Japanese May Invite 300 Into Labs
WASHINGTON - Japan, under pressure to open its labs to outsiders, may soon be inviting more than 300 additional foreign researchers, under programs approved last month by the nation's Finance Ministry.
During a visit here last month, Prime Minister Noboru Takeashita offered $4.4 million to help finance long-term visits by U.S. scientists to Japan's government university and industrial labs. He suggested that the National Science Foundation pick the recipients.
Charles T. Owens, a Japan specialist at NSF, said the funds would be sufficient to provide fellowships for between 75 and 125 U.S. investigators, depending on how long they planned to stay in Japan.
In addition, several Japanese agencies have included money in their 1988 budget requests to support research by foreigners. The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, for example, plans to provide fellowships for 50 Americana and 50 Europeans. The Science and Technology Agency intends to support 100 foreign scientists, including 50 Americans. And the Ministry of International Trade and Industry is expected to offer spaces for about 10 researchers, according to the NSF's Charles W. Wallace.
Some money might be granted to U.S. researchers already in Japan, many of whom, Wallace said, "are really hurting" because of the sharp devaluation of the dollar.
Owens said that NSF would soon send posters to 1,800 U.S. universities describing the agency's own initiatives for attracting more U.S. researchers too Japan. Details of all these programs are available from Owens or Wallace at the Division of International Programs, National Science Foundation, 1800 G St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20550; (202) 357-9632 or 9558.