How were the editorials of “Innovation 25”?


There was a meeting with the editorial writers of Japanese newspapers on the 24th and some immediate reactions about “Innovation 25” appeared in the op-ed. 

On Sunday May 27th’s edition of Yomiuri Newspaper (3rd page of the morning edition) it was titled “Japan’s future is up to innovation” and the content was as follows. 

●In order to invigorate Japan’s future, we must substantiate Innovation steadily. 

●The government issued a long term strategic guideline “Innovation 25” for creating an affluent country with hope for people. “Innovation” means technical and/or social reform. “25” stands for 2025 which is the goal year to achieve its objectives. 

●As its name shows, this guideline points out specific goals to achieve in the field of high technology development by 2025.

●At the same time, they are suggesting policy issues such as educational reform, reconsideration of regulatory system and financial support so as to stimulate technology development and its diffusion.

●With the total population declining and the aging population growing at a tremendous speed, we can not avoid significant drop in productivity if we leave the situation unaddressed. Fast growing China will eventually exceed Japan’s GDP. India also has that potential. 

●This strategic guideline has an extremely important role as a road map to fully utilize Japan’s science and technology competence to maintain its national power. 

●Some technological goals include sharp decrease in the number of dementia patients by the progress of Alzheimer disease research. There are also other various goals in the list such as decreasing household chores and childcare workload by the utilization of advanced robots etc. 

●If the number of dementia patients decline and the elderly are in good condition, working style and social security system will be pressed for a drastic reform. Individual’s leisure time will expand and scope of activities will be broadened, which may lead to a change in people’s lifestyle. 

●If technological innovation and social reform match, Japan’s vitality will increase. Its global competitiveness will be also maintained. However, the premise of that is to secure good human resources. 

●The strategic guideline emphasizes reforms of universities, the core institution for education and research, as issues which should be tackled in the coming 3 years. One example of the reform is the policy to increase research grants for young researchers whose thinking is still flexible. 

●The guidelines also support acceptance of talented people from overseas to university as professors and advises to aim at doubling their recruiting ratio. Unless education / research institutions open their doors, conducting world class research is no longer possible. 

●The guidelines also encourage eliminating the classification of arts and sciences upon recruiting students, promote liberal arts education and also to offer more lectures given in English language. These are important perspective for developing world class human resources. 

●United States and European countries also have been sending out policies that bears the word “Innovation” for several years now. Apparently we share common perspective of the problems. If Japan fails to act quickly, the country may dwindle down. 

●We must not be outdone in securing human resources or in competition of development of new techniques. 

In Sankei Newspaper (2nd page of the morning edition) of Monday May 28th , an article titled 【Opinion】 “Innovation 25 ? passion to bring out the nails that stik out” follows like this.   

● “Innovation” is a frequently used word among industrialized countries. In simple terms, it means technical reform, but it is not only about invention, but rather creating new values and social changes, a drastic reform from the inside. 

●The final report of “Innovation 25” is now finalized.  It is a long term strategic guidelines prepared through the discussions and study by the government strategic board. Innovation 25 is one of the important policies of Prime Minister Abe’s administration which bears the role of offering a long term strategic guidelines foreseeing 2025. 

●Japan does not have choice but to face the future decline of population and increase in aging population. On the other hand, the speed of information technology and globalization is overwhelming. Also, besides global warming, issues are countless such as food and energy. The guidelines indicate goals and action plans on how to tackle these challenging issues by innovation. 

●The goals set by the guidelines are high. In order to achieve those goals, it takes not only technology but also reforms in social system and a spirit of challenge. We highly evaluate the guidelines for setting such goals for true innovation.   

●By conquering current issues, they hope that Japan will promote economy and contribute to the world. This report fully and strongly manifests such spirit.   

●The guideline is proposing a swift social system reform to set the ground for innovation. They also list issues that should be addressed in the coming 3 years.

●The highlight of the above  is “expansion of investment to the next generation” and “university reform”. They are proposing to increase research grants for young researchers. We strongly support the proposal.

●The guidelines are also having reform of immigration control in their view for the enhancement of attraction of foreign talents to Japanese universities, institutions, etc. 

●To open the gates of Japanese universities to the world, promote credit transfers between Japan and overseas universities.  By eliminating the classification of arts and sciences for entrance examination, merge the fields of academic study and nurture new types of human resources. 

●They also showed a unique policy of “nurturing human resources” by bringing out the “nails that stick out” This is also something to look forward to. 

●There are criticism that Innovation 25 is something-for-everyone. Reform accompanies pain. Let us start by asking people for their understanding. 

There were articles in other newspapers as well but for my part I think what is important is the future PR strategy.