PM Office Reluctant over SCJ Candidates in 2016: Ex-Head

Politics

Tokyo, Oct. 9 (Jiji Press)--The office of the Japanese prime minister sounded reluctant to accept some candidates for members of the Science Council of Japan in 2016, former SCJ President Takashi Onishi said Friday.

The office asked the SCJ to explain the process for picking its candidates to fill vacancies for three positions in 2016, when Shinzo Abe was the country's prime minister, he said.

With priority orders, the SCJ presented two candidates each for the three posts, Onishi, 72, told a joint hearing by opposition parties, including the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, that was held over the recent controversial rejections by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who took office last month to succeed Abe, of the appointments of six nominees recommended by the SCJ as its members.

The prime minister's office told the SCJ that it favored the second candidate for two of the three posts, according to Onishi. The council asked the office for an explanation on why it thought that way, but the office never revealed the reason, he said. As a result, the SCJ gave up filling the vacancies at the time.

In its regular reshuffle of 105 members in 2017, the SCJ presented a list of candidates exceeding the number to the prime minister's office and gave it an explanation, Onishi also said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press