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Cooperation in holding Science and Technology in Society Forum

October 2018

On October 7, the 15th annual meeting of the Science and Technology in Society (STS) Forum, organized by the NPO STS Forum headed by Founder and Chairman Koji Omi, was held at the Kyoto International Conference Center. It was joined by 1,400 people including 11 Nobel Prize laureates and the following guests from 80 countries: Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan; Hiroshige Seko, Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; Masahiko Shibayama, Japan's Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Takuya Hirai, Japan's Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy; Ken Saito, former Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Maxim Oreshkin, Russia's Minister of Economic Development; Charles Holiday, Jr., Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell; Hiroaki Nakanishi, Chairman of Keidanren (Japan Business Federation); Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation; Tasuku Honjo, Distinguished Professor of Kyoto University; and Shinya Yamanaka, Director of the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) of Kyoto University.

Chairman and CEO Ishige, Prime Minister Abe, and STS Forum Founder and Chairman Omi (from left)

The STS Forum is the world's largest-scale international meeting for science and technology, where researchers, business people and policymakers active on the front lines around the world engage in discourse and exchange. This was the 15th meeting since it was first held in 2004. From JETRO, Chairman and CEO Hiroyuki Ishige took part in the Board Meeting as an STS Forum board member.

The STS Forum also works proactively on outreach activities (promoting science and technology) overseas. In 2018, it held three workshops across the globe: the India Workshop in New Delhi in February; the ASEAN Workshop in Cebu, the Philippines, in April; and the EU Workshop in Brussel, Belgium. In 2019, workshops are planned to be held in India, Singapore and Sweden. JETRO is helping to hold these STS Forum workshops by utilizing its overseas network spanning 74 offices in 54 countries.

Declaring the issue of utmost importance in economic growth, Prime Minister Abe said at the start of the opening ceremony, "For the next three years, I will devote every effort to promoting innovation. The reason is our growth depends on only three things: innovation, innovation and innovation!" Introducing the achievements of the Impulsing Paradigm Change Through Disruptive Technologies Program (ImPACT), an acceleration-oriented open innovation platform, he emphasized that his government is strengthening Japan’s capability to adapt to the fourth industrial evolution through its introduction of a regulatory sandbox system, through which certain regulations can be temporarily suspended for demonstration experiments.

Opening remarks by Prime Minister Abe

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Seko

Director and Professor Yamanaka of CiRA, Kyoto University

Photo: Courtesy of STS Forum