition, Japanese universities and research and development associations already conducted global joint research projects and exchanges of scientists with foreign institutions in various areas of S&T. In the first decade of the twenty-first century, Japan held policy dialogues with ministers and senior officials in charge of S&T, especially with Asian countries. From the perspective of diplomacy, S&T contributed to building good relations with other countries. For instance, Japan concluded twenty four agreements on scientific and technological cooperation with 30 four nations by 2000. The oldest one was concluded in 1973 together with the former Soviet Union and the agreements concluded in the 70s are with Central and Eastern Europe nations and newly independent states. It is no exaggeration to say that S&T, a borderless field for the pursuit of the truth, plays an important role in promoting trust among nations.