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Academics must play no part in helping to develop weapons

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The Defense Ministry's Acquisition, Technology & Logistics Agency (ATLA) on Aug. 30 disclosed the fiscal 2019 results of its security technology research promotion system, an open-to-the-public program that provides government funding for research projects that could lead to the development of military equipment, including munitions.

The program received 57 applications, of which 16 were approved. But the number of applications fell for the second consecutive year, and forced the ALTA--for the first time since this program came into being five years ago--to reopen the competition after the initial application deadline had passed.

But only eight applications were received from universities--an all-time low.

The program itself is quite generous, offering up to 2 billion yen ($18.59 million) over five years. But its obvious lack of appeal likely owes mainly to the efforts of the Science Council of Japan to apprise the public of the problems inherent in........

© The Asahi Shimbun