lp21e "Who Says Science Has to Pay Off Fast?"

"Japan is pursuing long-term projects-just as the West backs off ", Business Week, March 21, 1994, Science and Technology, Research , pp. 110-111 by Gross, N., Carey, J. and Weber, J.

".When it's opened in 1998, the Super Photon Ring...will be the world's largest facility for short-wave length radiations...and a potent symbol of Japan's efforts to build a better foundation in science..........Tohru Amano, a research director of Japan's Science and Technology Agency (SAT) (says): " (Such efforts) are the only way to prepare for the future."......... That simple statement marks a dramatic about-face for Japan. For nearly 50 years, its science policy was the handmaiden of nation-building, financing the development of products and processes mainly to secure dominance in consumer electronics, computers, and other industries. For its basic research and fundamental technology, Japan relied on advances made elsewhere.

It began to change in the late 1980's... And now, Japan is revving it up just as American's love affair with basic science is cooling. Because of tight budgets and a push be the Clinton Administration and Congress to tie funding to commercial results, Washington's support for basic science is leveling off while total research and development out-lays rose just 5% last year, to $68 billion. U.S. industry, meanwhile, has cut its long term research by 15% since 1986..........

Japan's growing science commitment is most visible in companies. Although many have slashed their R&D budgets during the worst recession in memory, the largest players are leaving intact projects aimed more than 10 years out, according to Japan's National Institute of Science and Technology Policy...........In these pursuits, the government remains a staunch ally..........The wealth of research ...is also drawing top scientists to Japan. Among them is Richard Kiehl, a veteran of research posts at several major U.S. Companies, who is now assistant manager of Fujitsu's Quantum Electron Devices Laboratory. "There is massive enthusiasm for exploratory work in Japan," says Kiehl, whereas in the U.S., "the arrows are moving in the opposite direction."