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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 November 18 - 24  > Suga government begins pressing SCJ to accept military-academia research collaboration
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2020 November 18 - 24 [POLITICS]

Suga government begins pressing SCJ to accept military-academia research collaboration

November 19, 2020

Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy Inoue Shinji on November 17 at a House of Councilors meeting said that he urged the Science Council of Japan to open the door for military-academic research collaboration.

The minister made this remark in response to a question made by Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Yamatani Eriko.

At the House Internal Affairs Committee meeting, Yamatani brought up an LDP proposal to reform the SCJ which the party put forward in order to distract public attention from Prime Minister Suga’s act of excluding six scholars critical of the unconstitutional war laws from the SCJ. The LDP lawmaker said that when discussing the LDP proposal, it is necessary for the government to consider requesting the SCJ to revise its policy of rejecting research on dual-use technologies.

In response, Science and Technology Minister Inoue indicated that the issue of dual-use research should be discussed in accordance with changes in the situation surrounding Japan. He said that he conveyed this view to SCJ President Kajita Takaaki, and added, “I’d like to wait and see how the SCJ deals with this issue.”

Inoue’s remark represents the Suga government’s ambition to mobilize Japanese scientists for military R&D, which tramples on the founding principles of the SCJ. The organization was founded after the war based on remorse over the fact that Japanese academics were mobilized by the state authorities to cooperate in supporting or even promoting Japan’s war of aggression. In March 2017, the SCJ released a statement affirming its stance to oppose military-academia cooperation which was declared in the previous statements adopted in 1950 and 1967, respectively.

Past related articles:
> Scientists in Japan resolved to never again engage in research for war purposes [October 3, 2020]
> SCJ adopts statement reaffirming 50-year-old military research ban [March 25, 2017]
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