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Manufacturing Policy Portal [beta]

Hosted by the Centre for Science, Technology & Innovation Policy (CSTI)

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Actors & Institutions

Actors and Institutions


Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

In 2001, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) was created, following the merger of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) with agencies from other ministries related to economic activities, and it has primary responsibility for Japanese manufacturing industry. METI has a wide policy brief, overseeing several key agencies and offices, including the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency, the Manufacturing Industries Bureau, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO).

METI, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), publishes an annual report on measures the government takes to promote manufacturing, called the White Paper on Manufacturing Industries (Monodzukuri). Monodzukuri is described as the “art of making goods that has supported Japanese culture and industry and helped to improve the lives of the Japanese people”. To acknowledge its importance and promote its status in Japan, the biennial Monodzukuri Nippon Grand Award was established in 2005.


The main policy development body in the Government of Japan is the Council for Science and Technology Policy (Council for Science and Technology and Innovation?), set up in the Cabinet Office in 2001. The Council “serves as the headquarters for the promotion of S&T policy, overlooks all of the nationʼs S&T, formulates comprehensive and basic policies, and conducts their overall coordination”.


Innovation Agencies


National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)

The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) is an Independent Administrative Institution (IAI) within METI, and is Japan’s primary publicly funded research organisation. AIST divides its research into two streams: Type I Basic Research and Type II Basic Research. Type I Basic Research is concerned more with fundamental scientific research, while Type II Basic Research refers to “tackling social issues using multidisciplinary, cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary research”.


Japan Science and Technology Agency

An IAI within MEXT, the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) is one of the main institutions responsible for implementing science and technology policy in Japan. It also implements the Government’s Science and Technology Basic Plan. JST also contains the Center for Research and Development Strategy (CRDS).


Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)

The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) is another IAI within MEXT, with a brief that entails the advancement of science in all fields of the sciences and humanities. It largely engages with individual researchers, universities, and research institutes, and plays a “pivotal role in the administration of a wide spectrum of Japan's scientific and academic programs”. The main functions of JSPS include supporting “scientific cooperation between the academic community and industry”.


National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP)

The National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP) – is a national research institution under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). It is expected to participate in the policy decisions relating to science and technology, and is designed to be collaborative and cooperate with other government agencies. NISTEP has three stated missions:

  1. To forecast policy issues and investigate them through autonomous research
  2. To carry out research in response to requests from government agencies
  3. As a core institution in the field of science and technology research, to provide data that forms the basis of research and play a key cooperative and contributing role in activities with other institutions and researchers, in order to contribute to the expansion and accumulation of knowledge.


New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) is an IAI whose budget is largely provided by METI, and which organises and promotes R&D. The mission of NEDO is (i) to address energy and global environmental problems and (ii) enhance industrial technology. NEDO has operations in Japan and several overseas offices and projects. Notable collaborators on projects include Sandia National Laboratories.


Other Key Actors in Japan Manufacturing Policy System

Another significant body in Japan is the Keidanren – the Japanese Business Federation – whose membership comprises Japan’s top companies and industry associations (1,309 companies, 112 nationwide industrial associations and 47 regional economic organisations, as of July 1, 2014). In 2011, the Keidanren published a growth strategy, outlining measures to achieve sustained economic growth (2% in real terms and 3% in nominal terms). The strategy featured the following five policy recommendations to “enhance Japan's international competitive advantage as a business location”.

  1. Fundamentally revising energy and environmental policies
  2. Taking measures to combat deflation and stabilize exchange rates
  3. Reducing the burden on companies, including corporate tax and social security premium
  4. Participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and promoting other high-level economic partnerships
  5. Developing employment policies based on a diverse labour market

The growth strategy also includes recommendations for corporate action to accelerate growth, which includes calls to improve competitiveness by forming industrial clusters.