Section 7.  Science and Technology Cooperation, and Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation



1.  Overview on Science and Technology Cooperation


The cooperation in the field of science and technology has increased it's weight in Japan's external relations in keeping with growing request for the cooperation with Japan in this field from foreign countries.


(1)  Bilateral Cooperation

Japan concluded the science and technology cooperation agreements with India and South Korea at the end of 1985 and with Canada in May 1986. Japan has now 19 science and technology cooperation agreements with 18 countries. The cooperative activities with major countries are as follows:

(a)  Cooperation with the United States

1)  Energy Fields

Under the Japan-U.S. agreement on cooperation in research and development in energy and related fields, cooperation has been developed in such fields as nuclear fusion, photosynthesis, high energy physics and geothermal energy.

2)  Non-Energy Fields

Under the Japan-U.S. agreement on research and development in science and technology, cooperative activities have been carried out on about 50 projects in such fields as space development, biotechnology, environment and agriculture.

(b)  Cooperation with France

At the ninth mixed committee based on the science and technology cooperation agreement with France held in Tokyo in December 1986, views were exchanged on the existing cooperative projects (18 projects covering such fields as space and biotechnology) and it was agreed to start cooperative activities on four new projects such as the medical video technology.

(c)  Cooperation with West Germany

At the 11th joint committee meeting based on the science and technology cooperation agreement with West Germany held in Tokyo in March 1987, both sides agreed to launch cooperation regarding the intellectual control of robots and the short-wave laser technology on top of the expansion of cooperation in the existing projects.

(d)  Cooperation with Italy

At the fourth Japan-Italy consultations on economic matters held in April 1987, the second consultations on science and technology cooperation were held and an agreement was reached on cooperation in various fields, including new materials and biotechnology.

(e)  Cooperation with EC

At the Japan-EC High-Level Consultations in February 1984, an agreement was reached on taking up nuclear fusion, protection from radiation and science and technology policy as subjects for cooperation. At the Japan-EC ministerial conference held in November 1985, cooperation was discussed and has been smoothly carried out in the field of nuclear fusion, new materials, biotechnology, exchange of young researchers and science and technology policy meeting.

(f)  Cooperation with Canada

At the first joint committee meeting under the science and technology cooperation agreement with Canada held in Canada in September 1986, an agreement was reached to start new cooperation on eight themes, including Micro-Gravity experiments and electronic charts on top of the expansion of the existing cooperation.

(g)  Cooperation with Australia

In November 1985, the third joint committee meeting based on the science and technology cooperation agreement with Australia was held in Australia. Cooperation is now in progress on about 40 themes including biotechnology and ocean technology.

(h)  Cooperation with the Soviet Union

At the third Japan-Soviet science and technology committee meeting based on the science and technology cooperation agreement with the Soviet Union held in Tokyo in September 1986, for the first time in seven years, views were exchanged on the future Japan-Soviet science and technology cooperation.

(i)  Cooperation with Brazil

Taking into account the outcome of the first joint committee meeting held in September 1985 based on the science and technology cooperation agreement with Brazil, the two countries are now holding consultations on detailed ways to launch the cooperation.

(j)  Cooperation with China

At the third science and technology cooperation committee meeting held in April 1984 based on the science and technology cooperation agreement with China, the two countries agreed to start cooperation on four new themes (metallurgy, electronic wave and marine protection etc.) on top of the existing cooperation themes.

(k)  Cooperation with South Korea

At the first science and technology cooperation committee meeting held in August 1986 based on the science and technology agreement with South Korea, the two countries agreed to promote cooperation on 24 new themes.

(l)  Cooperation with India

The first joint committee meeting was held in New Delhi in September 1986 based on the science and technology cooperation agreement with India concluded in August 1985.

(m)  Cooperation with ASEAN

On the basis of the concept proposed by Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone in 1983, Japan has been carrying out cooperation since 1985 in the fields of biotechnology, microelectronics and material science with ASEAN countries.


(2)  Multilateral Science and Technology Cooperation

(a)  Conference on Life Sciences and Mankind

The third meeting of the Conference on Life Sciences and Mankind, originally proposed by Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, was held in West Germany in April 1986 and the fourth meeting in Canada in April 1987.

(b)  International Joint Research Program on Nuclear Fusion

At the first international meeting on this program held in Vienna in March 1987 on the basis of the proposal made at the U.S.-Soviet Summit meeting in 1985, delegates from Japan, the United States, the European Community (EC) and the Soviet Union agreed to continue talks among countries concerned and set up a working group comprising experts.

(c)  OECD

The Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy of OECD, set up in 1972, which has been harmonizing science and technology policies of member countries, will hold a meeting at ministerial level in October 1987 to review and discuss the effect of the science and technology on the revitalization of the economy.

(d)  United Nations

The eighth meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee on Science and Technology for Development (ICSTD), which was established to study how best to proceed with international cooperation for strengthening the scientific and technological capability of developing countries under the U.N. General Assembly, was held at the U.N. Headquarters in June. The 41st U.N. General Assembly approved a report submitted by the committee and adopted a resolution for the establishment of the United Nations Fund for science and technology for development within the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) following the termination of the United Nations Financing System for Science and Technology for Development at the end of December 1986.

(e)  Others

Moreover, at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the other U.N. specialized agencies and within the U.N. system itself and other international organizations, views and information were exchanged on research and development on science and technology, its use and various other problems accompanying development of science and technology. And cooperation on dealing with these matters, involving studies on policy matters, has been carried out.



2.  Space-Related Matters


(1)  Japan concluded an agreement with the United States in May 1985 for the participation in a preliminary design work of the United States' permanent manned space station program to be implemented during the two years from April 1985 along with the European Space Agency (ESA) and Canada. For the moment, Japan and the United States are discussing the formulation of a framework of cooperation at the detailed design and development, and operation and utilization stages following the preliminary design stage. In March 1985, Japan exchanged official notes with the United States to cooperate with the United States' first material experiment program, (FMPT) for various experiments in outer space through the manning of Japanese astronauts in a U.S. space shuttle in 1988. But the January 1986 shuttle blowup has delayed the implementation of the FMPT until April 1991.

(2)  Japan and Thailand exchanged verbal notes in December 1986 for the installation of a receiving station in connection with the launch of the "Momo-1" Maritime observation satellite.

(3)  As for relations with Europe, Japan and the European Space Agency (ESA) held the 12th meeting of executive officials in Tokyo in April 1987.

(4)  The 41st U.N. General Assembly session approved a report submitted by the 29th session (September) of the U.N. Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space and adopted a resolution titled "International Cooperation Regarding the Peaceful Use of Outer Space" (41/65) and the principle on the remote sensing (41/65).

(5)  INTELSAT or the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization held the 11th extraordinary Assembly of Parties in Washington in April 1987, while INMARSAT or the International Maritime Satellite Organization convened the meeting of experts on the funding of international distress and safety satellite communications in London in April.



3.  Antarctic-Related Matters


(1)  Meetings of countries concerned for the formulation of a regime concerning mineral resources in the Antarctic were held in Hobart, Australia in April 1986 and in Tokyo in October-November of the same year.

(2)  The Antarctic issues continued to be an item on the agenda at the 41st U.N. General Assembly session in December, which adopted three resolutions with one of them concerning the request for the supply of information on mineral resources consultations.



4.  Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy


(1)  Chernobyl Nuclear Power Accident and International Cooperation

(a)  A fatal nuclear power plant accident at Chernobyl in the Soviet in April 1986 had worldwide repercussions and made the people across the world aware of the need of not only securing safety in the utilization of nuclear energy but international cooperation at the time of an accident as well.

At the Tokyo Summit held soon after the Chernobyl disaster, leaders of the seven industrial democracies held an animated debate on the accident and a statement was issued by Japan's initiative calling for strengthening the international cooperation in the field of the safety of nuclear power facilities, mutual emergency assistance at the time of a nuclear power accident, and information exchange at the time of emergency situations at nuclear power facilities or an accident.

(b)  On the basis of this statement, a meeting of experts of the governments of countries concerned was held in July at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and draft treaties were worked out on early notification of a nuclear accident and on assistance in the case of a nuclear accident or radiological emergency. The draft treaties were formally adopted at a general meeting (special session) of the IAEA on September 26 and were then opened for signing.

The former treaty provides for the creation of a system enabling countries affected by a nuclear power accident with international repercussions to obtain information on the accident quickly and the latter provides for the formulation of a framework facilitating the assistance in case of a nuclear power accident or radiological emergency.

Japan signed the both treaties on March 6, 1987, from the viewpoint of providing a positive contribution to the reinforcement of international cooperation for the safety in the development and use of nuclear power.

(c)  As for ensuring the safety in the use of nuclear energy, an experts' meeting was held in August 1986 to assess the effect of the Chernobyl accident under the sponsorship of the IAEA. At the meeting, Soviet officials reported on the cause and effect of the accident.

Further, an implementation plan to expand nuclear power safety-related projects and activities were decided at IAEA general meeting (special session) in September 1986. Special management committee of the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was held in December 1986 to discuss the Chernobyl accident and the committee confirmed the safety of nuclear power reactors of Western nations and decided to implement expanded programs in five areas, including investigation of the effect of the accident and the safety of nuclear power.


(2)  Improvement of International Environment Concerning Japan's Development and Use of Nuclear Power

As of the end of March 1987, 34 nuclear power reactors were in operation in Japan with the total generation capacity of about 25.84 million kW. (the fourth largest in the world behind the United States, France and the Soviet Union.) In terms of electric power generated, nuclear power is estimated to have occupied the largest portion among electric power sources and the ratio is expected to increase in the years ahead. Following this trend, cooperations in the field of nuclear power between Japan and foreign countries are likely to be strengthened further.

In this circumstance, Japan and the United States had held consultations with a view to working out a new framework toward more stable bilateral nuclear cooperation and basic agreement was reached to that effect in January 1987.

In the meantime, Japan and the United States provisionally extended the period of a bilateral agreement on the operation of reprocessing facilities in Tokai Mura based on the Current Japan-U.S. Agreement for nuclear cooperation until the end of 1987.


(3)  Cooperation with Developing Countries in the Field of Nuclear Energy

As for nuclear cooperation with developing countries, Japanese contribution to the IAEA's technology cooperation fund has been next only to the United States and the Soviet Union. Especially, Japan has extended technological and financial cooperation positively in the field of isotope or radiation utilization and medical and biological utilization projects through the IAEA's regional cooperation agreement (RCA) on research, development and training of nuclear science and technology in order to help solve some major issues facing these developing countries as industrial and medical treatment problems. Moreover, Japan has been active in accepting trainees and dispatching experts for the utilization of isotope radiation through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

At a U.N. meeting for the peaceful utilization of nuclear energy held in March 1987 various views were expressed from delegates of nuclear developed countries and developing countries. As an advanced nuclear energy country, Japan must continue responsible cooperation with these countries by taking into account the true needs of these countries receiving cooperation and by considering the safety and nuclear nonproliferation.



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