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December 16, 2003

Chomsky Backs Tokyo Uni. Protest

As a follow up to our recent story on the assimiliation of four public universities in Tokyo, there is a site for teachers who wish to protest aspects of the plan, which include many staff losing their jobs. The central aim of the university reform project is "the reorganization and integration" of four Tokyo Metropolitan universities (Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Technology, Tokyo Metropolitan University of Health Sciences, and Tokyo Metropolitan College) "in the form of a single comprehensive university by April 2005." While it is rare for public workers to be fired, such a realignment project allows the metropolitan government to considerably streamline staff numbers. The four universities currently employ some 39 teachers of English and/or Anglo-American literature, a number that is expected to be greatly reduced. The current list of appeal "sympathizers" includes several from the Massachussetts Institute of Technology, most notably the world's preeminent language theorist Noam Chomsky (who, when contacted by ELT News, declined to comment further). The site is mostly in Japanese and French, but also includes some background and a letter of protest in English.
Appeal | Letter of protest

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