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Suga faces backlash after refusing to appoint 6 science council members

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he decided not to appoint academics who have been critical of the nation's security and anti-conspiracy legislation to a science council that makes policy recommendations to the government.

So Matsumiya sensei and Ozawa sensei, they have critical point of view with certain issue not to a particular government official. That along enough for those sensei to be rejected as science council member.

"The council makes output based on studies independent from the government. Such basics should not change," Kajita told reporters.

Takaaki Matsumiya, a Ritsumeikan University professor specializing in penal code, who was among the excluded six

Matsumiya is known for speaking at the Diet in 2017 against what was known as the conspiracy bill, which was aimed at thwarting terrorism but which fanned concern for the suppression of civil liberties.

Ryuichi Ozawa, a Constitution professor at Jikei University School of Medicine, also criticized the move, calling it "a major infringement of academic freedom."

Ozawa said in 2015 at the Diet that Japan's security legislation enabling Tokyo to exercise the right to collective self-defense was unconstitutional.

How current government handle critics, by now is becoming clearer as time passes.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga faced backlash Friday after he decided not to appoint academics who have been critical of the nation's security and anti-conspiracy legislation to a science council that makes policy recommendations to the government.

Japan taking a leaf out of China's playbook.

Shades of Trumpism there as well.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Suga faces backlash after refusing to appoint 6 science council members

As he should. Everyone needs to hear a wide range of opinions to make informed decisions.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I had high hopes for Suga but this is a major mistake showing he has no idea how science works. Scientists are supposed to have different opinions and constructive debate advances human knowledge. Suga apparently thinks it is like politics where you just rid of people with whom you disagree.

Sad day for Japan.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

The entire 210 members should all resign until the six are allowed to join the group. This is so petty and makes Suga look like a real toady for his real boss Abe! I hope people will remain angry and outraged by this.

These professors were stating their opinions against Abe's rush to change the constitution. What happened to freedom of speech?

15 ( +18 / -3 )

I think this decision is a big mistake for Prime minister Suga.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

His science advisor is Yasutoshi Nishimura. Same as Abe's.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I see Suga is taking a page from the climate/COVID/evolution science denying Republicans in the USA and letting politics and prejudice cloud scientific inquiry.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I think this is as a result some members of the council suggested the government they should not approve the six. They have been in the list of radical left. Some of them may be supporters of JCP.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Any dissent shown in the one-party state will be punished.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

He very quickly inherited the title “dear leader”.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

He is looking for YES people like Trump...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The science council is also now coming under wider public attention, inquiry and criticism. Especially its "recommendation" prior to confirmation for membership still remains elusive, unaccounted for though the appointees are granted semi-public official status and salary. No exam, no election, near backdoor entry to the elite body is hardly exempted from public calls for reform.

The council claims they represent academia and now freedom is at stake, but there has been no open and free elections for leadership positions, terms or rotation. About the annual budget of 1 billion JPY is earmarked. Some of those 6 "declined" candidates are also suspected of connections to China, according to several reports (I don't yet take seriously this allegation while info has been mentioned in multiple sources).

Though things have emerged awkwardly, it is a window of opportunity for reform. I request that both sides, the Suga government and the council to get more accountable.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

under the jurisdiction of the premier but operated independently from the state

(⌒▽⌒)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Suga is leading with his chin... though in retrospect, this move is totally in character for him.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Ozawa said in 2015 the right to collective self-defense was unconstitutional.

Did any of you read that part?

Do you understand what this people stand for?

Pacifist, herbivor, grass eating apologiest, that's what they stand for.

The anti-Japan crowd always wants our country as weak as possible, no surprise on their point of view. They also want Japan to have no military, no navy, no ships, don't spend anything on the military, we should have 0% budget on the military while Russia, China, North Korea and South Korea are Free To Spend As Much As Possible!

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

I think Suga just wants a bunch of "yes men".

9 ( +11 / -2 )

The entire 210 members should all resign until the six are allowed to join the group. This is so petty and makes Suga look like a real toady for his real boss Abe! I hope people will remain angry and outraged by this.

I'm afraid that the en masse resignation won't happen. Quite many have been spoiled, old school rent seekers rather than vocal academic aspirants.

These professors were stating their opinions against Abe's rush to change the constitution. What happened to freedom of speech?

They were at that time critical to the collective defense legislation while Abe wasn't so motivated to amend the constitution. In fact, hardline conservatives were also harshly criticizing Abe over such an unconstitutional, deceitful "compromise." I also find the current defense arrangements inevitably conflicting with the constitution (thus opt for the amendment).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

First, tell me someone what exactly Akita and Baseball have as any significant relation to science...lol

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If a leader of government or in business only wants the company of yes women, men, people, things,  itsonly attempting (woke)

Yes, Suga san, you are an unrivaled supreme Prime Minster, par excellence.

Yes, Suga san, how could any academic with there hat on the right way up believe for a moment, the nation's security and anti-conspiracy legislation was not safe in your capable hands?

Yes, Suga san, the clear reason, raising constitutional questions, is just harping from the miscreant foreign press.    

“One of the sincerest forms of respect is actually listening to what another’s have to say.”……

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It is shocking that a world leader in business and technology such as Japan has politicians such as this!

There are so many reforms that are needed in order to make Japan a better place but the outdated and anti democratic conservative pensioners in the Diet just cannot accept differing opinions based on facts...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Suga wants right-wing yes men who think and speak as he does. A regime that is but a cacophony of echos of the boss's voice is doomed to a quick and disordered end. Let us hope Suga goes quickly.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hmm ... now where is my Japanese-English dictionary, Ambrose Bierce edition?

Ahh, here it is.

Let's see ... in English, ''Academic Freedom''.

In Japanese ... Early 21st century meme common to failing institutions, double-speak / oxymoron for conformity to unaccountable and/or corrupt authority. Parallels similar international dynamics of other corporate nation states. Synonyms, 'Independent', 'Diversity'. See also, 'Structural Reform (Illusion)'.

Yep. Confirms my experience.

Great dictionary.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Jake Adelstein is right on Suga.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/yoshihide-suga-japans-ruthless-new-pm-is-a-control-freak-who-muzzled-the-press

He predicted that Suga will resort to this sort of tactics. And I am not surprised because his predecessor (Abe) and he both admired the systems of Chinese Communist Party and Vietnam Communist Party. In fact, Shinzo Abe made Vietnam as the location of his first foreign trip when he came into power. Now, PM Suga also followed the similar fashion to declare Vietnam as his foreign trip as well. In regard of China, Shinzo Abe made frequent trips to China as well as initiated many dialogues with Beijing. Suga is now expected to do the same.

Both of them are probably the PMs with the closest tie to the Communist countries in decades. Both of them admired the rigid authoritarianism in both countries. They like the laws and order from China and Vietnam as well as the addicting locations for the FDI to fuel the economic growth of a declining Japanese economy, in which most of those profits stay in China and Vietnam not into the pockets of Japanese people.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

And where is the surprise about this article?

As I said before nothing would change if Suga was replacing Abe.

They both belong to the far right association Nippon kaigi,with the same thinking and revisionism.

There must be a reason why Japan is at the very bottom of freedom of press and women’s equality gender.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Yes man who wants yes man. Very scary. Maybe we do need an election soon.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Suge is no different than Abe and Trump, unfortunately.

We have to be worried in this country as not enough testing is being done and I am sure the numbers are so much higher.

Suge and Abe are the same as Trump as they are staying isolated and they can literally and financially afford to do this and let the chips fall where they may for us many who have to work and keep a roof over our family's heads.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

PM Suga had excluded anchors or commentators who criticized government from major TV channels and discarded or concealed or tampered with inconvenient public documents one after another since when he was chief cabinet office secretary.

He already rules bureaucrats by personnel affair, 

Next chief National Police Agency is Suga's former secretary. 

Plan that Suga control Public Prosecutor's office is still under way, and Suga regime's next "target" is scholars.

These are like preparation for dictatorship.

Recent years Japan is very similar to ”Early Warning Signs of Fascism” such as "Disdain for intellectuals & the arts" or "Supremacy of the military" or "Controlled mass media" or "Rampant cronyism & corruption".

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Coward.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Suga doing what Suga does best ... silencing another Kuniya Hiroko from the narrative.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japan have the environment for a perfect authoritarian regime.

It is essentially single party state but can win un-rigged elections without any challenge, as great majority of Japanese see certain traditional families as rightful rulers by birth.

Suga probably have this figured out, the LDP can do anything it wants and ignore any opposition or popular opinion, and still have a 100% chance of winning every election.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The Suga government’s approval rate was 74 percent initially, according to a survey conducted by the Nikkei Shimbun. It's my assumption that the Suga government will be ruled by the suddenly resigned Shinzo Abe behind scene, and so it will show its true colors (right-wing nature) in time as the days go by.

His refusal to approve 6 academics to be members of the Science Council of Japan is a case in point.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What could be his problem???. PLEASE Mr Suga explain clearly to us all

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sadly Japan only APPEARS to be a democracy, its NOT, & likely will never be.....

Japan is a LOT closer to China in this regard than many realise !!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan is a LOT closer to China in this regard than many realise !!

Yes, the difference is China doesn't pretend to be a democracy.

I think Japan is lot closer to Singapore, except in Singapore the government has mostly very competent people.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sounds like Suga is taking a page out of Trump's playbook. Don't like what scientists are telling you? Then appoint political hacks with zero credibility to tell the public what you want them to hear.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Council "makes policy recommendations", if the academics PM refused stepped out of protocol . . . perhaps it may have led to their not being selected . . . only the insiders know for sure.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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