In 1981 the Japanese government approved funding for a very unusual (in the Japanese context) basic research program designed to support unfettered basic research in Japan and to break the traditional hierarchical structure that exists in almost all sectors in Japan. Because of the program's bold objectives and its acceptance and continuing strong support within the Japanese government and science and technology community, the JTEC team wanted to achieve the following:

Specifically, the JTEC panel was looking at the overall ERATO program, not just at the technical results. In addition, many of the panel's questions, while originally directed at ERATO projects, applied to PRESTO projects as well. Some of the specific questions the panel addressed were as follows:

There was also a set of secondary questions, more related to broad sociological and cultural issues, that the panel wanted to answer. Some of these were the following:

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Published: September 1996; WTEC Hyper-Librarian