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October 20, 1957 - Image 11

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1957-10-20
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.:.A

- Page Sixteen

THE MICHIGAN DAILY MAGAZINE

Sunday, October 20, 1957

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Sunday, October 20, 1957

THE MICHIGAN DAILY MAGAZINE

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A RIOT?

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season ticket

for winter-time fun!

P.F.

"Cozy-Coed"

By AKIRA "TEDDY" EBUCHI
IT WAS an invaluable and un-
forgettable experience that I
was privileged to attend the 10th
N a t io n a 1 Student Association
Congress and see for myself
American students' ways of think-
ing towards student activities.
I landed in this country with
my head stuffed with a precon-
ceived idea of what American stu-
dents are. To my pleasant sur-
prise, however, I met some Amer-
ican students who showed great
interest in the basic difference in
the interpretation of the student's
role as student between the
United States and Japan.
Peter Eckstein, the editor of
your paper, proved to be one of
those who was willing to listen
to the Japanese students and
eventually became our scapegoat
on whom we poured our accumu-
lated frustrations which resulted
from attending the Congress only
as observers.
NE DAY in the usual discus-
sion with him, he referred to
"the Michigan-Waseda Technical
Agreement Case" as "Waseda
Riot."
The wording shocked me and
urged my pride as a Wasedanian
to dissolve this misunderstanding
among American students.
This is a brief sketch of how
the incident developed: In April,
1956, Waseda University con-
cluded a technical agreement with
the University of Michigan, with
International Cooperation Ad-
ministration acting as an inter-
mediary and as a financial source.
According to the agreement, the
Institute for Raising Productivity
was established in Waseda Uni-
versity to carry out a joint re-
search project on technology and
the theory of industrial produc-
tivity and management.
Japanese . students are fully
aware that this kind of research
is by no means harmless but es-
sential for the development of
Japanese industry. This agree-
ment, however, met a fierce op-
position not only from the stu-
dents but even from a segment of
professors on the grounds that it
might infringe on academic free-
dom. The opposition movement
developed after the signing of the
agreement and finally came to an
outburst when Prof. Charles B.
Gordy and his colleague Prof. Ed-
ward L. Page, both of the indus-
trial engineering department, ar-
rived.

AS AN editor who covered this
incident on-the-spot, I got an
impression that it was one. of
those few issues in which keen in-
terest was shown from both pro
and con sides on a university-wide
scale. Many resolutions concern-
ing the- case were issued as an
outcome of those discussions,
some supporting, some opposing.
You think this is "riot"! The
Waseda University authorities.
condemnedthis action as "being
instigated by Red students." One
commercial paper supported by
the Foreign Ministry, for one rea-
son or another, denounced these
students as "racketeers." If you
define "riot" according to Web-
ster it was not the case. "An in-
stigation by Red students" -
might be true if you follow Mc-
Carthy's interpretation. "Racke-
teers."-circulation-conscious . .
Let me analyze the reason why
America, offering aid which
amounts to 2,000,000,000 yen,
raised a heavy crop of opposition
as its first harvest -
As a result of careful study, the
Joint Investigation Committee of
the Waseda student government
came to the conclusion that there
would be no guarantee that aca-
demic research would not be af-
fected by political control or mis-
utilized for political purposes.
THE REASONS were as fol-
lows:
A) ICA, an agency of the Amer-
ican State Department .set up to
handle foreign aid programs un-
der the Mutual Security Act, is
undoubtedly acting not only as a
financial source but as an organ
through which America is to re-
alize her foreign policy - in this
case the possibility is shown in
more obvious form in the "Basic
FOA Policy on University Con-
tract" which is a basis of this
agreement.
B) The raising of productivity
movement, the central theme of
the Institute for Raising Produc-
tion's research, is sponsored by
the Japan Productivity Council,
which was established by a strong
suggestion and financial aid from
ICA's predecessor, the U.S. For-
eign Operations Administration.
According to the student analysis,
this movement is a tool or new
form of American economic con-
trol over underdeveloped coun-
tries.
C) In the process of concluding

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such an unprecedented agree-
ment, the Waseda University
authorities concerned did not ap-
ply adequate consideration and
adopted a secretive attitude to-
ward professors and students -
the two important constituent
parts of the university.
) Waseda students are very
proud and conscious of the
fact that their university was es-
tablished as a fort against the
bureaucratic control of any auth-
orities. Academic freedom has al-
ways been their motto. They are,
therefore, particularly sensitive to
any assistance of this sort which
might infringe upon academic
freedom, no matter from where
it comes.
Academic pursuit in itself has
an international characteristic,
and free interchange beyond na-
tional borders is indispensable.
However, the principles which are
adhered to by the opposition to
the Michigan-Waseda Technical
agreement are: that this inter-
change must be achieved between
countries on such an equal basis
that both countries are free from
any economic and political influ-
ence by the other, and that any
university should not be used as
an instrument for any political
purpose.
The Japanese student move-
ment has often been frowned up-
on as being too political or parti-
san in comparison with the Amer-
ican conception of the "student's
role as student." There are dif-
ferent sociological, economic and
political setups to be considered
when you speak of differences in
social classification, social func-
tion, and rights and responsibili-
ties of students here and in Jap-
an. However, Japanese students
distinguish themselves from oth-
ers as a privileged social class,
privileged to be able to learn,
privileged to be able to think and
pursue truth and to act for it
without down-to-earth calcula-
tion.
Paradoxically speaking, there-
fore, for the Japanese students, it
is the student's role as a student
to act as the salt of the earth or
a nightguard for social injustice,
as we have seen in Cuba, Algeria
and Hungary.
Akira Ebuchi was assigned by
the Waseda University student
newspaper to cover the dispute
last year over the Waseda-Michi-
gan Technical Agreement. He is
majoring in journalism and
working his way through school,
once by working on alternate
days as a fireman on a 24-hour
shift. "Teddy" arrived in this
country recently to study for a
year at the University of Mis-
souri under theNationdl Student
Association's Forign Student
Leadership Project: His first
large-scale contacts with Ameri-
can students occurred at the
NSA Congress held at the Uni-
versity this summer, where
-NSA's policy of representing
"students in their role as stu-
dents" was widely discussed.
Students in Japan and elsewhere
often reject this notion of stu-
dent unions limiting themselves
to activity within the educa-
tional community and consider
activity in the context of society
as a whole, including political
agitation, to be a part of the
student's role.
Professors Gordy and Page
are still at Waseda, on leave
from the University, where they
are reportedly accepted by the
other members of the academic
community despite some con-
tinuing misgivings about the
value and purposes of their mis-
sion. Opposition to increased

mechanization and industrial ef-
ficiency has been opposed, in
Japan as in the West, by many
segments of the labor movement
out of fear that greater produc-
tivity-per-worker leads to un-
employment.

:
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11

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