The government said Friday it will launch a new biotechnology panel in a bid to put Japan at the forefront of the emerging field.

The Biotechnology Strategy Council, to be headed by Osaka University President Tadamitsu Kishimoto, will hold its first gathering July 18, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said.

“In recent years, biotechnology has made remarkable accomplishments, and it is becoming important to utilize the accomplishments for practical and industrial purposes,” he said.

The panel will include Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, ministers related to the field, and 12 experts from medical societies and academic and business circles.

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