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Some Contexts and Practices of S&T Foresight and Impact Assessment in Japan

  • Asako Okamura
Friday 17 November 2023
Willem Einthoven
Kolffpad 1
2333 BN Leiden
Common room en online
Asako Okamura


1. Some Contexts of Impact Assessment in Japan

As the scope of science and technology policy is broadened to include innovation policy, the importance of understanding research capabilities and societal relevance from multiple perspectives is increasing, and the movement towards impact assessment is also accelerating in many countries. Many countries and organisations are also accelerating research assessment reform towards responsible research assessment, rooted in the belief in responsible science and technology innovation. While such ideas and concepts are being introduced in the Japanese science and technology policy community, they have not yet become a major movement regarding policy reflection and implementation in Japan. This presentation briefly touches on the policy situation in Japan and then presents some studies, including work-in-progress related to impact assessment, to raise some potential points for discussion.

2. Co-Creating Value-Driven Visions of Preferred Futures (The NISTEP 12th Science and Technology Foresight Survey)

The National Institute of Science and Technology of Japan has a long tradition of Science and Technology Foresight for over 50 years. The presentation will give an overview of the first results of the visioning exercise conducted as part of the ongoing 12th NISTEP Science and Technology Foresight Survey. This survey aims to provide foresight over a 20–30-year time horizon using various methods, including horizon scanning, visioning, Delphi survey and scenario analysis. The visioning process included workshops, citizen questionnaires and visionary surveys based on co-creation with a bottom-up perspective, incorporating individual and societal values to draw out preferred future visions. In particular, we tried to include as many voices as possible from the younger generation. The visions received were tentatively condensed into 24 visions, which were further synthesised into six visions. Many visions focus on the human mentality and relate to individual lifestyles, interpersonal relationships, societal structures and harmonious coexistence with science and technology. Many visions also value the heritage of local culture, history, and nature. These visions will form an integral part of our subsequent research, including the Delphi survey and scenario analysis. They are expected to contribute to inform the future science and technology policy.


Asako Okamura

National Institute of Science and Technology Policy
Center for S&T Foresight and Indicators
Senior Research Fellow
E-mail: a-okamura@nistep.go.jp

Asako Okamura is a senior research fellow at the Center for S&T Foresight and Indicators at the National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP), Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan. Her professional experience includes the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) as a specialist in science, technology and innovation (STI) policy and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as an analyst on indicators and impact of science and research. She has worked closely with the government on science, technology, and innovation policy issues. Her research interests include foresight activities and measuring the intersection of science and society. Her recent work includes:

National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (2023) β€œThe 12th Science and Technology Foresight Survey: Co-Creating Value-Driven Visions of Preferred Futures - Synthesis Report,” NISTEP RESEARCH MATERIAL, No. 331. (In Japanese) https://doi.org/10.15108/rm331

Okamura, A., Nishijo, K. Constructing vision-driven indicators to enhance the interaction between science and society. Scientometrics 125, 1575–1589 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-020-03598-z

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