News FocusJAPAN BUDGET

Science Spending Keeps Rising But May Miss 5-Year Targets

Science  22 Jan 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5401, pp. 478
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5401.478

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Summary

TOKYO-- For the past 3 years, Japanese scientists have been listening closely to whether the government is keeping its promise to dramatically increase spending on science, but they have been hearing some mixed signals. Science is expected to get another boost this week when legislators approve the fourth of five annual budgets covered by a key 5-year spending plan, a significant achievement for a country mired in an 8-year recession. But it's becoming clear that the ambitious spending goals won't be met and that institutions are lagging in adopting reforms to ensure that the money is put to good use. Some scientists also grumble that the government is favoring research with commercial potential.