Suga Calls for Science Council Reform


Tokyo, Nov. 2 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Monday called for organizational reform of the Science Council of Japan, a state-funded body that represents the country's academic community.

The process to select members of the council is "closed and has come to represent vested interests," Suga said at the House of Representatives Budget Committee.

It is a system in which any researcher cannot become a member without connections with around 200 members and about 2,000 cooperative members, he said.

Suga defended his controversial decision not to appoint six nominees recommended by the council as its members, saying it is necessary to stop following the precedent of appointing all nominees without scrutinizing them.

He also said that behind the decision was his wish to increase the share of members from younger generations and the private sector in the SCJ and that he had concerns about the council since he had served as chief cabinet secretary under the government of his predecessor, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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Jiji Press