Comparative analysis of science and technology competitiveness in Japan, the United States and China and its implications on economic security policies

Author Name MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. April 2022 22-P-007
Research Project Research on innovation ecosystem formation processes
Download / Links


The Japanese government has approved an economic security bill in the Cabinet and submitted it to the Diet. The basic directions are as follows: (1) improve self-reliance (eliminate vulnerabilities in core infrastructure and supply chains), (2) ensure superiority and indispensability (improve technological and industrial competitiveness by strengthening R&D, etc., and prevent technology leakage), and (3) maintain and strengthen the international order based on fundamental values and rules. In this paper, we discuss the implications for economic security policies in Japan, focusing on the second issue above, based on bibliometric analysis of research papers in Japan as compared to the U,S, and China.

Relative science and technology competitiveness in Japan is lagging behind the U.S. and China due to sluggish public spending on R&D. In addition, international collaboration with researchers in Japan is less active when compared to the close relationship between U.S. and Chinese researchers. Therefore, it is important for Japan in general to strengthen international collaboration, particularly in fields where Japan is lagging, such as AI/machine learning.

On the other hand, it is critical to strengthen the regulations to prevent international technology leakage in “sensitive” technology fields from the viewpoint of national security. Therefore, it is important to facilitate a system and resources for tracking research activities in sensitive fields (researcher databases, staff for technology analysis, think tank systems etc.) to ensure the economic security of Japan.