TOKYO—American fears that Japan is coordinating a national effort to achieve world supremacy in high-temperature superconductivity R&D are exaggerated, say Japanese scientists and officials, who point out that the government lacks the money and clout to orchestrate such a campaign.

"Too many people in the U.S. are overestimating our abilities," said Masatoshi Urashima, director for development of advanced industries in the Agency for. Indus trial Science and Technology under MITI (the Ministry of International Trade and Industry). A study group set up by MITI that includes industry, university and national laboratory representatives met for the first time April 14, he said, "to evaluate the recent breakthroughs and discuss what we should do." No date for a second meeting has been set, he added.

Shoji Tanaka, a Tokyo University professor who is a leading figure in superconductivity research here, said he is pessimistic about Japan's ability to take the decisive cooperative...

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