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Ties to Japan

Audience at the symposium at Rikkyo University, in Tokyo

HEITOR SHIMIZUAudience at the symposium at Rikkyo University, in TokyoHEITOR SHIMIZU

The Brazil-Japan Symposium on Research Cooperation, organized by FAPESP and the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) at Rikkyo University, took place in Tokyo in March with the support of the Brazilian Embassy in Japan. The event was part of the intensification of relations between scientists in São Paulo and other  countries, promoted by FAPESP. There is as of yet no formal partnership between the Foundation and the Japanese entity. FAPESP’s president, Celso Lafer, and the President of JSPS, Yuichiro Anzai, discussed the possibility of the two entities studying the establishment of a cooperation agreement to develop joint research projects by scientists from São Paulo and Japan, funded by the two foundations. JSPS receives about 100,000 requests for research funding per year and grants about 30% of them. Its budget is about $3.7 billion annually. It has agreements with 85 educational and research institutions in 45 countries. Professor Celso Lafer, who was accompanied by the chairman of FAPESP’s Executive Board, José Arana Varela, was also invited to visit the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), the second main research-sponsoring entity in Japan, by its president, Michiharu Nakamura, and other directors. With an annual budget of about $1.2 billion, the JST focuses more on more immediately-applicable innovative research. The FAPESP directors also met with colleagues from Riken, a leading Japanese research institute, with centers in various cities throughout the country and an emphasis on applied engineering programs in the areas of biomass, computer science, preventive medicine, brain studies, and quantitative biology, among others. At the University of Tokyo, Celso Lafer and José Arana Varela met with the president, Junichi Hamada, who told them about the forum that that Japanese institution will hold in São Paulo on November 11-12 of this year.