Global Issues & ODA

May 16, 2024

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Science and Technology Diplomacy

In recent years, the influence that science and technology exert over the areas of international cooperation and diplomacy has been increasing. Spanning from national security to technological innovation, science and technology are important factors that support the development of our everyday life and social welfare. The idea to merge science and technology with diplomacy was then named ‘Science and Technology Diplomacy’. For some time now, Japan has been emphasizing the importance of further enhancing its diplomatic power by utilizing science and technology. In the current international society with all its global issues, Japan has more opportunities to bring its science and technology to the fore in diplomacy.

In order to promote ‘Science and Technology Diplomacy’, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs appointed Prof. KISHI Teruo, Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo, as the first Science and Technology Advisor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs on 27 September 2015. This newly established position was based on the report presented to the Foreign Minister by the ‘Advisory Panel on Science and Technology Diplomacy’ (chairman: SHIRAISHI Takashi, Director of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, at that time), which convened in May that year. Since he assumed office, Prof. KISHI had played an active role by offering his expertise, giving recommendations, strengthening networks abroad, and publicizing Japanese science and technology overseas. Moreover, to support Prof. KISHI in his advisory activities, Prof. KANO Mitsunobu, Professor at Okayama University, was commissioned the business of Science and Technology Co-Advisor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs in April 2019.

On 1 April 2020, Prof. MATSUMOTO Yoichiro, then President of Tokyo University of Science, was appointed as the new Science and Technology Advisor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and on 1 April 2022, Dr. KOTANI Motoko, Executive Vice President for Research of Tohoku University, was commissioned as the new Science and Technology Co-Advisor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. This advisory system is expected to further strengthen Japan’s Science and Technology Diplomacy.

Additionally, the Science and Technology Diplomacy Advisory Network, composed of specialized experts from various science and technology fields, has been established under the Science and Technology Advisor, aiming to make further contributions to the foreign policy planning process. As part of this network, ‘The Advisory Board for Promoting Science & Technology Diplomacy’, consisting of 20 experts from related fields, is held regularly.

In 2023, the Science and Technology Fellows were established in diplomatic missions abroad based on the recommendations “Strengthening the Foundation of Science and Technology Capabilities” prepared by the Advisory Board.

Activities of the S&T Advisor to the Minster for Foreign Affairs

Comprehensive reports and Recommendations


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