23.2 Rules

23.2.1  Reporting Misconduct

23.2.1.1  All members of the University are strongly encouraged to report any perceived misconduct if they believe or suspect that the misconduct has taken place. Reports may be made to a senior member (or the supervising faculty member or the Dean of the Graduate School for students) of the person who is suspected to have committed the misconduct, or via the contact points listed in  Table1. Any person other than the University member may make a report via the external contact point shown in Table 1. Procedures for making a report are set forth in 23.4.1.1 below.

23.2.1.2  A report of a suspected misconduct made by anyone shall be in good faith, based on objective and rational grounds. A groundless report for defaming the respondent or that is driven by bad faith (which means a will solely directed to causing a damage on the respondent, such as for causing harm to the respondent or for obstructing the research carried out by the respondent, or for creating disadvantage for the entity or organization that the respondent belongs to) or a report based on an identical or a similar content (ex: any report with an identical or similar factual background claimed in the previous report, or any report on the investigation regarding the previous report) shall not be made.

23.2.1.3  All officers and employees who are involved with the process of handling reports, from the receipt of a report to the completion of investigation, shall strictly maintain confidentiality of information pertaining to concerned parties including the whistleblower.

 

23.2.2  Investigation

23.2.2.1  When a report of suspected misconduct is received, it will be taken up as a case of one of the misconduct categories and verification of facts and circumstances will commence in accordance with the procedures for the applicable category:

Procedures for investigation of non-compliance are set forth in 23.4.2, procedures for investigation of public research fund misuse are set forth in 23.4.3, and procedures for investigation of Specified Research Misconduct are set forth in 23.4.4. For investigation of misconduct in research activities other than Specified Research Misconduct  [link:  23.7.6.2.1]  such  as  duplicate  submissions and inappropriate authorship, 23.4.4 will apply mutatis mutandis to the procedures as necessary. In addition, when the countermeasures to the relevant report are clearly provided in the PRP and other regulations, the said report may be assigned to the division/section in charge. In this case, the original contact point shall notify the reporter regarding the assignment to the relevant division/section.

23.2.2.2  Any person subject to the concerned whistleblowing or has an interest in the investigated case shall not be involved in the investigation.

23.2.2.3  Results of investigation shall be reported to the President/CEO (and to the Board of Governors and Auditors, if there is any potentially serious non-compliance with legal or regulatory provisions). This report shall be made directly to the Board of Governors and Auditors, if the President/CEO has an interest in the concerned whistleblowing.

23.2.2.4  Also, a case brought to the University's attention by means other than a report, such as by a consultation without a clear indication or a willingness of making a report, or by media coverage or findings from external agency such as the Board of Audit, or by an indication of suspected specified research misconduct made by the scientific community such as an academic society or by information of suspected specified research misconduct posted on a website, may also be handled by the same procedures that handle cases initiated by a report.

 

23.2.3  Retaliation Complaint

23.2.3.1  Any whistleblower who experiences retaliatory action for making a good faith report of potential or suspected misconduct, or who has been the subject of direct or indirect use or attempted use of official authority or official influence for the purpose of interfering with his or her right to make a Protected Disclosure, may file a Retaliation Complaint to the Chief Operating Officer (hereinafter referred to as "COO").

23.2.3.2  The Whistleblower Protection Policy shall apply to any retaliation complaint filed by whistleblowers, attempted whistleblowers or employees or members who have refused to obey an Illegal Order.

23.2.3.3  The University will take whatever action is necessary to prevent and correct violations of this Whistleblower Protection Policy, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations and University PRPs.

23.2.3.4  The COO conducts an investigation to verify the facts and circumstances which constitute the cause of a specific Retaliation Complaint.

23.2.4  Any individual who files a Groundless Report or Complaint is not subject to protection under the University’s Whistleblower Protection Policy.