It is important to note that most U.S.-Japan science and technology cooperation in academia and industry occurs outside this official structure, although some problems and issues that might arise in private sector interactions, such as difficulties in accessing academic and public research facilities, could be raised and addressed under the U.S.-Japan S&T Agreement. Even in areas where the two governments play key roles in organizing cooperative programs, such as defense equipment, U.S.-Japan cooperation is largely industry-implemented.

Appendix B contains a compilation of goals and objectives for the U.S.-Japan science and technology relationship as put forward in various agreements and official statements. Appendix C describes the role of the Joint High Level Advisory Panel established under the U.S.-Japan S&T Agreement.


U.S.-Japan Cooperation: Not an End in Itself

One clear theme that emerged from the workshop discussion is that cooperation with Japan in science and technology is not an end in itself, and should be pursued as a means to advance other U.S. interests. Several participants pointed out that Japan has never approached international scientific and technological cooperation as an end, and has traditionally pursued cooperation in ways that would advance other national goals. Since World War II, economic development has been Japan's primary national focus, and international links in science and technology have served to enhance the capabilities and autonomy of domestic firms and other institutions. As discussed below, traditional Japanese approaches are currently facing a number of challenges. The specific U.S. interests to be pursued through science and technology cooperation with Japan can be divided into several categories.

Furthering agency missions

A variety of U.S. government agencies engage in scientific and technological cooperation with Japan that is linked to furthering agency missions, including the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and many others. For example, cooperation with Japan in defense technology and equipment pursued by the U.S. Department of Defense illustrates how science and technology cooperation is linked to broader national and agency objectives.1 Japan is still the key to U.S. security strategy in Asia, and cooperation in defense production has long been an important aspect of the U.S.-Japan security alliance. However, the context and environment have changed considerably. Efforts have been made to move from a defense assistance paradigm in which rising Japanese military capability was seen as the primary way in which cooperation contributed to furthering U.S. security interests, to a new partnership in which sharing of technologies, engineering capabilities and risks with Japan will allow the United States to leverage constrained resources for defense R&D and procurement.


See National Research Council, Maximizing U.S. Interests in Science and Technology Relations with Japan: Report of the Defense Task Force(Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1995).

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