Age-combating cyborg technology is among a raft of solutions the Japanese government will throw almost $1 billion at, as part of an ambitious new project.
Emissions reduction and automation will also be tackled via the as-yet-unnamed scheme, revealed by the Nikkei Asian Review. Tokyo is inviting research proposals in 25 sectors in total, making 100 billion yen ($921m) available in the first five years of a plan set to stretch until at least 2060.
Japan already suffers a chronic labor shortage: by 2030 the nation will face a 6.44m worker deficit, meaning that wages must rise, and politicians must find healthcare and family solutions as a key governmental priority. An influx of foreign labor may also be required, which could cause societal tension on a broadly conservative and ethnically monolithic archipelago.
With this in mind, the project aims to cut all human intervention in construction, agriculture, forestry and fisheries by 2040. It also hopes to develop technology capable of recycling ocean plastic, and making all industry emissions-neutral by the middle of the 21st century.
Already famed for its robotics and AI industries, Japan’s government hopes to stimulate cyborg and intelligence technology that will replace human bodily functions, in an attempt to counter declining birthrates and an aging population many experts warn is a ticking economic time-bomb. It also hopes to replicate the hibernation patterns of animals in humans. In a particularly meta move, Tokyo wants to create AI that detects Nobel Prize-worthy scientific discoveries by 2050.
Each sector has been given a deadline year based on its efficacy and difficulty. The government will begin examining proposals as early as the end of this year.