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Technological Forecasting & Social Change 72 (2005) 359 373

Obstacles to emergence of high/new technology parks,

ventures and clusters in Japan
Hajime Eto*
Department of Management, Chiba Keizai University, Todoroki, Inage-ku, Chiba City, Chiba Prefecture 263-0021, Japan
Received 1 February 2004; received in revised form 15 June 2004; accepted 21 August 2004

The feasibility of and obstacles to government policies to promote high/new technology (HNT) parks, ventures
and clusters are examined mainly in regard to the value systems in the administration and businesses (AB) world
and the science and technology (ST) world. Using the language analysis method developed in the philosophy of
science, semantic gaps concerning science and research between the two worlds were analyzed and demonstrated
as leading the Japanese ST policies into contradictions. Cultural factors such as value gaps between the two worlds
are shown to be responsible for the unsuccessful outcome of the ST policies. It is advised to reverse the current ST
policies as a short-range policy and to foster ST potential in local areas by renovating traditional fermentation and
other techniques and starting up ST-promoting tourism enterprises as a long-range policy.
D 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Keywords: High technology; Technopark; Venture; Cluster; Fermentation; Local development

1. Introduction
Economic growth caused the concentration of population and industries on major cities such as Tokyo
in the 1960s. This led to the central governments planned move of industrial and R&D establishments
(including universities) to local cities and rural areas. Local governments initially welcomed the move-in
of big industries and universities to activate the local economies. Around 1970, however, residents began

* Fax: +81 333842791.

E-mail address:
0040-1625/$ - see front matter D 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


H. Eto / Technological Forecasting & Social Change 72 (2005) 359373

to blame pollution from industry. In the 1980s, with support from central government, local governments
built technoparks for relatively pollution-free industries such as information and other high/new
technology (HNT) industries and R&D laboratories (labs) as well as colleges. In the 1990s, a recession
caused by financial collapse hit the Japanese economy. Then central government began to promote the
startup of ventures, and local governments expected the spontaneous clustering of ventures. Thus far,
however, most technoparks fail to attract HNT establishments, only a limited number of HNT ventures
were started up, and no cluster is visible.
This situation raises the research question: Why the series of policies of promoting HNT parks,
ventures and clusters remain unsuccessful and how to make them work in short as well as long-range
views? Think-tanks have conducted some research on this, but they failed to predict the unsuccessful
outcomes probably because they depended on the government for the data collection and may have
hesitated in presenting frank findings to the government (except for a foreign analyst [1]). This paper
will avoid relying on governmental data and choose a conceptual method rather than a data analysis

2. Methodology
As the major factor for the success and failure is cultural, this paper will examine the cultural aspects
of innovation such as values and ethos rather than monetary and other material factors. Conceptual
methods have been developed in traditional disciplines such as philosophy. In the last century,
philosophy developed the language analysis method for the analysis of science. This will be applied to
analyzing the concepts of science and research. It also developed the contradiction analysis method for
the systematization of mathematics and logic-based synthesis of diverse disciplines. This will be applied
to the validity examination of policies.
Among various aspects of Science and Technology (ST) policies, this paper will examine the cultural
aspect, specifically the value system, because many analysts have attributed the Japanese success in
innovation to her way of management based on her culture and value. The analysis methods of culture or
value owe to the philosophy in the late 18th to early 20th centuries, namely, the value philosophy and
cultural anthropology by Kant himself and later by Neo-Kantian School and Wiener School. Avoiding
metaphysical discussions and leaving general theories [27] and definitions [8] to other works, this paper
will treat specific cases. Technoparks [9,10], ventures [1115], clusters [8,1621], innovative culture
[2225] and R&D [2628] in regions and their impact on regions [2931] along with low technology
such as food technology [32] and others [33,34] were discussed in globally circulated publications with
the focuses on western cases or a few Asian cases in highly developed areas [35,36], while this paper
will study cases of Chiba prefecture as a somewhat emerging area. This paper will also discuss the
unavailability of ST workforce in different aspects from others [3739]. As regional economy depends
on tourism, this paper will consider the effect of tourism on ST, which is usually neglected except for
Bayraktarogu and Kutanis [40]. This paper will specifically discuss the collapse of uni-culture and the
emergence of bi-value system with conflicting values and ethic. For this reason, this paper will use the
contradiction analysis method in discussing cultural aspects of ST policies.
In examining the feasibility of ST policies, this paper will discuss what obstructs the implementation
of the policies. A major obstacle may be the negligence of the split of values about ST. Government has
long been accustomed to the uni-culture and hence fails to recognize the value gap between the

H. Eto / Technological Forecasting & Social Change 72 (2005) 359373


administration and business (AB) world and the ST world. As the media discuss the split of values
among people, government knows the split in general but is unaware of the particular gap between the
two worlds, which actually existed already in the above-stated uni-culture era as will be discussed below.
This unawareness yields another problem that policies issued by AB tops are unknowingly inconsistent,
confusing or contradictory in the eyes of ST personnel.
2.1. Culture and the development of science and technology in Japan
As Japan lacks material resources, analysts attributed her growth to the high quality of low-educated
workers and their collaboration under Japanese management [4143]. With only a few product
innovations, the high quality of her products was attributed to her process innovations and improvement
(kaizen) owing to the tie of engineers, workers and managers. The tie contributed to the success of total
quality management (TQM) [44] in Japan. Quality circles of workers belonging to socialistic trade
unions in Japan promoted the bottom-up quality movement, which involved design engineers, R&D staff
and top managers. The workers suggestion system is now worldwide recognized as useful to ST [45].
Managers and engineers respected the initiative and dignity of workers (called the human capitalism),
partly because managers and senior engineers had once belonged to unions, to which young engineers
still belonged [46]. This resolved conflicts between workers, engineers and managers and produced a
unified value system (uni-culture) or modern industrial ethic and cultural system [47]. Ethos of workers
for quality was called the culture of Japan with the origin in her traditional ethics [4850].
Another reason for the tie between workers and managers is explained by their intimate personal
contact via drinking together after workhour (called bafter 5 oclockQ). Drinking together has been
important in the old religion of Japan (Shinto) like Greek Bacchus. Many companies allow managers to
spend company money for drinking with workers, and the tax system allows to deduct this spending as
the necessary cost of companies.
A recession hit Japan around 1990. The low-interest financial policy in the 1980s induced the
speculative investment in land and stocks for short-range profit. This led to the moral corruption of
financial service and then to the bankruptcy of banks, insurance and stock companies (generically banks
in sequel) in the 1990s. In order for government to easily control industries via banks, the industrial
system was designed so that almost all firms relied on bank loans rather than the self-capital and
belonged to bank-led groups (keiretsu as a descendent of zaibatsu in the prewar era). In this system, the
bankruptcy of banks directly choked all corporate activities including ST [51]. The world-praised human
capitalism was replaced with the bank-relieving money capitalism, which collapsed collaboration ethic.
Trade unions and quality circles were disorganized. The professionalism of ST personnel with the
specialist spirit loyal to technological values was replaced with their reluctant obedience to profitseeking top-down directives. Consumers began to distrust governmental financial policies and suppliers,
buy foreign stocks and refrain from shopping, which lowered the demand. The longest recession in
Japanese history came. As the major factor of the success was the cultural one, that of the failure is
attributed to the corruption of value system.
2.2. Concentration trend of cultural facilities on major cities
In the 18th century, Edo (now Tokyo) had larger population than London and Paris, and Kyoto as
Imperial Capital and Osaka as the commercial center were also among world-biggest cities. Statistics


H. Eto / Technological Forecasting & Social Change 72 (2005) 359373

reveal a concentration of cultural and ST facilities in the cities [52,53], which in turn attract intellectuals
from local areas. This is particularly so for HNT [35]. Firms locate R&D labs near the head-offices,
industrial districts or super cities [54]. The relocation of national R&D labs to Tsukuba Science City
little affected firms, which merely set up small labs there only for the linkage with the national labs. The
ambitious plan to build the ST center in rural Tsukuba Science City failed because government did not
consider the problems of such relocations [55]. Big firms did not set up full-scale labs there partly
because small firms for supplying various supporting services for efficient R&D did not want to leave
Tokyo. Another problem is the concentration of cultural facilities on cities, which indirectly but
seriously affects the relocation of ST facilities because many ST personnel and their families (especially
wives) love art and stick to cities. In contrast, a park in the Tokyo metropolitan area is free from these
problems [56].
2.3. Ethic of national economic unity and developments in ST
The economic growth of Japan owed to her hierarchical unity called Corporation of Japan, where
government controls banks that control big firms that control small ones in turn. As small and
independent ones outside the hierarchy are feared to disturb the unity, such firms are often seen as
outlaws against national ethic. Partly for this, ST personnel are concentrated on big firms [57] and work
there until the retirement, after which some of them start up small subsidiary firms of their ex-firms as a
Japanese form of spin-off [56] different from western ones [58,59].
2.4. Rationale for cultural approach and obstacle analysis
In examining the feasibility of ST policies, this paper will discuss what obstructs the implementation
of the policies. A major obstacle may be the negligence of the split of values about ST. Government has
long been accustomed to the uni-culture and hence fails to recognize the value gap between the
administration and business (AB) world and the ST world. As the media discuss the split of values
among people, government knows the split in general but is unaware of the particular gap between the
two worlds, which actually existed already in the above-stated uni-culture era as will be discussed below.
This unawareness yields another problem that policies issued by AB tops are unknowingly inconsistent,
confusing or contradictory in the eyes of ST personnel.

3. Findings
3.1. The gap between the AB and ST worlds
The gap between the AB world and the ST world is rooted in history. When the Buddhism came to
Japan in the 6th century, the temples were the study centers of the Buddhism classic texts (Sutra like
Bibles) as well as worship service chapels for urban residents. Later, many temples were set up in
mountains for meditative studies of Buddhism philosophy via training (like yoga) in isolation from
materialized urban lives. Indeed, all Buddhism temples have been also called mountains.
Social science colleges or departments (SSCs) in modern universities set up in the19th century
urged students to read western classics (e.g., the Wealth of Nations by Smith). SSC students spent

H. Eto / Technological Forecasting & Social Change 72 (2005) 359373


the summer vacation in cool mountains to read assigned books without being disturbed by urban
lives. As the graduates from SSCs monopolize the top positions of the AB world, many AB tops
believe that the countryside without communication with cities is the best place for study. Buddhism
or Confucian colleges were for disciplinary studies, and the creation of new theory beyond the texts
was prohibited. SSCs in Japan retain this tradition and scarcely conduct creative research, making the
SSCs climate different from the ST one. ST and humanities colleges train specialists or professionals,
and many graduates join professional societies. But SSCs have been to provide cadets to the AB
world along with the successors of the own professors. SSCs have given lectures in large rooms
even in the prewar era when the enrollment to colleges was limited. Except for professors, the SSC
graduates historically do not join the professional societies in social science fields, which have
admitted only academics. Unlike ST and humanity students, therefore, SSC students (especially in
law) have had no occasion to personally contact professors and to know the research climate. Few
SSC professors have conducted creative research. As the Imperial Constitution (18891946) allowed
only Emperor the amendment power, the creative research was prohibited in law colleges, from
which economics colleges branched off retaining the same climate until the recent decades. The
examinations in SSCs have been to prepare students for the examination to government offices and
the bar-exam, and never required originality, meanwhile other colleges have required students to
write bachelors theses with some originality. Without writing theses, SSC students with the good
marks in the exam were awarded the permanent job of professors cadets with the professorship
promised. This difference has generated a different climate among SSCs graduates from ST and
humanities. As the SSCs graduates have monopolized the top positions in the AB world, the ST
world has been controlled under the different culture.
3.2. Language analyses of study, research, scholar and university
In Japan and others, bstudyQ meant reading texts written by divines. Scholars were urged to devotedly
study without experiencing joyful lives. In the value system to view money as dirty, it was a good system
not to reward them in money. The modernization of Japan in the 19th centuries has little changed the
concepts of study and scholar. Professors were urged to learn western ideas rather than conduct creative
research. When government set up the University of Tokyo as the first modern university in 1876, it had
only the departments for western studies (the science college just learnt the result of western science),
while the original research of Japanese classics and history was left to traditional private schools
unauthorized by government. Although the nationalism in the first half of the 20th century raised
indigenous ST, government took ST-importing policies after the world war (WW) II. AB tops continued
to regard the task of ST personnel as reading imported books rather than doing creative research.
bStudyQ also means the endeavor in Japan and others. In Japan, it is synonymous to kenkyu (research),
which means the thorough polishing. This has linguistically led AB tops to confusing R&D with hard
learning. They have given universities only training tasks to learn from the west for the improvement
(kaizen) rather than to conduct creative research.
3.3. Contradicting directives of Ministry of Education about research
Before WWII, Emperor appointed the professors of Imperial Universities although only formally.
Hence they equaled the ministers in rank. This guaranteed academic autonomy. Indeed, the academics


H. Eto / Technological Forecasting & Social Change 72 (2005) 359373

often ignored the directives of Minister of Education. Professors critical of government could not be
expelled as far as they were loyal to Emperor. Even when government expelled liberal or antiwar
professors from the campus, they were not fired but only suspended. The postwar democratization
empowered the Minister to appoint professors, although usually only nominally except for a few cases.
The campus unrest gave the Ministry a good reason to deny traditional academic autonomy of Imperial
Era. The university section of the Ministry directed by Ms. T (hereafter called MEUS referring to the
Ministry of Education University Section) issued a number of directives in the 1980s and 1990s.
Respecting traditional morals to concentrate all mind on duties, the MEUS enforced a rule requiring
professors to concentrate on education and R&D on the campus. Hence they had to report the attendance
of off-campus scientific meetings. Complying with a traditional ethic, MEUS also enforced another rule
prohibiting professors from having side-jobs. Professors needed permissions to serve in scientific
societies as committee members. Obeying a traditional value that views money as dirty, the MEUS
strictly implemented a third rule to prohibit professors from getting money from outside. Pharmacology
professors were punished because they received fees for articles about the test of new medical drugs
contributed to journals of pharmaceutical firms. Professors had to report whether they received the
transportation fees from their societies for attending the committee meetings or not. They had to report
whether they received money for speaking in scientific conferences or not. The paper/time-consuming
reports were forced because Ms. T as an AB-trained bureaucrat did not know that no society pays for
speaking in the conferences. Not only money, but also receiving entertainment was prohibited.
Professors were prohibited from drinking with business people including old friends because the latter
are richer than the former and pay bills. Although the presidents of some universities with the common
sense ignored the MEUS directives, some other universities followed the directives for the fear of
possible budget cuts from the Ministry.
In 2001, Ms. T became the minister and the cabinet announced the reform policy including the
venture promotion. Under the new minister, the MEUS directed professors to collect money from
industries, to serve industries as consultants, to start up ventures, and to tie with banks for the venture
capital. These directives contradicted the former ones and traditional ethos, confusing professors, as the
MEUS did not indicate that former directives were wrong.
Such contradictory directives are natural as a bureaucrat, who is required to follow government
policies and to implement rules. Similarly, a cabinet member is required to follow the cabinet policies.
The bureaucrats of the Ministry have been accustomed to contradictory directives. The Ministry
prohibited textbooks describing Japan as a war-criminal on the basis of the US-led Tokyo Tribunal and,
at the same time, oppressed teachers criticizing the US postwar policy. The major policy of the Ministry
in the 1950s to 1980s was to deny the independent professionalism of teachers and to establish
governmental authority over them.
The Constitution of Japan requires for all court judges to independently follow their conscience but
not for politicians and bureaucrats. This constitutional distinction is based on the difference that the
former is professional while the latter two are not. The MEUS career bureaucrats appear to have the AB
world bblinkersQ on that hinder them from recognizing this difference and leads to the view of professors
as subordinates. Against Constitution of Japan, the administration organ has claimed the superiority to
the legislative and judicial organs. The cabinets have required the courts to respect cabinet decisions in
administrative litigations, because they have believed that judges are shifted from the subordinates of
Emperor to those of cabinet. Government takes it for granted to view the professionals as its subordinate

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3.4. Contradiction between reward ethos and technopark policy

The technopark policy and the wage system may endanger the future ST of Japan. Technoparks are
located in rural areas distant from cities because AB trained bureaucrats assumed that the countryside is
best for Buddhism meditation and ST research. However, information is a most important resource for
R&D and is concentrated in cities. ST personnel in technoparks need to frequently commute to cities,
incurring time and money. Although rapid transportation saves time, professors of national universities
are not provided any budget for air travel. A top aerospace professor in Tokyo was forced to resign for
bribery, because he received (not money but) air-tickets from an aerospace-related firm for weekly
commutes between Tokyo and the aerospace station 1000 km away that did not have direct train access,
Rapid transportation is allowed only for those who receive high wages, because their wage per time is
more valuable than the transportation cost. The wage of professors is not high enough for to afford air
travel on their own. Further, the firms pay little in fees for the professors work. The system is similar in
all firms, where only managers receive high wages. ST personnel of public or private establishments in
technopark are not provided funding for air travel. Technoparks are located distant even from train
stations, to where managers use companys car but ST personnel must take bus, which is infrequent in
rural areas. Accountants of firms do not mind the time loss of low wage employees such as ST
personnel. The technopark policy leads to reduced ST efficiency in the current budget and wage systems.
Statistics says urban lives are more costly than rural ones. This is true only on average. As the
competition is more severe in urban areas than in rural ones, some urban shops take discount strategies.
The lunch costs $6 in Kazusa Academia Park (KAP) in Chiba (Fig. 1) where there are fewer customers
while a chain-restaurant (Gyudon-Taro) in Tokyo provide meal 24 h for the price under $2. As a result,
many ST personnel take bcoin lunchQ for which a w500 coin ($4.5) is enough. In KAP with fewer
customers than in Tokyo, the lunch costs over the standard of ST personnel. KAP is not for academic
people in the Japanese wage system. The housing cost is expensive in big cities like Tokyo. Yet for this
reason (although it sounds contradictory), low-income intellectuals want to live in big cities, especially
Tokyo, to save housing cost as well as to enjoy urban benefits. Living in Tokyo enables the children to
commute from home to good schools and colleges located in Tokyo. Otherwise, they must rent
apartments in cities, which incurs extra cost. Sending children to colleges is especially important for
intellectuals. Shop owners or farmers can give the children shops or land, while intellectuals has little
asset in the Japanese wage system and can give children only education. Seeing this school problem,
highschool students began avoiding ST colleges.
Intellectuals such as ST personnel and their families tend to value fine art or music, which is
concentrated on cities. Tsukuba Science City established some 30 years ago still lacks museum, and
music concerts are held only seldom. Even when ST personnel move to Tsukuba, many families remain
in cities for school and art. This situation has led the unions of ST personnel in private labs to resist
relocation. The non-existence of private labs in Tsukuba was not undesirable for Ministry of Education
because this prevents professors from contacting industries. Learning from the failure of Tsukuba
Science City, Kazusa Academia Park (KAP), far from Tokyo (Fig. 1), plans to invite world-famous
orchestras for summer concerts, the ticket price of which is certain to exceed the financial capability of
ST personnel in the current wage system. Further, concerts only in summer are certain to dissatisfy them.
Daughters of intellectuals tend to learn art from childhood, they demand good teachers, who might move
to such a rural area if the parents pay them very high reward. This exceeds the capability of ST personnel
in the current wage system.


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Fig. 1. Chiba and the neighbors.

3.5. Contradiction between reward ethos and business climate for venture
In the value that keeps professors from money and keeps their wage low, they stay on the campus and
obey a rule that prohibits them from drinking with businesspersons. The situation is the same for other
ST personnel in national or private establishments because AB tops in all organs set the value standard
that only managers receive high wage. Suddenly government urged ST personnel to start up ventures.
Drinking together was important for agreement in the Japanese Shinto as in Greek culture. People
used to drink after the agreement but now drink to win the agreement as a virtually legal form of
bribery. As a common practice, sellers invite buyers to expensive nightclubs and then to hotels with
hostesses. The prostitution expenditure is tax-deductible under the tax system. Similarly, companies
entertain bankers for loans and government officers (including tax officers) for getting privileges by
company money, which is tax-deductible. Despite the critics that this lowers the national revenue and
damages morals of money spending, National Tax Agency permits the deduction. Businesspersons
bworkQ for entertainment in nightclubs till the midnight. They have an excuse for gorgeous dinners with
the companys guests and attending hostesses in clubs while the families take humble meals. In this
business practice of entertainment dealings, businessmen need to know which clubs and hostesses are
good. Companies pay them money to test clubs before entertaining guests. As the entertainment is also

H. Eto / Technological Forecasting & Social Change 72 (2005) 359373


important for diplomats, they did the same tests by public money. Ms. Tanaka, Minister of Foreign
Affairs, punished in 2001 many diplomats for the tests. She was fired in 2002 for her lack in the
common sense. As national universities and R&D labs have been allowed no entertainment budget, ST
personnel have no experience or skill of entertainment in expensive nightclubs and share the same
morals with her. In the current system to keep their wage low, they have no own money to entertain
business partners of ventures. The budget, wage and morals of ST contradict the business climate
necessary to ventures.
3.6. Contradiction between reward ethos and cluster policy
The concept of cluster is almost unknown in Japan because of its non-existence. No rural areas is
interested in it after the failure of technoparks. Suburban areas and big local cities could attract ventures but
they are more interested in the renovation of shopping centers for immediate and certain benefits than
uncertain ventures. A typical example is seen for Funabashi city (Fig. 1), an east neighbor of Tokyo in the
western part of Chiba prefecture. Three train lines provide rapid, frequent, punctual, safe and cheap
services to the center of Tokyo, to which many residents commute everyday and go shopping occasionally.
As this irritates local shops, the city government planned and supported the construction of a shopping
center building to attract shoppers. The building is just in front of the main railway station, which is a
desirable location for ST personnel to start up software ventures and to go to Tokyo for information
exchange. In fact, Kanagawa Science Park (KSP) (Fig. 1), a south neighbor of Tokyo, attracts many
ventures [56]. Funabashi is in a better location than KSP in regard to the accessibility to Tokyo, but no
Funabashi municipal officer seems to have thought of it. This is financially reasonable as only high-income
businesses and persons pay high tax to the city, and the municapility thus seeks these businesses rather than
ventures and ST personnel are not welcomed. In this way, ventures are losing desirable places.
3.7. Contradiction between values for big and small firms
The Japanese traditional ethic mentioned earlier sees independent firms outside the hierarchy often as
outlaws. The venture policy embarrasses ST personnel who were brought up in this ethic and have
tended to start up businesses as spin-off from their original big firms. In fact, KSP is successful to collect
many such spin-off ventures [56].
3.8. Contradiction between location plan of AB and that of ST
The reduction of congestion in Tokyo has long been argued. The relocation of ST from Tokyo enacted
in 1970 was said to be its first step. In fact, government organized a panel to discuss the relocation of
government organs from Tokyo. Many local cities raised the hands and prepared expensive infrastructure
to gain advantages over the competitors. After the three decades of debate, government decided not to
leave Tokyo because poor supporting services including communication and transportation outside
Tokyo hamper the administrative efficiency. However, government does not say its past ST policies
(introduced by the same bureaucracy and the same party that has held the power almost all the time)
were wrong. AB tops feel the need of communication for government but not for ST. They avoid their
own time-loss due to poor transportation but have not spared the same considerations for ST personnel,
perhaps because they consider their time more valuable than that of ST personnel.


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3.9. Contrast between technology transfer policies of ST and of social science

Government is not always contradictory. Until the 1980s, the ST technology transfer policy was
inconsistent with the policy for social science (SS). Japan had made different development in SS
from other countries because government had refrained from interfering in SS as a lesson from the
US-led Tokyo Tribunal that punished an ex-minister of education for his interference. In the US
Japan economic competition in the 1980s, USA criticized the economic system of Japan,
demanded the US-type system and invited many Japanese economists for training. Japans Ministry
of Education encouraged the national universities to hire US-influenced economists as professors.
The venture policy came to Japan in this way. This explains its incompatibility with Japanese

4. Recommended short and long range policies

4.1. Reversal of ST policies as short-range policy
One way to resolve the contradictions in policy is simply to reverse the ST policies. Indeed,
government recently reversed the university location policy. In association with the ST relocation,
government prohibited universities from setting up new departments or colleges (mostly in ST) in urban
areas. As this caused various difficulties, government recently lifted the bar, although mainly for
business schools for AB cadets.
4.2. Educational reform as long-range policy
The above contradictions partly follow from the gap between the AB and the ST worlds. The
separation between ST-desired/-chosen students and AB ones was done in high schools and colleges
around 1960. In association with the construction of Tsukuba Science City in the 1970s, University of
Tsukuba set up a department to bridge between ST and AB. But Ministry of Education used it only as a
fort against the Marxian economics, although, ironically, Marxian philosophers had attempted to bridge
between natural and social sciences by using dialectical logic. Such departments need to be set up in
private universities away from governmental control. In fact, a top private university (Waseda) recently
started up a management of technology course.
4.3. Cultural revolution as long-range policy
The above contradictions partly follow from the gap between Japans proper culture and the USimported policies. One resolution is to revise Japanese culture. This is not a reckless suggestion for
a government that attempted to adopt English as an official language in 2000. The only problem is
entertainment because government officers enjoy entertainment by company money and the power
to allocate the liquor tax revenue to industries. Even the relatively new habit of smoking that came
to Japan after Columbus is not controlled in Japan, which is internationally known as a smokers
heaven. Government holds the power to allocate the tobacco tax revenue to industries although the
tobacco-related expenditure for fire and disease is calculated to exceed the revenue. As

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entertainment is the core of business practice, the infeasibility of its reform implies that of the
entire revolution.
4.4. Conversion from land-lease to indigenous HNT industries
The policy of Chiba prefecture has been to collect taxes from steel and chemical industries invited
from Tokyo. As these industries were already automated, they employed little local workforce and gave
little ST effect on young residents. In short, Chiba prefecture chose a safe, immediate and easy way to
collect brentQ by bleasingQ land to exogenous industries.
Chiba area is mostly flat and good for golf courses. After the fall of agriculture, government promoted
the construction of golf courses as another way to earn brentQ for land. This orients young residents to
leisure rather than hard ST study. As land is expensive in a congested country like Japan, the golf-play
charge is so expensive in Japan that few ST personnel come there. Therefore this gives local community
little ST influence. There is a need to breed the indigenous ST potential of young residents besides
school education.
4.5. Renovation and re-emergence of local traditional bio-techniques
Chiba was a world-top in fishery, is the world-top in soy-sauce fermentation and a national top in
gardening and floriculture. Kazusa Academia Park (KAP) in Chiba prefecture is designed to aggregate
bio-industries from Tokyo and ignores local ones including the world-top soy-sauce industries. The vast
majority of directors of KAP are VIPs in Tokyo with only a few from Chiba, because KAP is a blandrentalQ business to invite big businesses from Tokyo.
Fermentation technology is expected to play a key role in bio-industry. Beside the world-top firms,
small family-owned soy-sauce businesses have shaped historic clusters in Noda and Choshi cities in
Chiba prefecture (Fig. 1). Many small shops are bankrupt, but ferment bacteria (zymogen) survive on
the walls, ceilings and floors of such shops. Among many species of zymogen, only some are now
industrially utilized for the mass-production efficiency and for the match with taste in big markets.
The other species are vanishing but may be useful for pharmaceutical industries, in which big soysauce firms have already entered. Collecting such bacteria and making their database (DB) may
provide useful information to modern biotechnology. Such DB should include empirical knowledge
and techniques in the form of documents or pictures. Fermentation and DB professionals visiting there
are expected to give ST influences to traditional fermentation areas, which cover almost all areas
because the fermentation was done everywhere. The winery industry is in similar situations. Similar
DB can be made for all agricultural and fishery techniques. This raises local interest in their
techniques and promotes the ST potential among young residents. Such effects are evidenced for
religious fests and old handicraft, TV programs have helped young residents recognize the value of
their traditions.
Except for Noda city that is near Tokyo and has the biggest soy-sauce firm, most areas with
traditional bio-techniques are less developed and are loosing young workforce. The re-emergence of
such techniques is expected to help the renaissance of the areas. Every area including Chiba has
fermented foods such as miso (from soybeans or barley for condiment sauce), vinegar, wineries (sake,
shochu), shiokara (from squad) and others. Although not for Chiba, some areas have traditional
ceramic techniques. Indeed, Kyocera, the top ceramic firm in Kyoto locates the central research lab in


H. Eto / Technological Forecasting & Social Change 72 (2005) 359373

Kagoshima (almost the southern end of Japan) against the trend to locate central research labs in the
central areas [54].
4.6. Symbiosis and synergism policy for bio-industry by local R&D
Technical cooperation with outside is often useful. Chiba is the national top in peanut agriculture but
ships it only as snack with no value-added. Southeast Asians such as Indonesians ferment peanuts to
produce tempe (tempe bungkil kacang), oncom and others. Agriculture and fishery (AF) labs in Chiba
can learn the peanut fermentation technique from abroad and apply the learned technique to medicine or
others. Similar ideas may hold for the cooperation with other prefectures. Ibaraki prefecture (Fig. 1),
north of Chiba prefecture, is the top in natto (fermented soybeans, similar to SE Asian kempe kedelai)
and Izu islands, a south neighbor (Fig. 1), is the top in kusaya (fermented fish, similar to SE Asian kecap
ikan). Old techniques can survive [33,34] and serve HNT as its supporting infra-techniques.
With the fall of AF, local governments are closing the AF labs, which is certain to choke the local ST
potential. If policies are taken for the above-stated re-emergence of traditional techniques and the related
technical cooperation, the AF labs are expected to serve for appropriate technology. This helps local
areas foster the ST potential among the residents. This may help biotech startups in rural areas.
4.7. Alternative tourism for growing grass-root ST
Kyoto and other historic cities have developed highly refined delicatessen, which attract tourists. As
Japanese cuisine relies on fresh fish (raw fish) and vegetables, rural areas have advantages over cities in
food. In fact, many TV programs on cuisine are produced in rural areas. As every area has its own
(fermented and other) traditional foods and liquors, gourmet tourism is possible everywhere. Rural areas try
to promote tourism only because they have no other industry. Local cuisine is expected to attract tourists,
keep young workforce from their urban migration and contribute to the reservation of vanishing traditional bio-techniques for their future re-emergence as infra-techniques to support modern biotechnology.
Another form of ST-promoting tourism is to invite ST seminars or workshops. This motivates local
residents to learn the ST climate. The beaches of Chiba attract tourists in summer, but this seasonality
embarrasses tourism businesses. As ST meetings are usually held in spring or fall, they contribute to
smoothing the demand.
The convention law was prepared by Bureau of Tourism, Ministry of Transport and enacted in 1994 to
help local cities invite international conventions. This law, together with the foreign tourists attraction
law enacted in 1997, aims at relatively big cities and concerns their bilingual capabilities. But such
concern is unnecessary for ST. Many ST meetings are small in size with only Japanese participants and,
even for international ones, Japanese ST personnel speak technical English in their specialized fields. In
fact, all ST meetings have no interpreter. Local areas need only to prepare audio-video facilities, which
can be leased from somewhere only during meeting days.

5. Conclusion
The feasibility of policies for technoparks, ventures and clusters were examined with regard to local
development. The cultural gap between the administrative and business (AB) world and the science and

H. Eto / Technological Forecasting & Social Change 72 (2005) 359373


technology (ST) world was pointed out as the major obstacle, which was considered as generating many
contradictions or inconsistencies in policies. In long-range view of local development, advices were
presented to grow ST potential in rural areas.
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After serving Hitachi for 14 years and teaching at University of Tsukuba for 23 years, Hajime Eto is presently a professor at
Chiba Keizai University and professor emeritus at University of Tsukuba. He has published books such as bR&D Systems in
Japanese IndustryQ (North-Holland, 1984) and bR&D Strategies of JapanQ (Elsevier, 1993). He is editorial board member of
Scientometrics and other international journals.