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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 September 7 - 13  > Defense Ministry to boost subsidies for military research projects
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2016 September 7 - 13 [POLITICS]

Defense Ministry to boost subsidies for military research projects

September 7, 2016
The Defense Ministry plans to dramatically increase the amount of government subsidies to military research projects involving universities and private companies in fiscal 2017.

This represents the Abe government’s aim to entice scholars and researchers with taxpayers’ money to have them support its military expansion policies.

This plan was revealed in the ministry’s response to an inquiry made by Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Inoue Satoshi. Inoue questioned the ministry about the fact that it made a budget request of 11 billion yen for military research in fiscal 2017, which is 18 times more than the budget for fiscal 2016.

Under the present subsidy program, the ceiling on the amount of grants for each military research project is set at 90 million yen for up to three years. The defense authorities intend to abolish the ceiling and extend the subsidy payment period to up to five years.

Responding to Inoue, a ministry official highlighted the need for some institutions to do joint research and cases where it costs a lot to conduct various experiments and make prototype devices. “In some cases, the amount of grants provided to a research project could reach several billion yen,” said the official.

The JCP lawmaker criticized the ministry for attempting to change the current subsidy system into an entirely different one.

As many researchers and scientists are campaigning against the Abe government move to increase military-academia cooperation and collusion, the number of applicants for military research subsidies remains low this fiscal year, at around 40% of that in fiscal 2015.
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