"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Japan-U.S. High Level Committee on Science and Technology: PRESS STATEMENT

[Place] Tokyo
[Date] June 12, 2012
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

The Eleventh Joint High Level Committee (JHLC) pursuant to the Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the United States of America on Cooperation in Research and Development in Science and Technology was held on June 12th, 2010 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo. Mr. Tatsuo Kawabata, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy, chaired the meeting for Japan. Dr. John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, co-chaired for the United States.

The JHLC began by acknowledging the significance of enhancing Science and Technology cooperation for science and technology themselves as well as for further deepening and developing the Japan-US relations. Then, it discussed a broad range of issues relating to Science and Technology policy in both countries and recognized the importance of Science and Technology in achieving economic growth and addressing the global challenges facing the international community such as climate change, the environment, energy, and natural disasters. Discussions also included cooperative activities carried out between the two countries in various fields, including researcher exchanges, environment and energy, civil space cooperation and global observation, earth science, health science, disaster reduction, nuclear non-proliferation and safeguards, and metrology and measurement science.

The JHLC confirmed that both countries will further enhance researcher exchanges through programs such as the World Premier International Research Center Initiative(WPI)carried out by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the research exchange programs supported by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the US National Science Foundation (NSF) in the field of "Science and Technology for a Safe and Secure Society", and various international research cooperation and fellowship programs supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and its American counterparts including the NSF and the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

With regard to Environment and Energy, the JHLC confirmed that cooperative activities in the fields of environment and energy are very important for both countries and discussed the possibility of further expansion of the cooperation, and decided that both countries will commence the new joint research program supported by JST and NSF in the field of "Biotechnology for realizing Low-Carbon Society" (focusing on Metabolomics). The JHLC recognized a shared concern of realizing a low carbon society and promoting sustainability in both Japan and the United States. MEXT and NSF confirmed that there was considerable commonality in their Strategy for Achieving Low Carbon Society and Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability (SEES), respectively.

The JHLC welcomed the significant progress of "Japan-US Cooperation on Clean Energy Technologies" including the acceleration of joint activities between national laboratories of Japan and the United States. The JHLC also confirmed that promoting the Japan-US cooperation on fusion energy, including the multinational cooperation on the ITER Project, is of great importance for each country in terms of the long-term energy supply. The JHLC decided that both countries will cooperate continuously with other ITER member parties toward a consensus on the baseline documents in order to move forward with this important project.

The JHCL confirmed the usefulness of regular exchanges of both countries' space policy and the importance of Japan-US cooperation in this field. With regard to civil space activities, the JHLC took note of the new space exploration plan within the United States, as well as recent developments regarding the space policy within Japan. In addition, the JHLC recognized the broad range of potential opportunities for both countries to continue their strong ties and collaboration in activities such as human space exploration, space science, and satellite navigation. The JHLC also recognized the importance of the role of comprehensive, coordinated and sustained observations of the Earth system in combating climate change, and confirmed that both countries will continue cooperation on the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

The JHLC recognized Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) as a successful flagship model of Japan-US research cooperation, and decided that both countries will continue cooperation to lead IODP and the succeeding program. In particular, both countries determined to jointly tackle important challenges, including enhancing contributions from participants and streamlining the management structure, so as to develop a suitable framework for scientific outcomes.

The JHLC welcomed the progress made at the Japan-US Liaison Group on the Geosciences and Environment (LGGE), where the LGGE reached the common recognition on the value of continuing a number of cooperative research projects, planning two workshops on global change research, and exploring new areas of possible mutual interest. The JHLC recognized the importance of cooperation in geosciences and the environment and confirmed the commitment to continuously enhance the cooperation.

The JHLC recognized collaboration in cancer clinical trials, noting it will facilitate development and evaluation of new drugs and devices to decrease morbidity and mortality from cancer.

The JHLC reaffirmed the importance of cooperative activities to reduce natural disasters, and determined to start a new research cooperation using E-Defense in recognition of the importance of keeping buildings functioning following seismic disasters. The JHLC also decided to study the feasibility of research cooperation on evaluation methods of seismic disaster risk.

The JHLC confirmed the continuous cooperation on technology development and human resources development in the field of nuclear Non-Proliferation and nuclear security based upon the Japan-US Joint Statement toward a World without Nuclear Weapons on November 13, 2009, Communiqu? and Work Plan of the Nuclear Security Summit on April 13, 2010 and Memorandum of Cooperation between MEXT and the US Department of Energy (DOE) for Cooperation on Nuclear Nonproliferation, Nuclear Safeguards, and Nuclear Security signed on April 14, 2010. Both sides recognized the importance of further discussions on nuclear forensics and on developing techniques to directly measure the plutonium content of spent fuel, and decided to begin planning for testing several such techniques.

The JHLC recognized the impact of metrology and measurement science on industry, science and technology and ultimately on improving our economies. Both countries have shared the recognition on considering an expansion of their cooperation, to include research projects by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)/National Metrology Institute of Japan (NMIJ) to support International Standardization towards a Low-Carbon Society.

The JHLC decided that the 12th JHLC meeting would be held in the United States in approximately two years' time.