State Secretary Hirayama in Japan for a working visit and the inauguration of a new Swissnex location

Press releases, 02.10.2023

From 30 September to 3 October, the State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation, Martina Hirayama, will visit Japan with a high-ranking scientific delegation. The inauguration of the new Swissnex site and consulate in Osaka on 30 September will be one of the highlights of the trip. Several meetings at ministerial level are on the agenda. Ms Hirayama will also take part in the Science and Technology for Society Forum in Kyoto. On 1 October, the visit will culminate in the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation to strengthen existing ties between Switzerland and Japan in all areas of research.

Signing of MoC between State Secretary Ms. Hirayama and  Minister Mr. Moriyama
Signing of MoC between State Secretary Ms. Hirayama and Minister Mr. Moriyama © Science & Technology Office Tokyo, Embassy of Switzerland in Japan

The opening of a new Swissnex site in the dynamic Kansai region is an important step in consolidating scientific relations between Switzerland and Japan, not least in view of the next World Expo, which will be held in Osaka in 2025. Swissnex is the Swiss global network connecting Switzerland and the world in education, research and innovation.  One of the aims of the new consulate will be to support more projects between universities, research institutes and start-ups in the two countries in order to meet the challenges of tomorrow. The inauguration ceremony will take place on 30 September, with Ms Hirayama and numerous Japanese representatives attending. It will focus in particular on innovations and trends in sustainability, and will feature nine Swiss start-ups.

Science and Technology Forum and signing of Memorandum of Cooperation

On 1 October, the delegation will be in Kyoto for the 20th Science and Technology for Society (STS) Forum. Launched by the Japanese government in 2004, the annual STS Forum brings together a large number of ministers and representatives of the scientific community from around the world for high-level discussions on science, technology and innovation. On this occasion, Ms Hirayama will participate in a ministerial round table to discuss in particular the topics of open science and brain circulation. Several meetings at ministerial level and with the two main bilateral research funding agencies are also on the agenda.

On the fringes of the STS Forum, Ms Hirayama will sign a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with Mr Masahito Moriyama, Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. The MoC aims to strengthen the existing ties between Switzerland and Japan in all areas of research, in particular quantum science and technology, artificial intelligence, robotics, materials science and space research. The two countries will thus reaffirm their desire to continue developing their research and innovation relations.

In Tokyo, Ms Hirayama will take part in the Switzerland-Japan Economic Forum. This year’s event will focus on the key role of cooperation between universities and the private sector in accelerating innovation in Japan and Switzerland. Other ministerial meetings will also take place in the Japanese capital.

A key partner in Education, Research and Innovation 

Switzerland and Japan enjoy excellent relations in the field of research and innovation. Since the signing of the Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement in 2007, the two countries have steadily intensified cooperation through governmental initiatives and direct cooperation projects initiated by research and innovation players and the private sector. The two countries share many areas of common interest, such as an ageing population, energy transition and digitalisation. Within the framework of the Swiss National Science Foundation’s funding instruments, Japan is Switzerland’s most important research partner in Asia: since 2016, almost 450 projects have involved collaborating with Japanese researchers.  

Further information: Swissnex in JapanScience and Technology Office Tokyo – Swissnex
For enquiries: State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI Communications,, tel. +41 58 462 96 90