Tokyo, Oct. 16 (Jiji Press)–Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, at a meeting with Science Council of Japan President Takaaki Kajita on Friday, did not give a clear explanation about his rejection of some nominees to the council, according to Kajita.
Kajita told reporters that he had talks with Suga mainly on the roles of the council, which represents the country’s science community.
“We discussed what future-oriented contribution the council can make to society and the country,” he said.
Suga separately told reporters that he conveyed the view that the council, as a state-funded body, must have support from the public.
He said he has agreed with Kajita that the council head and Shinji Inoue, minister for science and technology policy, will lead talks on the council’s roles.
The meeting was the first between Suga and Kajita since the revelation that the prime minister had refused to appoint six of the 105 council member candidates presented by the council.
Kajita handed Suga a written request to disclose the reason for his rejection of the six candidates and appoint them to the council.
Suga called on the council to work to make a solid contribution, according to Kajita.
In an apparent response to criticism of the council for not fully performing its function of making policy recommendations to the government, Kajita admitted that the council has been low-key and vowed to carry out reform promptly.
He said that the role the council plays is far more significant than at the time of its establishment because academics have closer relations with society and policies.