Science Council of Japan

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Science Council of Japan
日本学術会議
Abbreviation SCJ
Predecessor Japan Association of Science Liaison
Preparatory Committee (Sewaninkai)
Formation 20 January 1949 (1949-01-20)
Founder Harry C. Kelley
Purpose Development of science in Japan
Headquarters Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Fields Science
Membership (2015)
210
President
Takashi Onishi
Vice-President (Organizational Management)
Chiaki Mukai
Vice-President (Contacts with Government)
Kumie Inose
Vice-President (International Activities)
Keisuke Hanaki
Key people
Kôdi Husimi
Akira Fujiwara
Toshiyuki Kobayashi
Website www.scj.go.jp/en/

The Science Council of Japan (SCJ) is representative organization of Japanese scholars and scientists in all fields of sciences, including humanities, social sciences, life sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. Takashi Onishi, President of Toyohashi Tech, is the elected president in 2014. He had been elected for two consecutive terms since 2013.[1] It is headquartered at Roppongi, Minato-ku in Tokyo.[2] Members are elected by scientists of all levels, including research scholars. Elected members are recognised by the Government of Japan, similar in pattern to membership in the National Academy of Sciences in USA, upon which its institution was based. It was in fact established as American policy following US occupation of Japan after the World War II.[3] It was inaugurated in January 1949 as to function independent as a scientific statuitory body under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister.[4]

As of 2015, the Science Council of Japan consists of 210 elected members (appointed by the Prime Minister) and 2,000 associate members. Its organisational set up includes a General Assembly, an Executive Board, three Section Meetings (namely Humanities and Social Sciences, Life Sciences, and Physical Sciences and Engineering), 30 committees based on fields of specialties, five Administrative Committees for operation, and issue-oriented ad hoc committees.[5]

History[edit]

The Science Council of Japan was founded by Harry C. Kelley during the American occupation of Japan after the World War II. A former Professor of Physics at the Lehigh University, Kelley was working in the American occupation forces. He was appointed as the civilian chief of the Fundamental Research Branch, and was subsequently appointed its associate director. His first achievement was creation of the Japan Association of Science Liaison, a private organisation. The organisation was developed into the Preparatory Committee (Sewaninkai) of the Scientific Research Organisation Renewal Committee.[3] It was eventually renamed Science Council of Japan, and became constituted under the Government of Japan in 1949 as a "special organisation".[5] It was formally inaugurated on 20 January with its first general meeting.[6]

Activities[edit]

In June 2015, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japanese government issued a directive to abolish or reduce humanities and social sciences in all national universities.[7] The Science Council of Japan opposed to such order. Representing the resolution of the council Executive Board, President Onishi held a press conference on 23 July condemning the official decision. He expressed that the council believed that the dissolution of these disciplines "may result in higher education in Japan losing its breadth and depth."[8]

The Science Council of Japan was a consultative and decision making body in Japan's high-level radioactive waste management policy. The Government of Japan has the Designated Radioactive Waste Final Disposal Act enacted in 2000, under which the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan (NUMO) was established. The works and reports of NUMO were given to the council for inspection and decision in 2011. The council made its decision on it, and suggestions to the government for actions in 2012.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "President Takashi Onishi is reelected as the head of the Science Council of Japan". Toyohashi University of Technology. 9 October 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "Science Council of Japan (SCJ)". iamp. Retrieved 24 November 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Mendelsohn (editor), Everett (2002). Transformation and tradition in the sciences : essays in honor of I. Bernard Cohen. Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press. pp. 353–370. ISBN 978-0-521-52485-8. 
  4. ^ "Science Council of Japan (SCJ)". IAP. Retrieved 24 November 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Science Council of Japan (SCJ)". PreventionWeb. Retrieved 24 November 2015. 
  6. ^ Ohnami, Masateru (1992). Fracture and Society. Tokyo: Ohmsha. p. 293. ISBN 9784274086304. 
  7. ^ "Education Ministry instructs national universities to reduce humanities and social science courses". Japan Press Weekly. 10 June 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015. 
  8. ^ "Science Council criticizes gov’t policy to abolish humanities departments". Japan Press Weekly. 24 July 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015. 
  9. ^ Edahiro, Junko (December 2014). "Science Council of Japan Releases Policy Recommendations on High-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal". JFS Newsletter (124). Retrieved 24 November 2015.