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Japan

Submission + - Japan plans to merge major science bodies->

ananyo writes: In its battle against a sluggish economy, Japan's government is gearing up to make cost savings through a root-and-branch reform of the country's science system, merging some of its most prominent research organizations.

Plans approved by the government's cabinet on 20 January would consolidate the RIKEN network of basic-research laboratories with the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) — the national funding body.

But with few details about the timing, potential cost savings or full implications of the change, many researchers are concerned that it could be a recipe for harsh funding cuts and even greater bureaucracy.

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Japan plans to merge major science bodies

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