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Japan must devise an aggressive strategy to obtain patents abroad so the nation’s inventions can be recognized internationally, according to a government white paper released Tuesday.

While praising the leadership of scientists in such research areas as neutrinos and superconductivity, the report says Japan, second only to the United States in science and technology, lags far behind the U.S. in fostering a coordinated, outward-looking science and technology policy.

Universities and industries are not doing enough to crossbreed their research efforts, the report says, pointing to weaknesses in the county’s science and technology policy.

“We should create an environment where young researchers can seize the initiative for research. It is also important that the government, academia and the private sector join hands and expand the scope of research work,” the report says.

Using 12 criteria to assess Japan’s standing in science and technology, including the number of researchers, amount of research papers produced, number of technology exports and number of patents obtained, the report says the U.S. clearly leads, while Japan, Germany, Britain, France and other developed countries lag far behind.

The report criticizes Japan’s inward-looking mentality on patents even though the country ranks first in the number of patents issued.

While more than half of the patents obtained by the U.S. and European countries are taken overseas, more than 60 percent of the patents obtained by Japanese scientists and researchers are obtained within Japan, the report notes.

For Japan’s scientific research to gain international recognition, strategies to obtain patents abroad should be pursued aggressively, it says.

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