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Japan Inc. focusing on R&D efforts at home

University of Tokyo President Makoto Gonokami, left, with Hitachi CEO Toshiaki Higashihara at the opening ceremony of their joint lab.

TOKYO -- Japanese corporations are focusing more on expanding research and development capabilities at home than abroad in fiscal 2016 as they seek new partnerships in artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge fields, a Nikkei survey shows.

The total R&D budget for the year came to 12.21 trillion yen ($120 billion) among the 272 companies that also disclosed what they spent in fiscal 2015. At 2.3%, this marks the smallest growth in seven years. The poll surveyed officials in charge of R&D at 511 major corporations between June 20 and July 21, with 305 companies, or 59.7%, responding.

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