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12 regions picked for technological development initiative.

TOKYO, April 15 Kyodo

The education ministry said Monday it has chosen 12 regions in which it will introduce a program to support innovative technological development, centered on regional universities and research institutions, and designated another six regions as experimental sites for the program.

The initiative is aimed at creating complexes in various areas nationwide, in line with efforts to promote science and technology at a regional level from this fiscal year, said Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry officials.

They said the initiative aims to capitalize on the unique characteristics of each region in fostering advances in information technology and biotechnology, among other sectors, adding the regions were selected from applications submitted by local governments in 30 regions.

The ministry will allot each of the 12 regions about 500 million yen in aid over a five-year period, but the aid can be canceled if no real achievement is seen in a midterm evaluation conducted after the first three years, the officials said.

The six trial sites will receive about 100 million yen in annual aid, with the ministry reevaluating the region's feasibility within a three-year period.

The 12 regions include areas in the prefectures and cities of Sapporo, Sendai, Kyoto, Osaka, Kitakyushu and Fukuoka, according to officials.

Of these, the Kitakyushu Science and Research Park and the neighboring Fukuoka region are set to create a tie-up for a technological development structure.

The six trial sites include areas in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, Ogaki in Gifu Prefecture, and Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture, the officials said.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Apr 22, 2002
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