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On June 8, 2015, the presidents of all 86 national universities received a notice in the name of the education and science minister, instructing them to endeavor to abolish their schools’ departments of humanities and social sciences on both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels or to shift them to fields that are in higher social demand.

As president of a minor national university at the time, the messages in the notice were not unexpected. Yet, I felt a strong sense of indignation as I thought the notice indicated that Japan’s education policies still follow the old tradition of neglecting humanities and social sciences in favor of natural sciences.

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