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Yoshimasa Hayashi - Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

Ready for the future

As Japan deals with an ageing population and finds itself in the midst of a fourth industrial revolution, the country’s universities, as core stakeholders in fostering human resources and driving innovation, are asked to play important roles in strengthening our society.

To face the challenges of the future, the Japanese government formulated the Japan Revitalization Strategy in 2013, launched the Top Global University Project, and set to double the numbers of both inbound and outbound student exchanges.

Yoshimasa Hayashi, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

Based on this long-term strategy, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has provided financial support to improve the study environment at universities in order to attract more international students, among others. The ministry has also supported the efforts of Japanese universities towards more internationalization, through the Top Global University Project.

Anybody can learn more about this program from: https://tgu.mext.go.jp/en/index.html.

The government is also encouraging Japanese students to study abroad through government scholarships and a public private study abroad initiative called “Tobitate!” or “Young Ambassador Program.”

To support some national universities in their efforts to raise the quality of their educational and research activities to world-class standards, MEXT established the Designated National University system. In 2017, Tohoku University, University of Tokyo and Kyoto University were the first schools to receive this DNU status.

A successful society must be both stable and be receptive to new ideas so that advanced technology, such as AI and robotics, can be applied in daily life. Advancements in technology will further change labor markets. In Japan, a shrinking population is resulting in a shortage of workers.

Japan, nevertheless, has developed effective technologies. We are a stable society with a well-organized government. I am convinced that Japan has the capability to become a leading problem-solving nation by skillfully combining all these attributes and deal with a reduction of jobs with these demographic changes.

On behalf of the government, I invite researchers and students from around the world to come to Japan and learn in a cutting-edge environment.

Japan 2018 was prepared for and originally printed in Foreign Affairs magazine.

PDF of the printed report

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