Suga's Nominee Rejection Said Hampering SCJ Activities

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Tokyo, Oct. 29 (Jiji Press)--Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's recent rejection of some nominees to the Science Council of Japan is impeding the activities of the government-linked body, senior SCJ officials said Thursday.

The officials, including SCJ President Takaaki Kajita, held a meeting with science and technology policy minister Shinji Inoue, who is in charge of supervising the organization.

Kwansei Gakuin University professor Nobuya Hashimoto, who heads the SCJ's humanities and social sciences section, said at the meeting that the division is now seeing a lack of about 10 pct of its 70 members as a result of Suga's rejection of the appointment of the nominees.

"Conditions for the section to conduct proper activities have been undermined," he said. Hashimoto also said, "I'm worried that the relationship of trust between the government and the SCJ could be damaged and it could become difficult for the council to perform its mission" if the situation is left unattended.

Shinobu Yoshimura, vice president of the University of Tokyo, who is in charge of the SCJ section for physical sciences and engineering, said that Ritsumeikan University professor Takaaki Matsumiya, one of the rejected nominees, has been playing a major role in studying legal issues related to autonomous driving.

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