The following statement was released by the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Japan on the occasion of the Joint High-Level Committee Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation.
Pursuant to a shared goal of continuing to advance science and technology cooperation and further strengthen the U.S.-Japan relationship, the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Japan met for the 14th Joint High Level Committee (JHLC) Meeting on Science and Technology (S&T) Cooperation on May 2, 2019 in Washington, D.C. This high-level meeting demonstrated the strong mutual commitment of two of the world’s most technologically advanced nations to enhance their bilateral S&T cooperation.
This year, the U.S. delegation was co-chaired by Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Mr. Michael Kratsios, Deputy Assistant to the President for Technology Policy and Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer. The Japanese delegation was co-chaired by Mr. Takuya Hirai, Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy, the Cabinet Office, and Mr. Masahiko Shibayama, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The U.S. delegation brought together representatives from the White House, Department of Energy, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Science Foundation, Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of State. The Japanese delegation included participants from the Cabinet Office, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Institute of Information and Communications Technology.
This iteration of the JHLC strengthened collaboration between the two countries from a broad strategic perspective and emphasized a whole-of-government approach to S&T issues. U.S.-Japanese cooperation provides the basis for scientific, technological, and economic progress that benefits both nations. To date, joint initiatives have led to new ideas and advancements in such fields as particle physics, advanced computing, fusion plasma, materials discovery, natural resources, neuroscience, space, cancer biology, and natural disaster resiliency.
The JHLC was divided into two tracks: science and technology. Each track opened with a discussion of national policy and research areas of common interest. Representatives reviewed recent cooperation across a wide range of scientific disciplines, such as energy-related research and bioscience, including precision medicine. The technology track focused on advancing industries of the future, specifically quantum science and technology and artificial intelligence (AI). Discussions also highlighted efforts to enrich domestic innovation ecosystems; the development of STEM-related human capital and industrial training; principles and ethics in the social implementation of AI and other emerging technologies; the role of bilateral cooperation in protecting and promoting advancements in science and technology; and joint efforts to encourage S&T initiatives at the upcoming G20 Summit and beyond. The delegations conveyed the importance of bilateral space cooperation, which will be further addressed in the U.S.-Japan Comprehensive Dialogue on Space scheduled for the summer of 2019.
Both sides encouraged science and technology stakeholders to explore new avenues for collaboration under the Government of Japan’s Moonshot Research and Development Program as it takes shape. The program aims to solve difficult issues in contemporary society by facilitating highly transformative S&T concepts and promoting international cooperation.
Given the many policy and research priorities, both the United States and Japan expressed enthusiasm for a bilateral Joint Working Level Committee (JWLC) meeting on science and technology cooperation to advance the identified action items. The next JWLC, set to take place in 2020, will be co-led by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Department of State with the participation of the related ministries and agencies of both countries.