JP's STI Policy - Japan's Science and Technology Basic Plan

On the basis of “the Science and Technology Basic Law” (Law No. 130, 1995), the science and technology (S&T) policy in Japan is comprehensively in a planned pursuant to the Basic Plan, which is determined every five years. The environment, energy resources, food security and the spread of infectious diseases have become global issues. The Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) caused an unpreceded crisis for Japan and posed a great challenge to the rest of the world. These diverse global problems need to be addressed through the cooperation of all the countries in the world, and Japan should capitalize on its advanced S&T in order to take a leadership role in solving these problems.

Under these circumstances, the 4th Basic Plan presents five major goals that Japan aims at attaining through the following S&T policy objectives:

  1. Reconstruction and revival from the disaster focusing on robust recovery from and reconstruction after the GEJE
  2. Promoting Green Innovation focusing on the environment and energy
  3. Promoting Life Innovation focusing on medical care, nursing care and health management

These policy objectives are defined as key factors for the sustainable growth and development of Japanese society for years to come. The basic Plan also identifies Key challenges to the Priority Issues Facing Japan and states that efforts should be focused on these priority issues instead of specific limited S&T areas. It is also stated that the science, technology and Innovation (STI) policies including system reforms should be comprehensively implemented to address the priority issues in an integrated manner. Basic research and human resources development are another integral part of the efforts for addressing the priority issues; thus, the Basic Plan emphasizes the need for

  1. drastic enhancement of basic research from a long-range perspective;
  2. the development of young researchers who will play active roles in S&T research in the future; and
  3. the development of an international-standard research environment and infrastructure.

With the recognition that S&T policies need to be developed an advanced in the social context, the Basic Plan underlines the importance of public participation in policymaking processes, the dissemination of information regarding S&T and reforms in the systems for promoting R&D. Regarding the investment in R&D, the Basic Plan aims at increasing the total amount of investment by the public and private sectors to be 4% or more of the GDP, increasing government R&D expenditure to account for 1% of the GDP and increasing the total amount of government investment in R&D during the term of the 4th Basic Plan to around 25 trillion yen. (The amount of government investment was estimated on the assumption that government R&D expenditure accounts for 1% of the GDP and that nominal growth rate of GDP would average 2.8% during the term of the 4th Basic Plan.)

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Cross-Ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Programme (SIP)

Under the strong leadership of the Cabinet Office (CAO)’s Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (CSTI) beyond the related ministries and over the fields, Cross-Ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Programme (SIP) is a newly launched programme in 2014, to bring science, technology and innovation to our society.

A. Innovative Combustion Technology

In order to meet 50% of maximum thermal efficiency and 30% CO2 emission (compared to 2011), this innovative combustion technology is developed. Also, this programme brings up world leader of internal combustion scientists and establishes sustainable academia-industrial cooperation.

Major Research Fields

  1. High thermal efficiency to make combustion technology (for petroleum: super lean-burn, high supercharging, combustion under the large volume exhaust gas recirculation (EGR); for diesel: quick silent combustion, clean and low temperature combustion)
  2. Internal combustion’s firing to control technology with full command
  3. Reductive loss technology

B. Structural Material for Innovation

Based on material science and technology this programme brings up human resources and expands aerospace industry and its related industries.

Major Research Fields

  1. Resin materials and fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) for aircrafts
  2. Heat-resisting metal alloys and intermetallic compounds
  3. Environment resistance ceramic coating
  4. Materials integration for database of strength, destruction and life-span, building integrated system with computing to shorten development period

C. Energy Carrier (Official brochure)

Energy Carrier is aiming to establish new energy society using by renewable energy including hydrogen and bring clean, economical, and high security level to the community. In the value chain of hydrogen: manufacturing; transportation; storage; and usage, it is considered with various paths to respond application methods by the demand sides. It is also predicted technological innovation and energy cost in the future to take the measure of advantages of hydrogen usages in any situations and to consider scenarios analysis for the hydrogen introduction to the society. By 2018, with renewable energy application, the model of affordable energy carrier manufacturing technology will be validated. Related technologies will be also established, including electricity generation with energy carrier, supply system to hydrogen stations, and so.

Major Research Fields

  1. High efficiency and low-cost Energy manufacturing carrier technologies by using ammonium, organic hydride (transportation, storage, and usage from highly effective transformation of hydrogen)
  2. Required technologies to load an unload liquid hydrogen
  3. Hydrogen combustion technology such as hydrogen engine, hydrogen gas turbine
  4. Creating future scenario and safety evaluation for energy carrier


    • Fuel Cell Vehicle and Fuel Cell Co-generation to start dissemination
    • Affordable CO2-free hydrogen manufacturing technology and energy carrier technology
    • Hydrogen town demonstration during the Tokyo Game 2020
    • Expansion of FCV and Co-generation technology
    • Installation of hydrogen generation
    • Demonstration of Hydrogen energy carrier for high efficiency generation
    • Further large-scale demonstration
    • Large-scale hydrogen generation
    • Much-Installation of CO2-free hydrogen

Core Research Themes

    • Development of loading system for liquid hydrogen and its tool
    • Development of hydrogen combustion technology
    • Development of synthesis technology for distributed energy usage
    • Fundamental technology of ammonium hydrogen station
    • Ammonium fuel cell
    • Ammonium direct combustion
    • High-temperature solar thermal energy supply
    • Hydrogen manufacturing technology by heat utilisation
    Organic Hydride
    • Electrolysis synthesis for organic hydride
    • Development and commercialisation of dehydrogenating
    • Safety evaluation of energy carrier system

D. Infrastructure Maintenance, Renovation and Management

World cutting-edge Information and Communication technology and information and Robot Technology (ICRT) and systematic infrastructure management system should be used for national key infrastructure to maintain on the high management level and to create attractive and sustainable maintenance management market, and establish fundamental technology and network for overseas market. Then, matching of seeds and needs of the technological development related to maintenance management will be a key factor, then apply outcome technologies to the sites. Finally, this project aims to create improved and affordable maintenance management level with preventive maintenance.

Major Research Fields

  1. Inspection, monitoring, and diagnostic technology
  2. Structural materials, deterioration mechanism, repair and reinforcing technology
  3. Information and communication technology
  4. Robotic technology for both inspection and disaster response
  5. Asset management technology

E. Enhancement of Societal Resiliency Against Natural Disasters

Under the inter-ministerial cooperation, disaster information will be shared on the real-time basis and built mechanism for application and utilization. By improving disaster-prevention literacy in the region, it aims to improve individual disaster-prevention abilities and skills.

Major Research Fields

  1. Preventive technologies to bring robust infrastructure (strengthen seismic adequacy based on large-scale demonstration)
  2. Prediction technologies (understanding of disaster and estimation of damage by the latest observation, prediction and analysis technology)
  3. Disaster response technology (share and utilization of disaster-related information to improve disaster response)

F. Next-Generation Power Electronics

Performance of the current power electronics will be dramatically improved with the next-generation materials such as SiC, GaN, etc. It aims to bring 1/2 loss, 1/4 solid measure, and so; then being contributed to save energy and to expand instalment of renewable energy. As well, it will be set to create large-scale market and expand shares in the world market.

G. Next-Generation Ocean Resources Exploration Technology

It aims to establish highly effective exploration technology will be established for ocean resources such as cupper, zinc, rare metals, sea-floor hydrothermal deposit, cobalt-rich trust, etc. This will create and lead the ocean resource exploration industry.

H. Next-Generation Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Production Technology

With the integration of the agricultural policy reform, this project will bring innovative production system, new seeds and breeding, plant conservation, and new function development, then welcoming to newcomer in the filed of the agri-business and to increase income of agriculture and farming community. Plus, it contributes to improvement of QOL, expansion of related industries, and the world food issues.

I. Autonomous Transportation System

It aims to establish new transportation system including automated cruise. It will be dramatically improved convenience of transport and drastically decreased accidents and traffic jam-up.

J. Innovative Design and Production Technology

By using business and individual ideas and know-how in the region, this project aims to establish new monozukuri (manufacturing) style to break free from the temporal and geographical constraint. It will enable product design and manufacturing quickly to respond needs from industries and individual users, consequently enhancing industrial and regional competitiveness.

K. Securement of Cyber Security for Key Infrastructure

Controlled communication equipment authenticity and security verification for active surveillance, analysis and defence technology will be researched and developed. This will enhance international competitiveness on the key infrastructure industry, as well as to contribute to stable operation of the 2020 Tokyo Games.
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Japan's STI System


  • CSTI (Science and Technology Policy. Council for Science, Technology and Innovation, Cabinet Office)
  • MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)


R&D Implementing Agency

  • JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science)
  • JST (Japan Science and Technology Agency)
  • A-MED (Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development)
  • NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization)
  • JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency)
  • JASSO (Japan Student Services Organization)
  • JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization)

Japanese Science Councils (national research institutes)

  • JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)
  • JAMSTEC (Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology)
  • NIMS (National Institute for Materials Science)
  • NINS (National Institutes of Natural Sciences)
  • NISTEP (National Institute of Science and Technology Policy
  • NIER (National Institute for Educational Policy Research)
  • AIST (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology)
  • KEK (High Energy Accelerator Research Organization)
  • JIRCAS (Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences)
  • NIID (National Institute of Infectious Diseases)
  • IPSS (National Institute of Population and Social Security Research)
  • NIIP (National Institute of Public Health)
  • NCGM National Centre for Global Health and Medicine)
  • NICT (National Institute of Information and Communications Technology)
  • JAEA (Japan Atomic Energy Agency)
  • NIES (National Institute for Environmental Studies)
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(click to enlarge) Japan's 5th Science and Technology Basic Plan 2016-20

(click to enlarge) Japan's National Energy and Envorinment Strategy for Technological Innovation towards 2050