The Japanese government plans to support domestic makers to develop cost-effective 3D printers.
The printers use computer data to produce solid three-dimensional objects made of resin, metal or other powdered materials. The process is similar to printing images on paper. The printers are expected to change manufacturing processes.
Officials from the industry ministry say they hope to catch up with the United States and Germany in public-private sector cooperation for 3D printing.
They plan to launch a 3D-printer project next April and to allocate it about 45 million dollars in the budget plan for fiscal 2014.
Japan has been stung by its third political scandal in a week after the country's new industry minister - whose predecessor resigned over allegations of misspending - admitted that his staff had spent office money at a sex bar. (The Guardian)
The government said Friday it has chosen Nobel physics prize laureates Shuji Nakamura and Hiroshi Amano and five others as this year's winners of Japan's top cultural award, the Order of Culture. (Kyodo)
In possibly a legal first, a female civil servant on Tuesday sued the government over what she calls institutional sexism at the ministry she works for, citing almost two decades of blocked promotions and pay raises. (Japan Times)