from the World-Watch dept.
Concern over Japanís ability to maintain a position in the first rank of nations pursuing nanotechnology research and development was raised in an article in the Japan Times ("Nanotechnology is seen having a massive future", by Yosuke Naito, 8 August 2001). According to the article, "nanotechnology is expected to become a fiercely contested area of global industrial competition in the 21st century."
The piece provides a brief survey of nanotech-related activity in the private, academic and government sectors in Japan, and compares those efforts to those in the U.S. and Europe. The report says, "Amid intensifying global competition, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has designated nanotechnology as a key strategic area of focus for strengthening the fundamentals of the industrial sector."
"Although the framework of cooperation among businesses, academics and the government is being formulated in the nanotechnology field, Japan should quickly see visible results from such cooperation," said Susumu Takahashi, chief economist at Japan Research Institute. "In terms of transforming new technology into business opportunities, Japan is lagging far behind the U.S."
Similar concerns expressed over the last year or so (see Foresight Update 44) have helped prompt greater support for nanotech research in both the public and private sector in Japan