The 93rd session of the Council for Science and Technology Policy (CSTP) was held at the Prime Minister's Office on October 22, 2010.
At this session, the CSTP first had a discussion after a presentation on the status of deliberations on the 4th Science and Technology Basic Plan, which sets forth a basic policy for the integrated and systematic implementation of Japan’s science and technology policy measures as a science and technology national strategy for the coming five years with Mr. Kaieda, the Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy, acting as a moderator. Chief Cabinet Secretary Sengoku, among other officials, expressed views about the importance of the life sciences sector. Meanwhile, Mr. Takagi, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, argued that it is essential to secure governmental R&D investments equivalent to at least 1% of GDP, and to specify the total investment amount. Consequently, it was decided that deliberations should be continued in preparation for the adoption of a report at the end of the year. In addition, the CSTP held an exchange of opinions after hearing a report on the Results of the Evaluation on Priority of Programs Included in Budget Requests for Fiscal 2011, which was compiled with the participation of young researchers in light of the Action Plan for the Implementation of Important Science and Technology Policy Measures, and the results of the public comment process. Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Katayama commented, “In the field of science and technology, care should be taken to ensure that basic research is not neglected.” Meanwhile, it was decided that deliberations should be undertaken toward expanding the range of measures to be covered by the action plan in the next fiscal year and beyond.
Prime Minister Kan commented, “Judging from the results of the priority evaluation, on which we heard a report today, I expect that this will contribute to the realization of a high-quality science and technology budget. I would like to formulate the budget in a way that reflects this evaluation. I believe that we have formed a consensus on the importance of science and technology. Also, we have heard various opinions about the formulation of the 4th Science and Technology Basic Plan. The other day, I had an opportunity to talk with Dr. Akira Suzuki, one of the winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. As is mentioned in the discussions on the 4th Science and Technology Basic Plan, Nobel laureates generally see the research findings they made back when they were in their 30s bring benefits to society in later years. I believe it is very important for science and technology in Japan that young researchers devote themselves to the kind of research programs for which they could be awarded a Nobel Prize in the future. Basic research and employment were also discussed today. Although my cabinet places a priority on employment, this does not mean that we are merely seeking to reduce the unemployment rate. Rather, we are planning to actively allocate budget funds to employment measures because we believe that long-term employment, rather than temporary employment, is essential, and that employment itself will bring about various significant benefits. In the field of scientific research, too, the employment of post-doctoral graduates has become an issue, and we would like to come up with ingenious ideas and hear various opinions from you. I would like to ask you to make an effort to submit a substantive report at the end of the year with a view to realizing Green Innovation and Life Innovation, which are included in the New Growth Strategy.”