February 13, 2009

The seventh meeting of the Japan-United Kingdom Joint Committee on Co-operation on Science and Technology took place in Tokyo on 13 February 2009, under the Agreement between the two governments on co-operation in Science and Technology. The meeting followed a week long series of visits and calls during which Professor Beddington and the UK team visited leading Japanese research organisations, universities and ministries, as well as delivering a lecture on 21st Century Challenges for Science and Technology.

The Joint Committee was co-chaired by His Excellency Mr. Seiji KOJIMA, Ambassador for Science and Technology Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and Professor John BEDDINGTON CMG FRS, the United Kingdom Government Chief Scientific Adviser and was attended by Dr. Masuo AIZAWA, Executive Member of the Council for Science and Technology Policy of the Cabinet Office of Japan, and a range of other representatives from the Japanese and the UK governments.

The Joint Committee discussed a number of areas, exchanging views on science and technology policy, international collaboration and related issues. The committee also examined a number of specific areas of collaboration, in particular reviewing progress on those areas specified in the Joint Statement agreed by the Prime Minsiters of Japan and the UK in January 2007: climate change, sustainable energy technologies and life sciences. A copy of the agenda for the meeting and a full list of the UK delegation are attached.

All participants were very pleased with the high level of collaborative research between Japan and the UK and recognized that there was much valuable work to be done. The Committee noted that over the last year a number of agreements had been signed between Japanese and UK research agencies, research institutes and universities which would do much to facilitate future collaboration to the benefit of both countries. The Committee welcomed the opening of an office in London by Kyoto University today and announcements yesterday of agreements between the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and the UK National Oceanography Centre on marine research; and the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute (Kyoto), the National Institute of Physiological Sciences (Okazaki) and the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University on the brain-machine interface.

Areas for future collaboration were also discussed and both sides expressed a wish to develop the existing work and to expand collaboration into new areas in the life sciences, energy, environment, climate change, information, communication and technology, nanotechnology, physics, space and astronomy.

The Committee agreed to hold the next Joint Committee in the United Kingdom in early 2011.


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