Academic Research for Defense

Impact on Japan’s National Security

Science and technology are key to national security. Basic research is the seed of innovation that leads to applied science in defense systems and equipment. Each of Japan’s allies and partners has government funding for security-related programs to identify emerging and disruptive technologies (EDT) to deter foreign aggression. Young scholars are nurtured in an academic environment and encouraged to play active roles in diverse fields of inquiry for industry.

In the scientific community, however, there are levels of debate about the ethics of developing weapons of war even if they are designed for national security. Resistance to such research is worldwide, especially in countries ravaged by war such as Germany and Japan. Even in the UK and US there are entrenched interests who either prohibit or restrict early defense research at university laboratories.

Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution renounces the right of belligerency to settle international disputes. Deep support of this commitment among Japan’s academic community has challenged the government’s ability to address changing regional security threats. Prime Minister Abe responded in part to growing security concerns by securing funds for research under the Ministry of Defense. PM Suga refused to appoint six candidates for the National Science Council for opposing defense research. Support of Japanese academics from China and Russia are real concerns, as is the case in other democratic societies.

For Japan to survive and prosper, it is critical that academia and industry lead the country’s scientific and technological explorations and provide young researchers greater opportunities to innovate new businesses based on original technologies. It is essential to harness the combined efforts of the private sector, academia, and government scientists to not only research new technologies, but also identify and develop technologies that will be key to future security needs. This webinar will examine how other countries have managed this issue, particularly in the United States and European Union, and discuss the evolution of dual-use (defense/commercial) approaches and potential impact on Japan’s national security.

December 17, 2021

Washington 07:00
London 12:00
Paris 13:00
New Delhi 17:30
Tokyo 21:00
Canberra 23:00
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