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Chapter 2 Implementation of Measures for the Aging Society
  3. Status of Implementations of Measures by Field

(5) Promoting Survey and Research

- Research into dementia, cancer, and other diseases common at older age has been promoted in the General Research Project of Longevity Science and other projects. Especially, with respect to cancer, myocardial infarction, and diseases which can be a major cause of conditions requiring care, such as apoplexy, dementia and bone fracture, advanced technologies have been promoted intensively through research into medical treatment technologies and new medicines based on genome science and protein science, as well as research for realizing regenerative medical treatment using self-restoration capability. In addition, other research activities derived from this basic research have been conducted, such as research for the clinical application of the research results and research for the establishment of effective health care technologies

- The "Tertiary Comprehensive Ten-year Strategy to Overcome Cancer" was formulated as a new strategy for the next ten years proceeding FY2004 following the "Comprehensive Ten-year Strategy to Overcome Cancer" and the "New Ten-year Strategy to Overcome Cancer." Based on this strategy, research, prevention, and medical care have been comprehensively promoted to sharply decrease the cancer rate and the death rate for cancer.

- With respect to lifestyle-related or chronic diseases, the Research Fund Project on Health Sciences Focusing on Drug Innovation and other research activities have been conducted to develop innovative and creative new drugs. In addition, research activities for finding disease-related genes and analyzing their functions have been expanded to overcome lifestyle-related diseases. In addition, with respect to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, research for restoring lost brain functions has been promoted in addition to the above two types of research activities.

- The detailed mapping of the human genome or genetic information was completed in April 2003. In light of this, genome network research has been promoted aiming to clarify complicated vital functions and create innovative medicines on the strength of advanced Japanese technological capabilities. Translational research has also been promoted, aiming to steadily develop new medical treatment by using the results of basic cancer research based on the "Tertiary Comprehensive Ten-year Strategy to Overcome Cancer." In addition to the above, the analysis of protein structures and functions has been promoted along with research and development for realizing regenerative medical treatment using stem cells and tailor-made medical treatment that enables individualized prevention and treatment.

- In the field of medical and welfare equipment technology, the research and development of safe, convenient, state-of-the-art equipment have been conducted through industry-academia-government cooperation.

- In the General Research Project of Longevity Science and other projects, research has been promoted through the establishment of an interdisciplinary research framework covering senile diseases, nursing and nursing care, rehabilitation, and the living environment. Basic research on pharmaceutical products and medical devices has also been enhanced in the field of health care. In addition, subsidies have been provided for the research and development of home medical devices and other advanced medical appliances.

- Since research and development in recent years have become more advanced and complicated with the increase of interdisciplinary fields, we should foster and secure appropriate personnel, as well as improve their quality and liquidity in the market.

To this end, a variety of programs have been promoted to support postdoctorals and other young researchers, such as the Research Fellowships for Young Scientists, Postdoctoral Fellowships for Research Abroad, and Postdoctoral Fellowships for Foreign Researchers. These programs have been provided by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and are designed to ensure that creative, highly-qualified young researchers who will play an important role in future R&D activities may make the most of their ability.

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