Noah Smith spent a lot of time in Japan and he is familiar with the way things work in its government. He argues that Japan made a big mistake when one of its government agencies made an unbinding order to eliminate the study of social sciences and the humanities from its public universities. The order puts the emphasis on the STEM curriculum. Smith claims that Japan's movement towards a services economy demands more emphasis on social sciences and the humanities. Two of Japan's top public universities must agree with him. They refused to comply with the order.
Curiously, many conservatives in the US would like our universities to follow a similar path. STEM is currently the rage, and some state Governors have made unfavorable comments about courses which encourage students to think critically about society.