U.S. military grants to Japanese universities

According to an analysis of documents of the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. military had paid researchers at Japanese universities and public organizations at least ¥880 million in the research grants over a period of the past 10 years.

Currently, the Science Council of Japan is debating about the need for research grants from the Japanese Ministry of Defense, and the discussions will also include possible guidelines for accepting research grants from the U.S. military.

According to experts, accepting grants form the U.S. military does not pose any legal problems. Sources say that by the end of 2015, the total amount of the grants had exceeded ¥200 million.

The total amount of the grants that the Japanese government offers to national universities has decreased by more than ¥100 billion over the last 10 years, and the documents show that researchers lacking of research funds continue to rely on U.S. military grants.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense documents obtained from the U.S. Government database, the U.S. military offered grants in more than 100 cases amounting to ¥243 million for Osaka University, and ¥90 million for the Tokyo Institute of Technology, among others. Some universities that accepted the grants stated, “Parts of the grants have not been confirmed.” The National Institute for Materials Science, said to have received ¥75 million, replied, “We have not been able to identify this.”

The research fields that received the grants is diverse, and includes artificial intelligence, robotics, lasers and carbon fiber materials that are used to make an aircraft body lighter.

The U.S. military states, “We have offered research grants for overseas universities, including in Japan, for several decades.”