October 7, 2020
Statement on the Refusal to Appoint Nominees as New Council Members to the Science Council of Japan
Board of Directors
Japanese Association for Religious Studies
With neither precedent nor explanation, our Prime Minister has excluded six humanities and social science nominees from the Science Council of Japan. The candidate nominated to join the Committee on Philosophy in the Humanities and Social Sciences Section served for many years as a director of our association; his academic works and erudition amply attest to his qualification for this post representing philosophical and religious studies in Japan.
We cannot accept this peremptory and unexplained rejection of six preeminent scholars nominated based on academic evaluation in their respective fields. This exclusion violates the independence of the Science Council of Japan, undermines its founding ideals, and threatens academic freedom and autonomy in Japan.
We urge that the six scholars be immediately appointed as council members, pursuant to the Science Council of Japan’s “Request for Appointment of New Members for the 25th Term.”