Science Council Elects New Head

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Mamoru Mitsuishi

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Science Council of Japan on Monday elected Mamoru Mitsuishi, professor emeritus of the University of Tokyo, as its new president.

Mitsuishi, 67, a specialist in mechanical engineering, was chosen as the SCJ’s head at its general meeting. His term will run through September 2026.

Mitsuishi’s predecessor, Takaaki Kajita, left office at the end of his term Saturday.

Mitsuishi, a native of Okayama Prefecture, graduated from the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Engineering and became professor and vice president of the university. From April 2022, he served as vice president of the National Institution for Academic Degrees and Quality Enhancement of Higher Education.

“Our basic stance remains the same,” Mitsuishi told reporters after the general meeting, saying that he plans to continue urging the government to appoint to the SCJ six council member nominees rejected in 2020 by then Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

“We will argue what we must while fulfilling other missions such as spreading information,” he added.

The general meeting was attended by 160 of the 210 council members of the SCJ, half of whom are new members appointed by the government Sunday. Mitsuishi was elected in the second round of voting, winning 83 votes to secure a majority.

The average age of the 105 new members stood at 57.9 years old. The 105 do not include the six nominees rejected by Suga.

Thirty-seven of the new members are women, including Chieko Asakawa, 64, director of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, known as Miraikan. Women now account for 38.8% of all members.