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The government said Friday it will invest 24 trillion yen in scientific and technological research from fiscal 2001 to fiscal 2005.

The investment plan, proposed by the Council for Science and Technology Policy, will focus on four areas of research — life sciences, information technologies, the environment and nanotechnology.

The investment strategy, endorsed Friday by the Cabinet, is intended to put Japan at the top of the world in scientific research.

Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori said the government hopes the investment strategy leads to results that benefit the nation’s industrial base.

The science council, which is chaired by Mori, has issued a report underscoring the importance of sharing the results of scientific research with the public.

The report also spells out other social and ethical responsibilities for scientists receiving public money in their research activities.

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