According to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Tokyo Region Office, the Japanese science and technology budget (S&T) for fiscal year 2009 beginning April 1 is ¥3,554.8 billion ($35.5 billion), flat with the prior year. The lack of a substantial decrease in a year when government budgets were substantially cut is indicative of Japan’s commitment to science. In particular, the basic sciences may have benefited from the awarding of four 2008 Nobel Prizes to Japanese scientists. The S&T-related budget for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) rose 1% to ¥2,341.3 billion. Funding for MEXT’s competitive funds for grants-in-aid for scientific research rose 2%. Funding for the Japan Science and Technology Agency–administered basic research programs rose 2%, compared to the regular 1% increase. The S&T-related budget for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry rose 3.7% to ¥531.6 billion, the second-highest S&T budget among Ministries. At 7.5%, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation received the largest S&T-related budget increase. Funding rose 33% for research using induced pluripotent stem cell technology for regenerative medicine, and increased 25% for research into innovative energy technologies.

Source: NSF Tokyo Region Office

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