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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 February 19 - 25  > Pacifist researchers at Tsukuba University urge the university to not accept defense subsidy
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2020 February 19 - 25 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Pacifist researchers at Tsukuba University urge the university to not accept defense subsidy

February 19, 2020

Researchers of Tsukuba University who are critical of the Abe government’s move to encourage military-academia cooperation issued a joint statement on February 13, urging the university to not accept R&D subsidies from the Defense Ministry.

The statement was published by the Tsukuba University branch of the Japan Scientists’ Association, a group of University of Tsukuba’s faculty and staff opposing the national security legislation, and the Ibaraki prefectural body of the JSA.

The Defense Ministry in December 2019 announced that it will fund a Tsukuba University research team under the ministry’s subsidy program for the promotion of national security-related technologies. The Tsukuba team’s project falls under the category of a large-scale project which can receive up to two billion yen in five years from the ministry. No other university research team has ever been awarded with the defense subsidy under this category.

The joint statement states that according to the Defense Ministry, the subsidy program is designed to foster R&D activities in the field of defense, which means that the ministry intends to accelerate the development of technologies that can be used for military purposes in the future. Noting that Tsukuba University in December 2018 decided on a basic policy which shows its stance to keep away from military-related studies, the statement points out that the acceptance of the Defense Ministry subsidy goes counter to this basic policy.

The statement also warns that given that the Tsukuba University president now serves as the president of the Japan Association of National Universities, Tsukuba’s acceptance of the subsidy could set a bad example to other universities. The joint statement also states that the acceptance of the subsidy contradicts the spirit of the declaration made by the Tsukuba City government and the city assembly declaring the city to be a “nuclear-free” city.

Past related articles:
> Defense Ministry will fund Tsukuba University military-academia research [December 26, 2019]
> SCJ adopts statement reaffirming 50-year-old military research ban [March 25, 2017]

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