Some project-oriented biosciences have been promoted cooperatively by three governmental agencies in Japan: the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and the Science and Technology Agency. All three agencies have increased their budgetary requests for human genome analyses for FY 1991. The Panel on Life Sciences (chaired by Dr. W. Mori, former president of the University of Tokyo) of the Science and Technology Council of Japan which is chaired by the Prime Minister has decided to organize a working group to suggest how best to coordinate efforts in human genome analyses in Japan. The genome project was initially promoted by the Science and Technology Agency through a program for the design and construction of automated machines for DNA sequencing. Work is ongoing at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research to integrate, by system engineering, instruments that can separate DNA fragments, perform plaque selection, carry out dideoxy reaction, and read the resulting DNA sequence. However, scientists now realize the enormity of the tasks of compiling DNA sequence data and of mapping the genes and fragments obtained, and efforts are being made to solve these problems. Academic societies have organized symposia to promote general interest in this subject. The most important way for Japan to contribute to research on human genome analyses, however, may be in the evaluation of supporting mechanisms (technical assistance and research resources) and in the recognition and preparation of the transition of biology to a big science approach.