INTERVIEW: Suga Denies Seeing SCJ List of 105 Nominees

Politics

Tokyo, Oct. 9 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who has been under fire for allegedly refusing to appoint six Science Council of Japan members recently, said Friday that he has not looked at a list of 105 SCJ nominees compiled by the organization.

In an interview with Jiji Press and other media organizations at the prime minister's office in Tokyo, Suga said he has made a decision on SCJ appointments based on his view that the council "should be seen by the public as an organization that receives money from the state for conducting actions in a well-balanced way and from a broad perspective."

According to Suga, he reached his final decision on the appointments on Sept. 28. "I looked at a list of SCJ member nominees (recommended by the council) just before that," he said, adding that the list he saw contained only the names of the 99 nominees whom he appointed.

He therefore stressed that he was not in a position to get involved in the removal of the six remaining nominees. The focus will continue to be when and why the names of the six nominees were dropped, and who was responsible for the decision.

Suga, who took office in mid-September to succeed Shinzo Abe, said that he did not receive any explanations about the issue of SCJ appointments from the former prime minister. "I reached the decision (myself) in a series of relevant procedures," Suga added.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press