Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Friday signaled his openness to efforts by the government as well as the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to re-evaluate the Science Council of Japan’s objective, a move that could backfire as the administration attempts to change the subject from the rejection of new members.

“There is much interest regarding the role of the Science Council of Japan,” Suga said Friday evening in a group interview with the media. “I’d welcome it if the way the Science Council of Japan should be, was improved by taking advantage of this opportunity.”

His remark follows the announcement made by Taro Kono, the minister in charge of administrative reform, earlier Friday that the government will scrutinize the council’s budget and membership quota. Kono argued that since the council’s source of revenue is government spending, it renders the organization the subject of its appraisal.