SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: November 29, 2022

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):Tokyo Metropolitan University

Region & Country:Eastern Asia | Japan

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On November 29, 2022, an unidentified individual attacked Shinji Miyadai, a sociology professor at Tokyo Metropolitan University, on the university’s campus.

Miyadai is known for his research and public commentary on compensated dating and various subcultures and religions, including the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult and the Unification Church, the latter of which has strong ties to Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Authorities have made public images and video of a man who they suspect carried out the attack, which occurred at around 4:00 PM. Police told The Asahi Shimbun that Miyadai was “cut in the neck, the back of the head, his armpits and knees,” and suffered “defensive wounds on both arms.” Miyadai was released from the hospital on December 8.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about a violent, apparently targeted attack on a scholar. Such attacks undermine academic freedom and democratic society. State authorities should take all reasonable steps to prevent and respond to violent attacks on scholars and students, including by carrying out investigations and holding perpetrators accountable.