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45 Japanese Universities Make Agreements with China’s “Seven Sons of National Defense”

According to a Kyodo News report on November 29, seven defense related Chinese universities that conduct military technological research made an academic and student exchange agreement with a total of 45 public and private universities in Japan, among which nine Japanese universities have joint research programs.

The seven Chinese universities, including Beihang University and Northwestern Polytechnical University, are under the administration of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which oversees China’s national defense industry. They are known as the “Seven Sons of National Defense.” It has been reported that these universities are also involved in developing the equipment for the People’s Liberation Army. Three universities that are likely to transform their technology into the development of weapons of mass destruction are on the “foreign user list” of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The United States has four of the universities on the list of countries to which exports are banned. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute believes that the risk of cooperating with these seven Chinese universities is “very high.”

Kyodo News interviewed 51 Japanese universities that were in agreement with the Chinese side in the 2017 survey that the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan conducted. Kyodo received responses from 49 of them. Six universities had already completed the agreement and 16 universities indicated that they may adjust their agreements. The Shibaura Institute of Technology understands that the Chinese universities are on the “list of foreign users” and is waiting for the end of that agreement. Some universities have also replied that they will adjust parts of multiple agreements or that only the portion on student exchanges will be maintained.

Among the 9 universities that have joint research programs with China, Chiba Institute of Technology replied that it has “discontinued” the programs. Hokkaido University (in the field of nanotechnology) and Osaka University (in the field of nuclear research) stated that they will conduct joint research on the basis of thorough management. As of November 28, seven universities including Kyoto University did not respond to the questions about the existence of a joint research with China.

Source: Kyodo News, November 29, 2020