In FY18, Japan’s total R&D expenditure totaled ¥19.05 trillion ($172.1 billion), a 3.4% increase. The rise marks the first growth in R&D expenditure in three years and the highest growth on record. As a percentage of GDP, R&D expenditures reached 3.48%, a rise of 0.05 percentage points. The number of researchers in Japan grew to 867,000, a 1.6% increase and the second consecutive year of growth.
Business expenditures for R&D grew 3.6% to ¥13.8 trillion ($124.7 billion), while nonprofit institutions and public organizations spent ¥1.6 trillion ($14.5 billion), a 6.6% increase. R&D expenditures by colleges and universities also grew, rising 1.0% to ¥3.6 trillion ($32.5 billion).
Of total business R&D expenditures, 11% was for medicines and 6% was for scientific development research institutes, as well as for chemical and allied products. Technology balance of payments by business enterprises reached ¥3.88 trillion ($35.1 billion), an 8.7% increase, while payments from technology imports in 2017 were ¥630 billion ($5.7 billion), a 39.1% jump. The technology balance of payments (defined as receipts from technology exports minus payments from technology imports) was ¥3.25 trillion ($29.4 billion). All three figures increased for the first time in two years.
Source: Statistics Japan