National

After controversial security laws comment, Doshisha president loses re-election bid

Staff Report

Koji Murata, the president of Doshisha University in Kyoto Prefecture who drew flak in July for supporting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s security legislation, has lost his bid for re-election.

The university said Friday that Murata, 51, a political science professor, will be replaced as president by Takashi Matsuoka, a 60-year-old professor of materials engineering, next April 1 when Murata’s term ends.

The number of votes for each candidate was not disclosed. Around 930 teachers and administrative staff members were eligible to cast ballots.

Murata became a subject of heated controversy in July when, appearing before a Lower House committee as one of four scholars recommended by the ruling parties to offer expert opinions, said the security legislation is necessary to maintain Japan’s security.

More than 80 professors and other faculty members at the university signed a petition denouncing Murata’s comments, saying they were “ashamed.”

Matsuoka was one of the faculty members who signed the petition.

The petition statement also emphasized that the president’s opinion is personal and that it does not represent the university’s official stance.

Matsuoka will be officially appointed president at a meeting of the university’s board of trustees on Nov. 28.

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