News analysis

One month in office, Japan's PM finds himself pitted against academia

Rejection of nominees for science panel, advisory for unis to mourn late premier draw swift pushback

Public support for Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has fallen by 7 percentage points from last month to 55 per cent, according to an NHK poll last weekend. PHOTO: REUTERS

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who marked one month in office on Friday, has incurred the ire of the country's academia by rejecting six out of 105 scholars nominated to a government advisory panel.

All six had been openly critical of controversial security and anti-conspiracy policies pushed for by Mr Suga's predecessor Shinzo Abe, and their exclusion to the Science Council of Japan is seen as a high-handed, vindictive act by the new Prime Minister.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 18, 2020, with the headline 'One month in office, Japan's PM finds himself pitted against academia'. Print Edition | Subscribe