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The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

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Campus Now

Early Spring Issue (Mar.)

NEWS REPORT

Warning was given towards budget cut of academia/university

The executives of 9 universities announced the joint statement to express their concerns over the “project screening process”

President Shirai, answering to the questions from the journalists (Center) To his left is Dr. Junichi Hamada, President of Tokyo University, and the right Dr. Atsushi Seike, President of Keio University

On November 24, the presidents of 9 public and private universities including Hokkaido, Tohoku, Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Kyushu, Keio and Waseda had a press conference and announced a joint statement. The statement expressed their concerns over the possibility of drastic budget cuts towards academia/universities by the government ad hoc task force for “project screening process” and advocated for the investment to the basic research and continuous support for young researchers.

The statement was titled “Concerns over the research ability of universities and academia in the future - in order to avoid going through the path of deteriorating the country’s foundation.” In the statement, 5 items were requested; 1) setting clear goals of public investment and its continuous expansion, 2) strengthening investment, respecting for the free thinking of researchers, 3) expansion of the basic costs of universities and an establishment of a new framework, 4) support for young researchers, and 5) emphasis on the “communication” between the government and universities in the process of policy decision making. They also appealed that, in comparison with foreign countries, Japan may lose its global competitiveness if the Japanese government drastically cuts the research investment, as some countries have increased their public spending on the researches and the number of published articles is increasing.