Scientific research lies at the core of Japan, the third-largest economy in the world. As Japan’s economy matured around the 1980s, it began investing heavily in science and technology and soon emerged as one of the dominant nations in terms of research and innovation. Since 2000, Japanese researchers have won 17 Nobel Prizes in the sciences, which only emphasizes the nation’s scientific prowess. However, in the recent years, Japan has been struggling to maintain its leadership position in research. A combination of several factors has led to the decline of research in the country, leaving research leaders in the country anxious about their future.
The downward trend in Japan’s research output is evident from the Nature Index 2017 report that also combined data from Clarivate Analytics' Web of Science (WOS) and Elsevier's Scopus database. Here are some significant observations from the report: