Universities intensify military research despite resistance

The Ministry of Defense has been accelerating research with universities, against a backdrop of growing sophistication in the use of technology in defence equipment and concern that Japan risks falling behind the rest of the world if it does not conduct research on cutting-edge technologies. However, there is deep-rooted resistance among universities to aiding military research, reports The Yomiuri Shimbun.

“We have become thousands of times better at detecting explosives,” boasted an official at the Defense Ministry Ground Systems Research Center in regard to the results of joint research with Kyushu University. The centre researches disposal techniques for improvised explosive devices.

Some in academia have voiced opposition. Last year, the University of Tokyo rejected a Defense Ministry request for cooperation from a professor to help investigate the cause of a malfunction that occurred during strength testing of air self-defence force transportation. Universities, since World War II, have a deep-rooted resistance to participation in military research, and the University of Tokyo affirmed a policy that “military research shall not be conducted” under both the 1959 and 1967 boards of trustees.
Full report on The Japan News site