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U.S. and Japan to Explore the Role of Science and Technology

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Office of Science and Technology Policy

For Immediate Release 
Contact: 202/456-6047
Aprilt 4, 1999


U.S. and Japan to Explore the Role of Science and Technology
in Society into the New Millennium

President Clinton and Prime Minister Obuchi called for an expanded dialogue on the role of science and technology in our societies into the new millennium. The Leaders, who share a common understanding of the importance of science and technology, have, at the dawn of the new millennium, reaffirmed their conviction that the relationships between science, technology, and society will be of ever increasing importance.  The Leaders determined that in order to respond to our public responsibility to employ science and technology to meet social needs, the two governments would lead deliberations to consider how science and technology can most effectively contribute to our societies and the global community, and to identify areas in which enhanced bilateral cooperation would be desirable. This dialogue is to include representatives from various sectors such as industry, academia, non-governmental organizations, and government, who are involved in U.S.-Japan science and technology cooperation. The Leaders asked for a report on findings toward the Spring of the new millennium.

The U.S. and Japan are the world's leading centers of innovation in science and technology, accounting for more than 60 percent of the global investment in research and development. This shared commitment to the importance of science and technology has led to new knowledge, new products, and new services that have improved lives and advanced economies around the globe. Yet many of the challenges remain as we enter the next millennium. Better protecting human health, particularly in societies with growing elder populations; improving our relationship with our environment and use of natural resources; reducing the impact of natural disasters; improving the generation and use of energy; more clearly understanding the fundamental nature of matter and of the universe; improving public understanding of science and technology; and strengthening our understanding of the interactions between science, technology and society are some examples of challenges that continue to lie ahead. By considering where our societies are headed and the role of our bilateral relationship in the broader international community, the dialogue will offer a view of the role that advances in science and technology can play in bringing a better quality of life to all.

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