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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 March 22 - 28  > SCJ adopts statement reaffirming 50-year-old military research ban
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2017 March 22 - 28 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

SCJ adopts statement reaffirming 50-year-old military research ban

March 25, 2017
The Science Council of Japan (SCJ) which was founded in 1949 on March 24 adopted a new statement, declaring that the council will keep upholding its past two statements which called on Japanese academics to refuse to engage in military research. The previous statement was issued in 1967 by the body of scientists representing all scientific fields in Japan.

On the day, the SCJ held a board meeting in Tokyo and approved the statement which was drafted by the SCJ panel on the relationship between national security and academics.

The statement asserts that the SCJ will continue to maintain its refusal to participate in weapons R&D as expressed in past statements issued in 1950 and 1967. Regarding the Defense Ministry’s subsidy program for universities and other private research institutions, the latest statement criticizes the program as highly problematic because it will enable the government to interfere in academic activities. The new statement urges universities and academic societies to create guidelines to screen inappropriate research projects.

SCJ Secretary General Ihara Satoshi said that the council reaffirms the stance to ban military research for the first time since the previous statement came out 50 years ago, which is of major significance.

Ihara, who is a professor emeritus of Tohoku University, said that the new statement squarely criticizes the Defense Ministry’s subsidy program and effectively urges Japanese scientists to not apply for the program. He called on universities and academics to act in accordance with the adopted document.

Past related articles:
> Panel of Japan’s science council decides to maintain ban on military research [March 8, 2017]
> Science Council of Japan established based on remorse over wartime cooperation [February 22, 2017]
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