Expert members of the government’s Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe) met on Jan. 17 and decided to revise the Basic Act on Science and Technology, which was enacted into law in 1995. The council will begin discussions on the inclusion of humanities and social sciences, which are not subject to the nation’s promotion of science and technology under the basic law.
At the meeting, revisions to the law were discussed in public for the first time. Expert members of the council pointed out that the knowledge of humanities and social sciences is inseparable from natural science as it is becoming increasingly important in the studies of life science, artificial intelligence and sustainable development goals. Takahiro Ueyama, the council’s only full-time expert member, revealed a plan to revise the law by saying that “there is a problem with the basic law as a whole.” (Abridged)