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Gov’t to set up research institute for economic security

  • April 27, 2021
  • , Yomiuri , p. 1
  • JMH Translation

The government is poised to establish a research institute for economic security in fiscal 2023. The aim is to step up research on dual-use advanced technologies that is under the government’s direct oversight. The institute will be modeled on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a research unit of the U.S. Department of Defense.

 

The plan will be confirmed at a meeting of the government’s Integrated Innovation Strategy Promotion Council (chairperson: Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato) to be held on April 27.

 

The new research institute will be set up in the Cabinet Office. It will analyze advanced technologies and consolidate information related to advanced technologies by cooperating with the National Security Secretariat (NSS), the Ministry of Defense (MOD), the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). It will also work together with research institutes in Japan and around the world.

 

Prior to the establishment of the institute, the government will entrust a private organization with the task of closely examining research topics within this fiscal year. After the institute is created, it will conduct research based on the tasks set by the government’s departments related to economic security and make policy proposals to the government.

 

The establishment of the research institute was prompted by the leakage of advanced technologies to China and the difficulty of putting superior technologies into practical use in the security field in Japan. A person closely related to the government says that policies formulated and proposed by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and others “lack the perspective of security.” The absence of a government-administered organization is part of the reason why Japan lags behind other nations in commercializing advanced technologies and analyzing threats. Some also point out that the statement issued by the Science Council of Japan (SCJ) in 2017 opposing the participation of researchers in research programs under the Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) “has also hampered security-related research projects.”

 

Last year, the U.S. released a national strategy to prevent the leakage of dual-use advanced technologies in 20 areas, including artificial intelligence (AI) and biotechnology. Keeping in step with the U.S., the government is preparing to designate technologies that need to be protected against leakage and need to be commercialized. The planned research organization will also join hands with the U.S.

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