Suga's Refusal of SCJ Appointments Illegal: Rejected Scholars

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Tokyo, Oct. 23 (Jiji Press)--Six scholars who were refused by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to become members of the Science Council of Japan stressed Friday that Suga's action clearly runs counter to the Constitution.

"I can't help but to say Suga's refusal to appoint the six nominees is unconstitutional and illegal," Waseda University Prof. Masanori Okada told a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo. "If a political force gets to decide whether (a nominee) is fit to be a (SCJ) member, it will destroy the SCJ's independence."

Joining the news conference, Ritsumeikan University Prof. Takaaki Matsumiya first pointed out that the Suga administration cited Article 15 of the Constitution, which stipulates the right for the Japanese people to choose and dismiss public servants, as a rationale behind Suga's refusal. Then he said the rejection of the six was the administration's "declaration that it can now freely choose any civil servants based on the supreme law."

"Is Suga trying to become a dictator?" he asked.

Sadamichi Ashina, professor at Kyoto University, and Ryuichi Ozawa, professor at Jikei University School of Medicine, took part online, while Yoko Kato and Shigeki Uno, both professors at the University of Tokyo, sent messages.

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