The Growth of Japanese Science and Technology

Science  02 Aug 1989:
Vol. 245, Issue 4918, pp. 600
DOI: 10.1126/science.245.4918.600


Several measures are used to delineate the remarkable growth in the Japanese technological position over the last decade. The share of U.S. patents issued to Japanese inventors has been rising at 1 percent per year. These patents are the most frequently cited patents in the U.S. system. By 1984, Japanese inventors obtained more U.S. patents than inventors in the United Kingdom, France, and West Germany combined, and the gap has been widening ever since. As measured by publications, the Japanese scientific position is more modest, with a 0.5 percent rise per year in papers and with barely average citation performance. These indicators characterize Japan as a technological powerhouse, with highly innovative technology, and an expanding but far less powerful scientific position.