As friends of Prof. Noriko Mizuta of Josai University, who have trusted and respected her for years, we are greatly concerned about the disturbing news that she was forced to resign from her position as Chancellor at a board of directors meeting. Based on a one-sided report by Mr. Ono Motoyuki, who ousted her and immediately took over her position as Acting Chancellor, the mass media reported suspicions of inappropriate finances by her, which have not yet been proven. Prior to the media news, her attorney filed a defamation lawsuit, insisting it was untrue. That the board made their decision to force her resignation without hearing her justification or even establishing an examining committee represents a serious defect of due process, and their decision itself appears invalid. Mr. Ono, who has promoted this process by force, once was a bureaucrat at the highest level at the Ministry of Education. After his retirement, with a career of several managerial positions, he was hired as a board member at Josai University with a good salary in 2012. After the forced resignation of Prof. Mizuta, he fired the chief secretary and put Yukihisa Kitamura, his ex-colleague at the Ministry of Education in the position, expanding his power over the organization. In this process, he recklessly removed Prof. Mizuta from her other position of the Dean of the Graduate School at Josai International University and banned all her lectures planned for this semester from April. Worse, he prohibited her from advising her graduate students who are about to complete their dissertations. These are students who have worked under her supervision with deep trust. They are now in a state of serious confusion, which is expressed in their public statement, “Give Back Prof. Mizuta to Us!!” shown at the following URL.

Prof. Mizuta is a pioneer of women’s studies and gender studies in Japan, who established feminist literary criticism and has also contributed to the exchange of scholars and writers both inside and outside of Japan. As far as we know of her, she is not a person who would do the things she is accused of by Mr. Ono, and she herself denies it. From her point of view, as someone who has devoted many years to the university, to be ousted in this way and have her ability to teach taken away from her must be unbearable. We are anxious for her to settle down the current confusion by clarifying the truth and restoring her honor, and hope to bring her back to her graduate students. In the end, we must add that we are ready to give any support as necessary, out of our long-lasting friendship.

Arimoto, Nobuko (Literary studies, Professor, Hiroshima University)
Bald, Suresht R. (Professor Emeritus, Willamette University)
Bourdaghs, Michael (Professor, University of Chicago)
Bullock, Julia (Associate Professor, Emory University)
Copeland, Rebecca(Professor, Washington University)
Cornyets, Nina (Associate Professor, New York University)
De Bary, Brett (Professor, Cornell University)
Flores, Linda (Associate Professor, University of Oxford)
Funabashi, Kuniko (Director, Asia-Japan Women’s Resource Center)
Egusa, Mitsuko (Professor Emaritus, Rikkyo University)
Furomoto, Atsuko (American literature) 
Furomoto, Taketoshi (Irish literature)
Goossen, Ted (Professor, York University, Toronto)
Hasegawa, Kei (Japanese literature)
Higuchi, Keiko (Social critic)
Horiguchi, Noriko J. (Associate Professor, University of Tennessee)
Ito, Hiromi (Poet)
Ito, Shoko (American literature, Professor Emeritus, Hiroshima University)
Karatani, Kojin (Literary critic)
Kawamura, Minato (Literary critic)
Kimura Steven, Chigusa (Literary studies)
Kitano, Keisuke (Professor, Ritsumeikan University)
Komori, Yoichi (Professor, The University of Tokyo)
Kotani, Mari (Literary critic)
Kurosawa, Ariko (Professor, Okinawa International University)
Lamarre, Thomas (Professor, McGill University)
Levy, Indra (Associate Professor, Stanford University)
Long, Margherita ( Associate Professor, University of California, Irvine)
Miyagawa, Tadashi (American literature, Professor, Hosei University)
Mostow, Joshua S. (Professor, University of British Columbia)
Nakagawa, Shigemi (Professor, Ritsumeikan University)
Nakazawa, Kei (Writer)
Ogata, Akiko (Literary critic)
Orbaugh, Sharalyn (Professor, University of British Columbia)
Rothenberg, Jerome (Poet, Professor Emeritus, University of California, San Diego)
Sakaki, Atsuko (Professor, University of Toronto)
Shiraishi, Kazuko (Poet)
Shirane, Haruo (Professor, Columbia University)
Tachi, Kaoru (Gender studies, Professor Emeritus, Ochanomizu University)
Suzuki, Tomi (Professor, Columbia University) 
Tatsumi, Takayuki (American literature, Professor, Keio University)
Tawada, Yoko (Poet, Writer)
Ueno, Chizuko (Sociologist, Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo)
Vargo, Lars (Haiku Poet, former Swedish Ambassador to Japan)
Ukai, Satoshi (Philosopher, Professor, Hitotsubashi University)
Watanabe, Mieko (Poet)
Watanabe Sumiko (Literary studies, Professor Emeritus, Daito University)

May, 8, 2017

After posting this article, more supporters joined us.
Above is the updated list of the signers as of May, 18, 2017.