Scientific misconduct can jeopardize scientific progress and destroy the credibility and reputation of academic institutions and their faculty and students; ultimately it can compromise scientific integrity and result in a loss of confidence for the entire scientific community. Only recently in Japan has scientific misconduct become a central public topic. This increased attention to the topic, in turn, has highlighted a paucity of ethical standards within the Japanese scientific community and a lack of an apt process for conflict resolution. In this brief report, we first provide an overview of several high-profile cases of scientific misconduct recently uncovered in Japan. Next we consider how a recent rise in competition within the academic and scientific communities is possibly related to a concurrent increase in reported cases of scientific misconduct. Last, after discussing what actions have already been taken, we recommend further actions needed to deal with the problem of scientific misconduct in Japan.
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