Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government aims to strengthen joint research with developing countries in Africa and Asia thus increasing Japan’s global influence through HE internationalisation.
The country’s joint research programme brings together Japanese and foreign universities for projects under the Core-to-Core Program of JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science), an independent government organisation that administers science funding to HE institutions. Last year two major joint research programmes were established: building advanced research networks with richer nations and the Asia-Africa Science Platform. The research mainly focuses on on developing country challenges such as water resources, climate change, disasters and tropical medicine. The projects are conducted over five years on average, with annual JSPS funding of around US$200,000.
According to Makiko Segawa, the head of JSPS joint research section Asia and Africa are important regions for Japan, while ‘core’ institutions in participating countries must be established to initiate joint study.” There is a special committee of experts that is in charge of the selection of research activities between Japanese universities and foreign counterparts that include European and American institutions. “The joint study projects are supported by Japanese and local funds and they represent new opportunities for the collaborators,” said Professor Ikuo Hirono of Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology.
Japan aims to use research collaboration to benefit global sustainable development and growth. On its current list of Core-to-Core projects in Africa, for instance, are wildlife conservation in Tanzania, and aquatic and ecosystem conservation and malaria elimination based in Kenya. There are also Asia-Africa projects in the equatorial ionosphere, technology for disease prevention and diagnosis, and water resource and environmental management for Asian and African mega-deltas. said.
Another of the international research projects is on gravitational wave astronomy led by the University of Tokyo Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, and including Korea University and India’s Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics.
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