Science and Technology Basic PlanJapanese governmental measures for the administration of science, technology, and innovation are executed under the Basic Act on Science and Technology enacted in 1995. Under the act, Science and Technology Basic Plans are renewed every five years to set the direction and guidelines for scientific and technological development and promotion.
The sixth edition of the plan was approved by the Cabinet in March 2020. The plan continues the focus on the realization of “Society 5.0,” first introduced in the fifth edition in 2016. “Society 5.0” describes an idealized smart society supported by technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and big data. This concept was introduced to alleviate existing societal issues such as labor shortage and inter-regional gap resulting from the shrinking Japanese population. To achieve the Society 5.0 infrastructure, the government promotes the advancement of, for example, super computers, quantum technology, and semiconductors. As Japan aims for carbon neutrality by 2050, R&D in energy and environment-related areas such as biotechnology and agricultural technology is a further focal point. Japan plans to invest a total of 120 trillion yen in R&D between 2020 and 2024, including 30 trillion yen of government financing, according to the sixth plan.