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First meeting of "Organization and Systems" working group for incorporation of Science Council of Japan: Positive consideration of "Opportunities for Social Contribution"


The Expert Panel on the Future of the Science Council of Japan has established Working Groups on "Organization and Systems" and "Membership Selection" to proceed with specific considerations toward the incorporation of the Science Council of Japan. The first meeting of the Organization and Systems Working Group has been held. At the first meeting, the Cabinet Office explained the interim report of the Expert Panel last December and the government policy. This was followed by a free discussion. Attendees from the Science Council mentioned the importance of trust with the government and the five requirements of the Academy.

Mr. Jinichi Igarashi, the Chairperson of the Working Group, said, "Last year, the Expert Panel took the stance that the system should be designed so that its independence and self-sufficiency are secured even more than now, that it can fully fulfill the functions required by the public, and will proceed in the future while fully listening to the opinions of the Science Council so that the Science Council is free from concerns. The Working Group will take the same stance in proceeding with this project."

Chairperson of the Working Group Mr. Jinichi Igarashi.

Each member of the Working Group expressed a range of opinions for creating a good Academy. For example, rather than viewing incorporation as a negative step, the Science Council should positively consider it as a great opportunity for a newly reborn Science Council to contribute more to society. The Working Group also requested that the government ensure the necessary funding is provided for the Science Council to do its work proactively after it has been incorporated. On the contrary, when it comes to independence and self-reliance, the Science Council needs to have the ability to put its own house in order. It was also stated that the recommendations of the Science Council have no impact.

The Working Group will continue discussions and report the results of their discussions to the Expert Panel. The concrete approach toward corporate system design will be finalized by the Expert Panel, and matters will be progressed as the Panel exchanges opinions with the Working Group.

Members of the Organization and Systems Working Group

  • Chairperson: Jinichi Igarashi, Managing Director and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Council on Competitiveness-Nippon; former Advisor to ENEOS Research Institute; Member of the National Research and Development Agency Council of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; former Associate Member of the Science Council of Japan
  • Junko Obata, Professor of Administrative Law, Graduate School of Law, Nihon University; former Member of the Science Council of Japan; former Associate Member of the Science Council of Japan
  • Kazunari Sasaki, Senior Vice President, Kyushu University (Materials Engineering, Energy Science); former Associate Member of the Science Council of Japan
  • Minako Takizawa, Science Journalist; Deputy Chair of the Japanese Association of Science & Technology Journalists; Member of the External Evaluation Committee of the Science Council of Japan
  • Yoshihiko Nagasato, Former Chairman of Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration Promotion Division, Committee on Industrial Technology, Nippon Keidanren; Representative, the Institute of Creative Chemistry / Former President of Asahi Research Center
  • Hisashi Harada, Dean, College of Law and Politics (Public Administration), Rikkyo University; Chairperson and Representative of the Committee on the System of Evaluating Incorporated Administrative Agencies; Associate Member, Science Council of Japan
  • Yukiko Fujikawa, President, Yukiko Fujikawa CPA Office; Member of the National Research and Development Agency Council of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare; Member of the National Research and Development Agency Council of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; Auditor, Japan Arts Council
  • Kazuhiro Hono, President, National Institute for Materials Science

This article has been translated by JST with permission from The Science News Ltd. ( Unauthorized reproduction of the article and photographs is prohibited.

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