Art Wuster at Seqonomics ponders the state of sequencing in Japan. "Considering that Japan is one of the world's most important scientific nations, its DNA sequencing capacity is surprisingly low," Wuster writes. "There are more sequencing machines in the Netherlands or in Spain, both of which spend only a fraction of what Japan does on research and development." He suggests that a recent "lack of growth in the biotechnology and medical sectors, combined with a scarcity of public funding for genomics," are to blame for this.
But the outlook is not all bleak, he adds, as Japan's "Hokkaido System Science, a company that provides DNA synthesis and sequencing services, is flourishing and aims to expand internationally. And then there is of course Riken, Japan's flagship natural sciences research institute, whose impressive infrastructure includes ten next generation sequencers."