The 76th session of the Council for Science and Technology Policy was held at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence on June 19, 2008.
The Council discussed the overall picture of the science and technology-related budget and a resource allocation policy for FY2009, and came to a decision to draw up a budget for properly putting into action, according to the instruction of the Prime Minister, the “Strategy for Transformative Technologies” and the “Low Carbon Technology Plan” which had been adopted at its session held in May. To this end, the Council decided to adopt a new policy for resource allocation wherein the Council will, in addition to closely examining individual measures to be covered by the science and technology-related budget, also inspect whether the relevant ministries and research institutes prioritize the issues in science and technology policy which have been given top priority by the Cabinet.The Council will propose this policy change to the Prime Minister and other ministers concerned.
Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy Fumio Kishida, who chaired the session, reported the outcome of the G8 Science and Technology Ministers’ Meeting recently held in Nago, Okinawa.
At the session, the most advanced earth observation technology was presented, with case examples in which earth observation satellites were used to observe a variety of phenomena on earth, such as earthquake damage and impacts of climate change.
During the session, Prime Minister Fukuda stated as follows: “The FY2009 budget is a touchstone for putting into action the “Strategy for Technological Innovation,” one of the pillars of the Economic Growth Strategy. Promoting the development of innovative technology is an essential task in order for Japan to survive fierce international competition and achieve sustainable growth. As argued at the G8 Science and Technology Ministers’ Meeting held last weekend in Okinawa, science and technology plays an extremely important role in solving problems faced by all humankind and in making international contribution. From this standpoint, the government has exceptionally increased the size of the science and technology-related budget with a view to making Japan an advanced science and technology-oriented nation. On the other hand, for the purpose of gaining the understanding of taxpayers, it is necessary to eliminate waste and duplication among the ministries and agencies in terms of spending, and achieve optimal allocation of a limited budget, so as to implement concentrated investment in the national priority issues. I would like the Council to introduce a new budget adjustment mechanism and see to prioritization of the science and technology-related budget.”