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UK and Japan strengthen science and tech ties in Tokyo

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ARTICLE SUMMARY

The UK and Japan have signed a renewed science and technology deal, building on decades of close cooperation.

The new Implementing Arrangement was signed by UK Science Minister George Freeman and Minister State Minister Nakatani Shinichi from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, in Tokyo, and forms the latest part of the UK’s push to take a truly global approach to science and innovation.

The renewed deal opens up more opportunities for close collaboration to bring cutting edge new technologies to market. This could focus on priority areas like semiconductors and clean tech, which will be critical to growing the economy which is one of the Prime Minister’s five key priorities.

Speaking about renewed deal, UK Minister for Science George Freeman said, “Japan is the world’s third-largest economy and a science and technology powerhouse.”

“They have produced more Nobel Prize laureates than any other Asia-Pacific country.”

“Bringing Japan’s unique strengths even closer together with the UK’s world-class science and research expertise is a massive opportunity for both our countries, to pool our skills and expertise as we tackle some of the biggest challenges facing the world, all whilst growing our economies and creating jobs.”

“This deal is just another demonstration of the UK’s ambition to become a truly global science superpower, by deepening collaboration on the science and technology of tomorrow with like-minded nations like Japan, as well as the rest of the G7, to secure our collective future, drive economic growth and improve lives.”

Over the last week, in Japan, Minister Freeman has been making the case for the world’s leading democracies to work closer together, to ensure that scientific advances deliver security, prosperity, while tackling the key issues facing our planet, from climate change and bio-security through to space sustainability.

The G7 Science and Technology Ministers’ Meeting, hosted in the Japanese city of Sendai in the last few days provided an important platform to demonstrate how the UK’s leadership in science and innovation – as well as that of the world’s other leading free societies – can be used to enforce our shared principles and challenge authoritarian narratives, as well as drive economic growth. The economic benefits that flow from innovation, are what unlocks investment in public services like the NHS, the ability to cut national debt, and what brings down inflation, all of which are key priorities for the Prime Minister in 2023.

The last week has also provided an opportunity to further cement the UK’s close relationship with Japan, visiting researchers at the NanoTerasu synchrotron radiation facility as well as Tokohu University’s disaster science institute, and meeting leaders from Japanese science and tech companies that are heavily involved in the UK.

The new arrangements for the UK-Japan Science and Technology Agreement commit both countries to work together on joint R&D programmes, as well as academic and industrial exchange schemes. The two governments will encourage collaboration between UK and Japanese companies, by creating new networking and investment opportunities, and through closer connections between public bodies like UKRI and Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). The UK and Japan will also work together closely to ensure their science governance and standards are aligned.

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