establishing a regular exchange to explore new approaches that could be implemented unilaterally or discussed with Japanese counterparts.6
The U.S.-Japan relationship both past and present can be considered a leading indicator of issues and questions that may emerge in relations with other countries, particularly the emerging techno-industrial powers of Asia. Inattention to technological and industrial trends and approaches of other countries could lead to serious challenges to national interests and U.S.-based institutions in the future. Tracking developments in Asia and developing cooperative strategies will take on increasing importance for the United States. Even U.S.-Japan cooperation and competition is taking on an increasing Asia dimension.
The Japan experience also highlights the important general point that as global capability and competition in science and technology increase, the capability to generate and utilize innovation to create new products, companies, and markets, is perhaps the most important key to national well-being and prestige. The role of natural advantages such as mineral resources and geography will change, as nations increasingly focus on building their knowledge base, brain power, and technical infrastructure of institutions and facilities.
Chairman, Committee on Japan
For the purposes of this discussion, the "key U.S. players" are the U.S. members of the Joint High Level Committee, Joint High Level Advisory Panel, and Joint Working Level Committee under the U.S.-Japan S&T Agreement, and the U.S. representatives to the Systems and Technology Forum which is involved with defense-related R&D cooperation. But these discussions could include others as appropriate.