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Japanese people should gain more knowledge about science and technology and actively participate in the decision-making process about related issues, the government said in an annual report released Friday.

The white paper on science and technology also called for closer relations between scholars who tend to confine themselves to their own fields and laypeople. The white paper was endorsed at a Cabinet meeting in the morning.

The report also reviews benefits from developments in science and technology in the 20th century and challenges, such as environmental degradation.

According to the report, about 10 percent of scientists and scholars are shirking their responsibilities for the sake of their research even if it has adverse effects on society.

Additionally, the report notes that only 40 percent of scientists and other experts recognize the need to do more to deepen understanding of science and technology.

The white paper also expresses hope that nongovernmental organizations will act as “an interpreter” of science and technology issues for the public.