Japanese science and technology policy, like many aspects of the Japanese economy, has a strong reputation for being fundamentally different from the policies in other industrialized countries, or even for being unique. In particular, there is a widespread conviction that the Japanese government and bureaucracy are strongly engaged in fostering collaborative R&D projects with leading manufacturing firms in order to enhance the international competitiveness of high-tech industries (Callon 1995; Goto 1997; Ray 1998; Sakakibara and Cho 2002). This view, however, is only based on the observation of particular projects which represent only a small part of the overall scope of science and technology policy. The common perception that Japanese science and technology policy is primarily engaged in organizing industrial R&D consortia, therefore does not necessarily match the reality.