University of the Ryukyus announces policy not to engage in military research


October 25, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo


On October 24, the University of the Ryukyus (President: Hajime Oshiro) announced its “Basic Policy Regarding Military Security Research,” which sets forth the university’s stance that it will not engage in research with the direct purpose of military use or research funded by public entities with jurisdiction over the military in Japan or abroad.


The policy also states that privately-funded research and “dual-use” research that is difficult to classify because it is also used for civilian purposes will undergo review within the university if there is a chance that it could be used for military purposes.

Rules for such reviews and the makeup of the review committee will be discussed going forward and decided by the end of this school year.

According to the university, it will be a forerunner nationwide in terms of setting up review rules and a review committee for this sort of research.


In August 2015, the University of the Ryukyus announced President Oshiro’s view that the university “should refrain” from engaging in research supported by the Ministry of Defense’s new National Security Technology Research Promotion Fund, for which the ministry had recently started accepting applications.

In practice, the university banned application to the Ministry of Defense funding from that point in time.

In March of this year, the Science Council of Japan published a statement announcing that it will not engage in military research and called on universities in Japan to institute a system to review the suitability of research deemed to be military security research.

The University of the Ryukyus heeded this call and had an internal working group consider the matter.


On October 11, after receiving the working group’s final report, the board of directors made its final decision upon listening to opinions from the Education and Research Council comprising the deans of each school and all faculty at the university.


(English translation by T&CT and Sandi Aritza)


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