Statement on the Rejection of Member Nominations to the Science Council of Japan
October 8th, 2020
The Committee of Graduate School of Sociology, Kwansei Gakuin University
In regard to the nomination of new members to the 25th term of the Science Council of Japan, of the 105 members nominated by the Science Council of Japan, the Prime Minister rejected 6 of the nominees and to this date has failed to clearly explain the reason. This is in breach of the Science Council of Japan Rules Article 7 and Article 17 which stipulate that the Science Council of Japan shall select scholars with outstanding research achievements to be recommended as council members, and that the Prime Minister will appoint these members on the basis of these recommendations. This also undermines the independence of the Science Council of Japan as found in Article 3, and opens the path to the arbitrary use of appointment authority by the Prime Minister. In addition, the fact that all 6 scholars whose appointment were rejected were from the fields of human and social sciences, generates deep anxiety regarding the government’s attitude toward the human and social sciences that cannot be overlooked.
As an organization of scholars who promote research and education on humans and society, and in response to this decision which violates the academic freedom guaranteed in Article 23 of the Constitution of Japan that serves as the foundation of scholarship and research, the members of the Committee of Graduate School of Sociology, Kwansei Gakuin University, call upon the Prime Minister to immediately explain the reason for his decision and to appoint the 6 nominees as members.