LDP Lawmaker Slams Suga’s Science Council Appointment Rejection
Tokyo, Oct. 6 (Jiji Press)--Hajime Funada of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party has criticized Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s rejection of the appointments of six scholars to the Science Council of Japan despite the council’s recommendation.
The former head of the now-defunct Economic Planning Agency said in an email newsletter dated Saturday that Suga appears to have changed the government’s long-held interpretation of the science council law without advance notice, even to the LDP.
When the government council’s membership election system was replaced by the appointment system in 1983, cabinet ministers at the time said during parliamentary deliberations that appointments should be regarded as “a mere formality,” Funada said. “This interpretation has been upheld by the government until very recently.”
As a member of the House of Representatives science committee, he was involved in discussions on the shift in the top academic organization’s member selection method.
While likening Suga’s surprise rejection of the appointments to “a sneak raid,” Funada noted that the move is believed to be a message saying that “this is what happens to opposition (to government policy).”
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]