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Strategic International Research Cooperative Program


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Background and Objectives

Amid the rapid advance of globalization around the world, various problems are arising that transcend national borders. For example, such problems as the environment, energy, natural disasters, and infectious diseases cannot be tackled by a single country alone. International cooperation is essential to overcome them and maintain sustainable development.

The advance of science and technology around the world is spectacular. Amid this intense competition, in order for Japan to achieve a world-class science and technology capability, it is even more important than ever for the government to play its role in a strategic manner. Indeed, the government's Third Science and Technology Basic Plan * calls for the strategic promotion of international activities in science and technology.

In regard to this policy demand from the government, the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) has been implementing the Strategic International Research Cooperative Program since 2003. This is a top-down type of program that provides support to international research projects in countries and in fields of cooperation designated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) on the basis of intergovernmental agreements, agreements at ministerial-level meetings, and so forth.

JST has started its cooperation with countries in Europe, America, Asia, and Africa under this program. Aiming at further development of science and technology, JST is enhancing active international research collaborations through solid partnerships with counterpart countries

The Third Science and Technology Basic Plan stipulates that Japan should (a) utilize its science and technology capability, respond to the solution of international common issues and to international requests and expectations from other countries, and increase confidence toward Japan; (b) take the initiative and contribute to the formation of international standards and rules relating to science and technology; and (c) strengthen Japan's science and technology capability by cultivating researchers who can function on the international stage and raising the diversity and level of research in Japan by accepting outstanding foreign researchers.

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