Nobel physics prize winner Toshihide Masukawa and other Japanese scholars criticized Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday over the rejection of some academics from a government advisory body.

Suga's recent rejection of six out of 105 nominees for the Science Council of Japan "destroys democracy and constitutionalism" and "is an insult to academia," said the Association of Scholars Opposed to the Security-related Laws, of which Masukawa is a member.

The group condemned Suga's refusal to approve the scholars as "clearly an illegal act." The six had been critical of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to reinterpret the Constitution to enable the Self-Defense Forces to come to the aid of U.S. forces under attack, in a limited form of collective security.