1. Measures may be taken to further encourage the flow of technology from Japan to the United States. They include efforts to gather and disseminate information on Japanese technology, which are already under way in various forms. The Japan Technology Program of the Department of Commerce is doing valuable work in this respect. The U.S. government could perhaps step up efforts to secure "comparable access to major government-sponsored or government-supported programs".4 Recent U.S. interest in the Intelligent Manufacturing System and New Information Processing Technology projects is a welcome development.

  2. Corporate alliances and joint ventures between U.S. and Japanese corporations could and should be further encouraged. Such alliances, needless to say, are primarily a matter for private corporations to decide. But the U.S. government could encourage such moves through measures that might include the relaxation of the application of antitrust regulations and allowing Japanese corporations to participate in U.S. research consortia.

  3.  It is desirable for the U.S. government to continue to ask the Japanese government to play its role in enhancing collaboration in technological and industrial fields. Although much has to be done by the United States to seize opportunities presented by Japan's growing technological capability, Japan can also be called upon to behave in such a way as to turn technological development into a positive-sum game. The Japanese government should establish it as a rule that government-sponsored research projects will be opened internationally, and hopefully the U.S. government would respond by doing likewise. Japan should step up efforts to redress the still existing imbalance in the flow of researchers between the two countries by expanding fellowship programs and by upgrading the research facilities of Japanese universities and national research laboratories. Japan should also improve its business environment so that obstacles for U.S. corporations to increase substantially direct investment in Japan are removed.

Japanese corporations should make greater efforts to transfer their technology more smoothly. It is also necessary to increase transparency concerning their strategies, especially with regard to direct investment in the United States. Japanese corporations should ensure that their investments are not merely or primarily intended to extract technology from the United States.

For the United States to ask Japan to play its role will not be putting gaiatsu (external pressure) on Japan, because it is in Japan's own interests to harmoniously share the fruits of technological development. Japan can prosper towards and into the twenty-first century only if the U.S. technological base is maintained and strengthened, and if U.S. industries remain competitive.

4  

Agreement between the government of Japan and the government of the United States on Cooperation in Research and Development in Science and Technology.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement