The achievement of innovation is currently a big topic in science and technology policy, and research into policy implementation is being carried out using approaches such as macroeconomics and civil society participation. However, few topics have been broached from the perspective of studying policy history; yet post-war policy history is indispensable for investigation into systems for achieving innovation. In recognition of this, this area has started to garner attention. Internal cabinet research from the past (into planning, decision making, policy execution by universities and research institutes, the process of accepting researchers etc.) in particular is extremely important.
One of the reasons given for the lack of progression of research into policy history is that obtaining internal cabinet documents is difficult. However, it is possible to use internal cabinet documents if guidelines for management of such documents are followed. In particular, it has been confirmed that there are many documents that have been privately stored by individual former science and technology agency officials. By 1) obtaining the documents from private residences and other locations, 2) securing a new storage location, and 3) organizing them to make them usable, it is possible to capitalize on these documents for policy research.
Looking back and up until the present, science and technology policy research has predominantly been carried out by university researchers from social science perspectives such as economics and business administration. Although this has produced large amounts of extremely interesting research, little of it has been summarized in a way that is in harmony with the needs of science and technology policy and governance. As a result of this, transitioning these research results into actual implementation of policy has been largely left in the hands of bureaucrats from each ministry. Without the right government administrative skills, it becomes difficult to select the appropriate methods (such as budgeting and institutionalization) for implementation of the findings from research. It might therefore be said that there is a wide rift between science and technology policy research and science and technology governmental administration. Cabinet documents may be meaningful to such research, and thus this project involves carrying out empirical investigative research based on the collection, securement, organization and content of such documents.