On Oct. 2, Kyoto University President Juichi Yamagiwa was elected president of the “Science Council of Japan (SCJ),” a representative organization of Japan’s scientific community.
Yamagiwa is a world-renowned researcher in ape studies. He has also frequently criticized the Ministry of Defense’s framework for seeking grant applications from civilian researchers for basic research in dual-use technology. In its Oct. 12 edition, the Asahi Shimbun published an interview with Yamagiwa titled “MOD framework cannot be tolerated.” Isoko Mochizuki, a reporter with the Tokyo Shimbun who has repeatedly criticized the government, also has praised him.
Liberals welcome the installation of Yamagiwa as SCJ president, but military research and scientific research are considered inseparable worldwide. Many in the field are afraid that “Japan will be left behind by the international community.”
Early this year, human skeletons, which had been removed from Okinawa in the prewar period, were found at Kyoto University. Some researchers are arguing that the Ryukyuan skeletons should be returned to Okinawa. If Yamagiwa makes the wrong decision, he will be the target of criticism.