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Japan's Science and Technology Basic Policy Report

Chapter 5 Role of the Council for Science and Technology Policy

  1. Basic operation
         With the leadership of the Prime Minister, the Council for Science and Technology Policy will operate with foresight and flexibility and suggest a national strategy as the chief controller of the promotion of policies so that essential policies mentioned in the Science and Technology basic plan may be realized by the nation as a whole accurately and steadily.
         In the operations, the Council will closely cooperate with the Science Council of Japan, Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, Strategic Council on Intellectual Property, IT Strategic Headquarters, Council for Regulatory Reform, Council for Gender Equality, Headquarters for Regional Revitalization, and other entities.
         Furthermore, the Council for Science and Technology Policy will pursue the vision for which human society in the 21st century should aim, always have a global view, and conduct proactive activities as “the meeting place of wisdom” that covers the natural, human, and social sciences. So that the Council may be well known to society and the public, it will also strive to develop interactive communication between Science and Technology and society/the public and to improve public awareness of Science and Technology, aiming at “Science and Technology being supported by the public and benefiting the society.”

  2. Specific measures
    (1)Effective, efficient promotion of governmental R&D
    (Enhancing strategic R&D)
         In order to enhance strategic R&D through selection and concentration, the Council will promote inter-sectoral prioritization, while formulating the Promotion Strategies for Prioritized Areas that indicate important R&D issues. The Council will also select strategically focused S&T to be incorporated in the Strategies. These Strategies will be amended flexibly in consideration of updated S&T knowledge and information, and an annual policy cycle will be established to reflect the amendments to the resource allocation policy and thereby realize “practical strategies.” The policy goals of ministries and agencies for each project and related progress will be clarified to strengthen accountability.

    (Improving prioritization in the resource allocation policy)
         For more effective allocation of Science and Technology-related resources and the removal of adverse effects of sectionalism, the Council will implement prioritization more strictly and provide relevant ministers with its opinions. The Council will strive to improve the method of prioritization and make other improvements including priority setting from viewpoints of policy goals in addition to Science and Technology.

    (Full-scale promotion of Science and Technology collaboration measures)
         The Council will enhance collaboration among ministries and agencies and remove adverse effects of sectionalism such as the unnecessary overlapping of measures. The Council will start taking Science and Technology collaboration measures before the budget requests and thereby promote them on a full-scale basis, in order to exert the effects of synergy and merging to accomplish policy goals.

    (Promoting the understanding of Science and Technology activities conducted by independent administrative institutions and national universities, and the publication of opinions offered regarding the activities)
         The Council will understand the current progress of Science and Technology activities conducted by independent administrative institutions and national universities that play a major role in promoting national Science and Technology policies, as well as the status of resource injections for these activities. Then the Council will analyze their consistency with the basic plan and offer its opinions. Giving sufficient consideration to the characteristics of independent administrative institutions and national universities and their influence on research/educational activities, the Council will ensure more thorough understanding of the current progress and status, and, when necessary, ask relevant ministries and agencies to take measures for improvement. By releasing the offered opinions publicly, the Council will encourage these corporations to accelerate their reforms by improving the transparency of their Science and Technology activities.

    (Enhancing research and analysis functions and adjustment functions among ministries and agencies)
         In conjunction with the functional improvements mentioned above, the Council will enhance research and analysis functions, as well as adjustment functions among ministries and agencies.

    (2)Promotion of Science and Technology system reforms
         The Council for Science and Technology Policy will promote evaluation system reforms, evaluation of large-scale R&D projects and other nationally important R&D projects, improvement of systems related to industry-university-government collaborations, and reform of the competitive fund system. The Council will also improve governmental R&D database to avoid the unreasonable overlapping of research fund allocation and the concentrated fund allocation that exceeds the appropriate amount the individual should be granted for his/her efforts.

    (3)Science and Technology to be supported by the public and to benefit society
         Taking adequate measures by ministries and agencies is essential for Science and Technology to gain social understanding and public interest, and the Council for Science and Technology Policy will also promote these measures. In particular, the Council will promote understanding of the progress in the accomplishment of policy goals, provision of related information, strengthening of provision of information on Science and Technology, expansion of functions of communicating with the public, and participation of the public in Science and Technology.

    (4)Strategic promotion of international activities
         Due to the necessity for taking international measures strategically, the Council will promote high-level policy discussions with other Asian counties in the “Asian Ministerial meeting on Science and Technology (tentative name).”

    (5)Removal of structural or operational obstacles for smooth Science and Technology activities and the return of the results to society
         The Council intends to be involved with Science and Technology policies and border areas with other policies more proactively in cooperation with relevant ministries, agencies, and councils, in order to remove structural obstacles for Science and Technology promotion and resolve operational problems that are appearing at research sites.

    (6)Appropriate follow-up of the Science and Technology basic plan and the promotion of the progress
         In addition to promoting the above, the Council will follow up the status of implementation of measures in the basic plan in cooperation with relevant ministries and agencies, and provide the Prime Minister and relevant ministers with the follow-up, and, when necessary, its opinions as well. The Council will conduct a follow-up at the end of each year and a more detailed one at the time three years have passed since the implementation of the measures. The Council will understand related progress and, when necessary, it will change the measures in the basic plan flexibly. The Council will take appropriate measures for Science and Technology system reforms, when necessary, to promote the progress of the measures in the basic plan.
Bureau of Science and Technology policy, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan 3-1-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-8970  Japan TEL:03-5253-2111