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Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

a huge increase in public spending on science and technology attempts to motivate Japanese researchers towards strengthening the creative research sector. The council for science and technology has asked the national government to spend about us $155 billion on basic research over the next five years. At present, Japan is better known for making the best of scientific and technological breakthroughs achieved elsewhere, than for contributing to the world's development of knowledge. The extra funds are aimed at rejuvenating an obsolete university system that gives no scope for creative research.

Japanese researchers have waited long for an amount like this while their counterparts in the us and other Western countries made significant breakthroughs. With this announcement, the government has stepped in to fill the gap made by corporations which have reduced funds because of Japan's economic slump. Companies account for 80 per cent of the research and development (r&d) spending in Japan and the government only about 20 per cent. As a result, most of the r&d spending contributes to product development, not university research.

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