Graduate Student Forum

Disseminating Western Thought and Reexamining Japan: The Role of Chinese Students Who Studied in Modern Japan

Date
Tuesday, 15 March 2022 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Meeting  REGISTER HERE
Zoom access link will be provided after registration.
Language
English
Speakers
  • Toshihide Takayanagi Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Rieko Kage Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Asian nations that wished to adopt Western thought and technology, including Japan, sent many students to Europe and the United States. Japan was so successful in this endeavor that, after the Russo-Japanese War, many Asian nations that admired its rapid modernization sent students to Japan. Of these, China was the nation that sent the largest number of students (thought to total tens of thousands by 1945). What did Chinese students learn in Japan, and what impact did they have on their home country? This presentation will examine the role played by these students once they returned to China, focusing on their legacy that remains today. Specifically, it will focus on how Western thought such as communism was brought back to China via Japan, creating the new academic field of Japan Studies along the way.

About the Speaker

Toshihide Takayanagi is a Ph.D. candidate at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tokyo, specializing in modern Chinese history and Sino-Japanese relations. His research interests include Japan Studies in modern China, as well as differences in how Japan and China perceive history.

Graduate Student Forum

Precarious Work, Gender, and Marriage in Contemporary Japan

Date
Tuesday, 22 February 2022 | 16:00 - 16:45 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Meeting  REGISTER HERE
Zoom access link will be provided after registration.
Language
English
Speakers
  • See Pok Loa Department of Sociology, University of Oxford
Moderator
  • Daiji Kawaguchi Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

Previous studies on global capitalism and gender argue that the expansion of labor precarity and underemployment have brought about a “crisis of masculinity”. Less attention is paid to how the construction of masculinity adapts to shifting economic contexts. Using data from interviews with young men working on non-regular jobs, this study looks into the experiences of precarious workers in Japan, a place where job stability, gender norms, and family formation are tightly coupled. Specifically, it shows how precarious work redefines the ways workers understand masculinity and the way they imagine marriage in the future when they have failed to achieve the dominant form of the breadwinner model and the economic foundations required by marriage, given the growing structural uncertainties in the economy.

About the Speaker

See Pok Loa is a doctoral student in Sociology at the University of Oxford. His research interests include the sociology of gender, work, economic sociology, personal life and families, globalization, and inequality. Overall, his research seeks to understand how global economic processes and broader inequalities reshape personal life.

Graduate Student Forum

Preparation for Business Requirement on Prior User Rights in Patent Law

Date
Tuesday, 18 January 2022 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Meeting  REGISTER HERE
Zoom access link will be provided after registration.
Language
English
Speakers
  • YE Peng Graduate School for Law and Politics, the University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • TAMARUYA Masayuki Professor, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

As established by Article 79 of Patent Law, “A person who…has been working the invention or preparing for the working of the invention in Japan at the time of the filing of the patent application” could have prior user rights. Regarding this “preparation for business” requirement, Walking Beam Furnace, Supreme Court, Oct. 3, 1986, 40-6 Minshu 1068, held that, although it had not yet been worked at the stages of business; there had been the “intent to work the invention immediately,” and such intent had been “indicated in a manner and to the extent that it could be objectively recognized.” However, it is not an explicit rule to apply to lower instance courts. Addressing this problem, I would like to introduce some cases, especially

About the Speaker

Ye Peng is a doctoral student of the Graduate School for Law and Politics at the University of Tokyo. He received a B.S. from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China, an LL.M. from Hokkaido University.

Graduate Student Forum

The Incompatible Incentives of Opposition Coordination in Mixed-Member Majoritarian Systems: Evidence from Japan

Date
Tuesday, 8 February 2022 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Meeting  REGISTER HERE
Zoom access link will be provided after registration.
Language
English
Speakers
  • Hikaru Yamagishi Department of Political Science, Yale University
Moderator
  • Kenneth Mori MCELWAIN Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

I will start with an overview of the literature on electoral systems, mobilization, and persuasion. The theories of turnout and preference have been developed in “pure” electoral system contexts (i.e. single-seat districts or proportional representation systems). Next, I will introduce my theory, which extends the theory to mixed-member electoral systems, and specifically mixed-member majoritarian. From there, I identify the testable implications of the theory, which is about heterogeneous effects of voter engagement with democratic elections. I introduce the research design for the survey conducted in Japan and show the results. Finally, I discuss and conclude.

About the Speaker

Hikaru Yamagishi is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at Yale University studying comparative politics and comparative political economy. She has a special interest in Japan, where she examines various instances of economic and political market inefficiency and failure. Her dissertation explores the causes and consequences of one such example in the context of political party competition: problems of opposition coordination. Her research is multi-method. Yamagishi’s work is supported by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University,

Graduate Student Forum

Risk Management of General Trading Company: Lessons from History

Date
Tuesday, 14 December 2021 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Meeting  REGISTER HERE
Zoom access link will be provided after registration.
Language
English
Speakers
  • Eiji Unakami Graduate School of Economics, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

General Trading Company(GTC) is a Japanese diversified business group evolving in Meiji Japan Economic growth and preserving significance in the Reiwa Japan Economic scene. The researcher’s interest is to find indications for its future by researching its history. This case study compares the risk management of Mitsui Bussan, the first and biggest GTC before WWII, and Furukawa Shoji which was collapsed soon after its foundation. Value at Risk, a contemporary risk management tool is used for quantitative comparison in addition to a qualitative one. This research suggests that the superiority/inferiority of risk management shown in their value at risk draws the line between survivor and failure.

About the Speaker

Eiji Unakami is a Ph.D. student in Economic History, at the University of Tokyo, focusing on risk management, business model, and social impact of Japanese General Trading Company(GTC). He is concurrently working at Mitsubishi Corporation (MC), a GTC, and has decades of experience in the risk management area, including the secretary of the investment committee.

Graduate Student Forum

Loneliness at Older Ages in Japan: Variation in Lonely Life Expectancy and the Role of Social Isolation

Date
Tuesday, 7 December 2021 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Meeting  REGISTER HERE
Zoom access link will be provided after registration.
Language
English
Speakers
  • Shiro Furuya Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

Despite growing media, policy, and research attention to loneliness, it remains an understudied dimension of social inequality. Additionally, research on loneliness often fails to distinguish loneliness from social isolation. This is an important limitation given the positive correlation between measures of these two distinct concepts, a relationship that may be particularly salient in collectivistic societies, like Japan. Combining life tables from the Human Mortality Database with individual data from the National Survey of Japanese Elderly, we calculated isolation-adjusted lonely life expectancies (LLE) by sex and educational attainment. Results showed notable differences in LLE before and after adjusting for social isolation; however, accounting for social isolation did little to alter our general understanding of trends and differentials in LLE. We also found that LLE is short among older Japanese and has not increased over time. Additionally, we found no clear educational differences in isolation-adjusted LLE.

About the Speaker

Shiro Furuya is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an affiliate of the Center for Demography and Ecology and the Center for Demography of Health and Aging. His research interests broadly lie in health, demography, and social genomics. Before attending the Ph.D. program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he worked for three years as a software engineer specialized in the medical industry at Fujitsu Ltd. He is a recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship.

Graduate Student Forum

“Katakana is a Commodity”: An Economic History of Japanese Script Reform Movements, 1920–45

Date
Tuesday, 12 October 2021 | 9:00am - 9:45am (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Toshiki Kawashima PhD Candidate, Department of History, University of Pennsylvania
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

This presentation offers an economic historical analysis of a script reform in interwar Japan. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, some Japanese believed their complex kana-kanji writing system to be a major hindrance to economic development and proposed various simplified scripts. While the literature has mainly focused on nationalistic reform programs led by the Tokyo government, it has neglected the role of other movements including those led by businesspeople. This presentation focuses on the history of script reform campaigns of the Kana Script Society (Kana moji kai), a pro-katakana and anti-kanji group founded by Taylorism-influenced wealthy entrepreneurs from Osaka in the 1920s. The relationship between script reform, economic ideas, and international economic policies will be discussed. First, the proto-economic model used in the discourse of the Kana Script Society anticipated economic theories of standardization including Paul David’s work on QWERTY keyboards in the 1980s. To market a new script, the businesspeople used an economic model of the dynamics of script users through an analogy with the existing economic systems such as railways. It anticipated concepts such as path dependence, network effect, and switching costs. Second, their reform plans should be understood in the broader context of macroeconomic policy in the late 1920s and the early 1930s. Directors of the society had strong ties with the Minseitō party and supported their macroeconomic policies such as austerity measures, the return to the gold standard, and the so-called industrial rationalization. For them, simplified writing systems would lead to the achievement of their policies by helping to reduce educational and administrative costs. Through the analysis of these aspects, this presentation proposes the possibility and importance of interpreting linguistic reforms through the lens of economic history and history of economic thought.

About the Speaker

Toshiki Kawashima is a PhD candidate in History, working on the economic history of modern East Asia, especially interwar Japan. While methodologically based on the history of economic ideas, his dissertation analyzes a topic unconventional in the field: it explains the emergence of economic ideas in the unlikely context of language reform movements. Specifically, it demonstrates how a proto-economic model was used to help Japanese businesspeople—who were also script (writing system/alphabet) reformers—analyze the dynamics of script users and market a new script. His analysis shows that their model anticipated concepts popular in modern economic theory of standardization.

Graduate Student Forum

“Katakana is a Commodity”: An Economic History of Japanese Script Reform Movements, 1920–45

Date
Tuesday, 12 October 2021 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Toshiki Kawashima PhD Candidate, Department of History, University of Pennsylvania
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

This presentation offers an economic historical analysis of a script reform in interwar Japan. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, some Japanese believed their complex kana-kanji writing system to be a major hindrance to economic development and proposed various simplified scripts. While the literature has mainly focused on nationalistic reform programs led by the Tokyo government, it has neglected the role of other movements including those led by businesspeople. This presentation focuses on the history of script reform campaigns of the Kana Script Society (Kana moji kai), a pro-katakana and anti-kanji group founded by Taylorism-influenced wealthy entrepreneurs from Osaka in the 1920s. The relationship between script reform, economic ideas, and international economic policies will be discussed. First, the proto-economic model used in the discourse of the Kana Script Society anticipated economic theories of standardization including Paul David’s work on QWERTY keyboards in the 1980s. To market a new script, the businesspeople used an economic model of the dynamics of script users through an analogy with the existing economic systems such as railways. It anticipated concepts such as path dependence, network effect, and switching costs. Second, their reform plans should be understood in the broader context of macroeconomic policy in the late 1920s and the early 1930s. Directors of the society had strong ties with the Minseitō party and supported their macroeconomic policies such as austerity measures, the return to the gold standard, and the so-called industrial rationalization. For them, simplified writing systems would lead to the achievement of their policies by helping to reduce educational and administrative costs. Through the analysis of these aspects, this presentation proposes the possibility and importance of interpreting linguistic reforms through the lens of economic history and history of economic thought.

About the Speaker

Toshiki Kawashima is a PhD candidate in History, working on the economic history of modern East Asia, especially interwar Japan. While methodologically based on the history of economic ideas, his dissertation analyzes a topic unconventional in the field: it explains the emergence of economic ideas in the unlikely context of language reform movements. Specifically, it demonstrates how a proto-economic model was used to help Japanese businesspeople—who were also script (writing system/alphabet) reformers—analyze the dynamics of script users and market a new script. His analysis shows that their model anticipated concepts popular in modern economic theory of standardization.

Graduate Student Forum

Identity and Ambition in the Drafting of Japan’s Deep Sea Geographies

Date
Tuesday, 28 September 2021 | 17:00 - 17:45 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Jonas Rüegg PhD Candidate in History and East Asian Languages, Harvard University
Moderator
  • Rieko Kage Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

Japan’s oceanic expansion since the mid-nineteenth century pushed the archipelago’s boundaries to newly charted islands and vaguely defined oceanic borderlands in all directions. Redefining a formerly secluded island nation as an expansive pelagic empire shifted the focus of Meiji period geographers to the underwater landscapes that tied the islands together. This project discusses the way identity and imperial ambition became engraved in the virtual environs of a steadily developing deep-sea topography that keeps serving national interests in the age of deep-sea resource exploitation.

About the Speaker

Jonas Rüegg is a PhD Candidate in History and East Asian Languages at Harvard University. His research focuses on the maritime history of early modern and modern East Asia. His dissertation “The Kuroshio Frontier: Business, State, and Environment in the Making of Japan’s Pacific,” explores the role Japanese oceanic environments, as well as exploration and colonization played in the formation of the modern international order in the Asia-Pacific region. Originally from Switzelrand, Jonas holds a B.A. from the University of Zürich and an M.A. in “Regional Studies – East Asia” from Harvard University. In the context of his dissertation, he has conducted research at the University of Tokyo and Academia Sinica in Taipei.

Graduate Student Forum

The History of Theological Education in the Japanese Orthodox Church

Date
Tuesday, 21 September 2021 | 9:00am - 9:45am (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Kaho Osaki Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

Orthodox Christianity was introduced in Japan from Russia in the latter half of the 19th century. Then Orthodox seminaries were established in Japan in the Meiji era. The seminarians studied Russian language, Japanese and Chinese classics, history, geography as well as theology. In this presentation, first we outline the history of theological education in the Japanese Orthodox Church, then compare the curriculum and the textbooks used in the Tokyo Theological Seminary with those of the Russian seminaries. The purpose of this study is to clarify the problems they faced and their solutions to teach Orthodox Christianity brought from Russia in Japan through comparison of theological education between the Japanese Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church.

About the Speaker

Kaho Osaki is a PhD Student in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, the University of Tokyo, JSPS research fellow.

Graduate Student Forum

Why Do Few Women Apply to Selective Colleges in Japan?: Explaining Horizontal Gender Stratification in Higher Education

Date
Tuesday, 7 September 2021 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Fumiya Uchikoshi Princeton University
Moderator
  • Kenneth McElwain Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

Gender gap in higher education has reduced or reversed in many countries, while women are still underrepresented in selective institutions, and importantly, it varies by countries. This paper provides an institutional explanation that helps us to understand the cross-national variation in the gender gap in elite education by focusing on the Japanese case, an extreme outlier where women only account for one in five undergraduate students at top universities. Specifically, I hypothesize that, by reinforcing women’s risk-aversion, admission system characterized by high-stakes exams amplifies gender gap in elite education driven by women’s lower expected return to elite education. I test the hypothesis by examining the transition to post-secondary education among Japanese high-schoolers, an ideal case where application opportunities for selective institutions (national universities) are considerably limited compared to non-selective ones (private universities) and thus a number of high schoolers fail to pass the entrance exam and prepare for the exam next year (Ronin). Using longitudinal data that track high school students until graduation, I investigate whether and how male and female students, even if they have similar academic ability, choose their post-secondary education differently. Results show a significant gender gap in preparing for the exam next year. Since a majority of Ronin students aim to enter national universities, the gender gap in Ronin experience plays a critical role in explaining women’s underrepresentation in selective institutions. I also found that, among students who aim to enter national universities in their 1st to 2nd year in high school, women are more likely to choose risk-averting behaviors, like lowering the goal (aiming for junior colleges in their final year of high school) or applying to private universities via admission not based on the high-stakes exam. After describing the “leaky pipeline” of women in elite education, I conduct between/within gender analysis to explore potential factors that explain gender differences in college application behaviors.

About the Speaker

Fumiya Uchikoshi is a PhD student in Sociology at Princeton University. His research interests include family demography, social stratification, and East Asia. His current research examines diverging family behaviors and their impact on social inequality and the consequences of newly emerging behaviors on future life course outcomes in familistic societies.

Graduate Student Forum

How to Reconstruct Historical Weather by Old Diary?

Date
Tuesday, 24 August 2021 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Xiaoxing Wang Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Kei Yoshimura Professor, Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

Climate change greatly affects human society. Learning about past climate helps to predict future changes more accurately. Before modern instrumental measurements became available, old diaries provide valuable information about historical weather. Especially in Japan, there are over 50 diaries recording daily weather information at more than 18 locations during the mid-Edo period to the early Meiji period. These descriptive records are valuable; for example, cloud cover information converted from old diaries can be combined with the latest high-technology of numerical weather prediction. However, there are still some challenges to this fusion approach. This presentation will introduce some disadvantages in an existing method and explain how he/she will improve it. He/She will present whether this new method improves the reconstruction results. In general, this presentation will introduce the potential of diary-based information for weather reconstruction in Japan.

About the Speaker

Xiaoxing Wang is a PhD student at Doctoral Course in Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo. Received Master Degree in Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University and Bachelor Degree in College of Resources Science & Technology, Beijing Normal University, China.

Graduate Student Forum

Risk Management of General Trading Company, the Case of Survivor & Failure in World War I and Aftermath

Date
Friday, 20 August 2021 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Meeting
Language
English
Speakers
  • Eiji Unakami Graduate School of Economics, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

General Trading Company(GTC) is Japanese diversified business group evolving in Meiji Japan Economic growth and preserving a significance in Reiwa Japan Economic scene.
Researcher’s interest is finding indications for its future by researching its history.
This case study compares risk management of Mitsui Bussan, the first and biggest GTC before WWII, and Furukawa Shoji which was collapsed soon after its foundation.
Value at Risk, a cotemporary risk management tool are used for quantitative comparison in addition to qualitative one. This research suggests that the superiority/inferiority of risk management shown in their value at risk draw the line between survivor and failure.

About the Speaker

Eiji Unakami is a Deputy GM, Internal Audit Dept, Mitsubishi Corporation (Present) and an MSc Economic History London School of Economics.

Graduate Student Forum

TCJS-HMC Joint Seminar Series Anti-Emperor Organ Theory Movement in Colonial Taiwan

Date
Tuesday, 17 August 2021 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
Japanese
Speakers
  • Chungyen Chi Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Rieko Kage Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

On 19 February 1935, the well-known Anti-Emperor Organ Theory Movement took place in Japan. This movement has now been explained by many scholars from the perspective of internal power struggles in domestic Japan, but the movement’s different history in colonial Taiwan is less known. In this paper, he/she would like to explore the history of this movement in colonial Taiwan and try to clarify the following questions: First, how did this movement start and develop in colonial Taiwan? Second, what was the linkage between domestic Japan and colonial Taiwan with regarding to this movement? Third, what was the connection between the Kokutai scholars in domestic Japan and colonial Taiwan in this movement? The methodologies in this paper are based on textual history to analyze the condition of the movement in colonial Taiwan.

About the Speaker

Chungyen Chi is now studying in The University of Tokyo, and the latest degrees is The Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Master and National Taiwan University’s undergraduate. Chungyen’s research interest is Modern Japan History, Japanese Empire History, and Japan-Taiwan relationship.

Graduate Student Forum

The School Life and Future Prospect of Kurdish Female Migrant Youth from Turkey: Role of Night-Time High School during Their Asylum Seeking

Date
Tuesday, 3 August 2021 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Naoko Uehara Graduate School of Education, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Misako Nukaga Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

Currently, movement across nation-states has been a common phenomenon for more people in the era of globalization. Thus, the difference between “immigrant” and “refugee” has been arbitrarily politicized. From this point, the refugee determination process has been heavily affected by political interest rather than humanitarian aspect. In Japan, refugee acceptance has been very limited based on the narrowed interpretation of the Refugee Convention of 1951. Among asylum seekers, although no accurate number is known, Kurdish people from Turkey who or whose parents flee to Japan as asylum seekers constitute one main ethnic group who remain undocumented or “quasi-legal or liminal legal status”.

Considering these backgrounds, this presentation examines how the liminal legal status of Kurdish students during asylum seeking affects their life at a night-time high school and their future prospects. Based on participant observation at a night-time high school and life story interviews with four Kurdish female students, her research focuses on their academic aspiration, disclosure of their legal status, and the ways in which the night-time high school includes/ excludes the needs of the Kurdish asylum seeking students.

Graduate Student Forum

Becoming a Farmer in Contemporary Japan: Pro-Rural Migration and New Entry in Agriculture

Date
Friday, 30 July 2021 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Niccolo Lollini Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, University of Oxford
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

Based on extended fieldwork conducted in Japan, this presentation discusses widespread difficulties faced by new entry farmers from a non-farming background in securing livelihood from agriculture. He considers the five key hurdles involved in the establishment of a farming business: access to land, housing, farming know-how, capital, and market outlets.

About the Speaker

Niccolo Lollini completed a bachelor degree in International Relations at Bologna University and a master degree in International Relations at Waseda University. After working for three years in a farm in Italy, he decided to returned to academia and completed a master degree in Modern Japanese studies at Oxford University. he is now a candidate for a PhD in Social Anthropology at Oxford University.

Graduate Student Forum

Do Firms Benefit from the Revolving Door? Evidence from Japan

Date
Tuesday, 27 July 2021 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Trevor Incerti DPhil Student, Department of Political Science, Yale University, and Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Kenneth McElwain Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

A growing literature finds high returns to firms connected to legislative office. Less attention has been paid to benefits from bureaucratic connections, despite well-documented bureaucratic revolving door hiring practices. Leveraging a 2009 law requiring Japanese bureaucratic agencies to report private sector hires of former civil servants, we construct a comprehensive dataset of all revolving door hires in Japan. Using this dataset and data on Japanese government contracts and loans, we test for systematic benefits that accrue to firms who hire former bureaucrats. Specifically, we hypothesize that bureaucratic rehiring will be associated with an increased likelihood of receipt of government contracts, government loans, and reputation boosts.

About the Speaker

Trevor Incerti is a PhD Candidate at Yale University studying comparative political economy. Currently, he is a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Tokyo Institute of Social Science and a Research Associate at the Waseda University Institute of Political Economy.

His research focuses on the ways individuals, businesses, and interest groups use politics for private gain. Examples include corruption and regulatory capture. He is also interested in the use of data science tools and methods of causal inference in political economy research. His research has been published in the American Political Science Review and British Journal of Political Science, among other outlets.

Prior to Yale, he worked as a Data Scientist for TrueCar, Inc., where he developed forecasting models to predict automotive residual values and sales volumes in the US and Canada. Before that, he analyzed regulatory matters that raised risks of antitrust violations as an economic consultant at Compass Lexecon.

Graduate Student Forum

Colonial Conservation in the Japanese Empire

Date
Tuesday, 20 July 2021 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • John Hayashi History Department, Harvard University
Moderator
  • Rieko Kage Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

His presentation looks at the history of the Japanese Empire in order to ask questions that lie at the heart of environmental management, colonialism, and the place of indigenous peoples in modern states. Resource extraction has often been understood as central to imperialism, but in the early 20th century Japanese officials were often equally interested in protecting resources such as timber and water to ensure sustained use. In a colonial context, this amounted to conservation through exclusion–defining indigenous environmental practice as ecologically harmful and seeking to eliminate it. Drawing from his research on Taiwan, he traces the development and consequences of what he calls colonial conservation, the idea of saving land from the people who live on it. Finally, he suggests ways in which this history can speak to contemporary issues, both in Japan and across the globe.

About the Speaker

John Hayashi is a PhD candidate in the History Department at Harvard University specializing in environmental history in modern Japan and Taiwan. Additional interests include migration, diaspora, and the history of science. He holds a B.A. from Yale College and has been a research associate at Kyoto University’s Institute for Research in Humanities.

Graduate Student Forum

Leader Preferences and Alliance Formation

Date
Tuesday, 13 July 2021 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Mina Pollmann Visiting Research Fellow at ISS, The University of Tokyo/PhD Candidate at Department of Political Science, MIT
Moderator
  • Kenneth McElwain Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

Existing theories of alliance formation explain alliances as being caused by a changing balance of power, balance of threat, or balance of interests. These structural theories do not account for the role of leaders’ agency in alliance formation. By contrast, she analyzes the causal role of leaders in alliance formation. She develops a new method—probabilistic counterfactual analysis—to identify alliances in which a leader caused the alliance, and alliances in which leaders did not cause the alliance. Her primary cases are Japan in the Anglo-Japanese Alliance (1902), in the Tripartite Pact (1940), and in the renewal of the US-Japan Alliance (1960). In her presentation, she will introduce probabilistic counterfactual analysis as a method, demonstrate the application of this method in the case of Japan in the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, and provide a summary of her preliminary conclusions from additional cases.

About the Speaker

Mina Pollmann is a fourth-year PhD candidate in the Political Science Department at MIT, currently a Visiting Research Fellow at ISS, University of Tokyo. Her research interests focus on Japan’s security and diplomacy, US foreign policy in East Asia, and international relations in the Asia-Pacific. After graduating Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service summa cum laude with a BS in Foreign Service, she worked for TV Tokyo-America and a DC-based risk consulting start up. She is a recipient of the Walter A. Rosenblith Presidential Graduate Fellowship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Graduate Student Forum

Tokyo’s Startup Village: Carnivalism, Paternalism, and Bureaucracy

Date
Tuesday, 6 July 2021 | 16:15 - 17:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Bjol Frenkenberger DPhil in Anthropology, University of Oxford
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

His research focuses on how founders in Tokyo’s start-up ecosystem try to retain key stakeholders. He is interested in how trustworthy behaviour becomes defined differently by various groups (founders, VCs, employees) throughout the early stages of the startup lifecycle (seed stage, early stage, growth stage) and how this appears to underlie conflicts within startups and the startup ecosystem. Tokyo’s startup ecosystem, the village or mura, seems characterized by the negotiation of past ideals such as the strong social ties of the ‘ba’, new policy-driven demands for neoliberal meritocratic struggle, and a future-focused, anti-bureaucratic strain which defines itself in opposition to the corporatism and conservatism of the large corporate. He argues that the ‘traditional’ focus on paternalistic models demanding loyalty and commitment still appears valid in the mura but runs into problems related to different socio-economic structures that fail to provide incentive structures matching such demands. At the same time the appeal of such models is now explained beyond tradition alone and becomes related to expectations of ‘speed’ (or the experience of immediacy) which is enjoyable in itself and intertwined. These and other ideological claims are driven by time pressure and various ‘what-ifs’ (threats, temptations, hopes etc.) often posed by the demands of modern ‘audit cultures’. Tokyo’s startup space appears in this sense as one instance of Japan in ‘flux’, where traditional and new concepts collide, where hope comes into being and subsides.

About the Speaker

Bjol Frenkenberger is in his last year of DPhil Anthropology at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Prof Roger Goodman and Prof D Hugh Whittaker. Before his DPhil, he has worked full time in Fuller, a Tokyo-based startup. He has further studied Musicology and Ethnomusicology at King’s College London (M.Mus., Distinction), and Music (Piano) at the University Mozarteum Salzburg (B.A., Distinction). His research interests relate to the study of contemporary Japan, in particular organizations, time, inter-subjectivity, and music.

Graduate Student Forum

Diverging Destinies in Japan: Educational Differences in the Long-term Effects of Maternal Employment on Development of Japanese Children

Date
Tuesday, 29 June 2021 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Jia Wang Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Moderator
  • Rieko Kage Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

Maternal employment is an important determinant of child development and a key family behavior in “diverging destinies” research. Existing studies pays insufficient attention to educational differences in the relationships between maternal employment and children’s well-being, and how such educational gradients may depend on different types of maternal employment. This study focuses on Japan, an East Asian society where educational disparities in maternal employment are limited compared to the west, and a large proportion of mothers are working in nonstandard jobs. Results demonstrate overall negative effects of cumulative exposure to maternal work on Japanese children’s well-being, particularly for cognitive scores. Such detrimental effects, however, are almost exclusively limited to children with less-educated mothers without a college degree. In particular, less-educated mothers’ longer hours and regular jobs have substantial adverse impacts on children’s cognitive outcomes, whereas negative influences of nonstandard jobs are less pronounced. Our study reveals diverging destinies of Japanese children primarily due to educational differences in “returns” rather than compositional differences of family behaviors, and highlight the importance of considering types of maternal employment under changing economic environment and specific contexts.

About the Speaker

Jia Wang is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her general interests include social stratification, inequality, and family demography. She is particularly interested in the consequences of nonstandard employment and work schedules on life chances of individuals and their children, and how such stratifying role of nonstandard work varies across education groups.

Graduate Student Forum

Description Requirements in Patent Law Especially in Biopharmaceutical Industry

Date
Tuesday, 22 June 2021 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Liu Yifan Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Masayuki Tamaruya Professor, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

Biotechnology-related inventions are inventions in the technical field where it is difficult to predict the effect based on the structure or characteristics of an object, and the standard of the description requirements is often unobvious.

Her presentation addresses this problem by introducing what are description requirements(enablement requirement,support requirement, and clarity requirement) in japan and previous studies in this area, and explaining why it is hard to decide whether inventions meet the requirements or not in biopharmaceutical industry.

By giving examples of biotechnology related cases in japan, especially one of recent cases in 2018 that has sparked a lot of discussion, she will be making an analysis of these cases and giving a short conclusion.

About the Speaker

LIU Yifan is a Ph.D student in Intellectual Property Law at The University of Tokyo(Japan). She holds LL.B degree from Wuhan University of China, LL.M degree from Hokkaido University.

Her doctoral research revolves mostly around the areas of patent law (in particular patent description requirements) in Japan and United States.

Graduate Student Forum

Gender Inequality among Japan’s Elderly as Seen through Household Labor Division in Elderly Married Households

Date
Thursday, 6 May 2021 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Taeeun Kim Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Kenneth McElwain Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

As women’s participation in economic activities increased, discussions on the share of housework were actively carried out, but many previous studies showed that men’s share of household chores is still much lower than that of women’s participation in economic activities, and that women are placed under the double burden of work and housework (Hochshild and Machung, 2012). However, most of the previous studies on the distribution of housework have focused on the distribution of housework in the active generation. Housework for the elderly has not received much attention than the current generation, but it can be seen as a very important topic from the perspective of the recent progression of aging and inequality. The purpose of this study is to confirm the wife’s share of housework in the household share of elderly couples, and to examine what factors affect the wife’s share of housework from the perspective of a relative resource.

Graduate Student Forum

The Secret to Making Japanese Food More Delicious: Japan’s National Mold, Koji Kin

Date
Tuesday, 27 April 2021 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Chan Lu Graduate Student, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

Japan’s national mold—Aspergillus oryzae, generally called Koji Kin, is the mold traditionally used in Japanese food fermentation industries for centuries, including sake, soy sauce and miso. Hence, its breeding is significantly important for Japanese food culture. In nature, Koji Kin has not been found to be able via male and female mating for breeding, just like animals or plants. However, recent research has revealed that Koji Kin actually has two types of sex, and it may become possible to carry out cross breeding. For mating, cells need to survive after fusion. We have found that there are various affinity preference combinations among different pairs of Koji Kin strains, some of which can be compatible with each other and others cannot. In order to create further industrially useful strains, it is necessary to solve the problem of incompatibility between strains. Therefore, here she is investigating the cause of compatibility by searching and analyzing genes related incompatibility among Koji Kin strains. If we clarify the critical genes causing incompatibility and then break the cell fusion barrier, it is expected to produce new Koji Kin with more taste and flavor, which can make Japanese food more delicious than before, and meet the appetite of more people in the whole world.

Graduate Student Forum

How Do Hobbies Connect People? Focusing on Homophily

Date
Tuesday, 13 April 2021 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Naoki Maejima Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

In this presentation, he will discuss the possibility that online media and hobbies can connect heterogeneous people. As the proverb says, “birds of a feather flock together.” People who have similar social attributes tend to become friends naturally, without any help. In sociology, this tendency is called “homophily.” homophily is a universally observed and strongly robust tendency in social network formation. However, under what conditions can the mechanism of homophily be weakened? He will introduce two research findings. First, from fieldwork in a high-school classroom, it was revealed that the online social network was less homophilous than the offline. Second, ongoing research shows that the intermarriage rate is higher among couples who meet through their hobbies than couples who meet through other opportunities.

Graduate Student Forum

Indirect Patent Infringement in China and Japan

Date
Tuesday, 6 April 2021 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Ziyin Zhu Doctoral Student, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics,The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Masayuki Tamaruya Professor, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

The so-called indirect patent infringement can be generally understood as manufacturing or selling parts of the patent. In most countries, it is set as a principle that unless an assumed product contains all the technical elements described in the patent claim, it should not be deemed as an infringement. However, with the indirect infringement rule, even if some elements are unfulfilled, the manufacturing or selling such product is still prohibited. The difficulty is under which situation can and should the principle be broken, or to say how should the requirements of indirect infringement be designed in law. This study would like to point out the questions remained unclear in China based on the current situation and then take the Japanese law as a comparison to try to find the answers.

Graduate Student Forum

Religious Spaces and the Development of Tama New Town

Date
Tuesday, 30 March 2021 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Yu Takahara Graduate Student, Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Koichi Kato Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

After WW2, urban areas in Japan have experienced many developments caused by the growth of population. What such developments have almost always encountered in their construction site are religious spaces such as shrines, temples and Jizos because they are everywhere in human’s habitat. They are still so important for our continuous living environment that the relationship between urban development and religious spaces should be discussed.Nevertheless, such discussion seldom conducted so far in Japan.

This study examines how and why religious spaces changed by Tama New Town project (1965-2005), a typical of huge public urban developments in the post-war Japan. Through fieldwork, interviews and investigating related documents, she analyzes how the Japanese urban development valued and designed religious spaces and what is the effect of their renewal on the new town. This study will contribute to realizing multi-cultural city which is needed in contemporary diverse society by giving consideration on collaboration of two different features, modernity of urban development and premodernity of religious spaces.

Graduate Student Forum

The Empowerment of 2nd Gen Zainichi Brazilian Immigrants through Non-Formal Learning

Date
Tuesday, 23 March 2021 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Rafaela Yoshiy Olivares Graduate Student, Graduate Schhol of Education, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Misako Nukaga Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

As Brazilian community celebrates thirty years of immigration in Japan, the integration of young migrants to Japanese society has become a matter that requires more and more attention. Research data indicates that compared to students from Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese background, Brazilian students have the lowest educational achievement reaching only 60% of high school enrolment and 10% of Japanese university enrolment, not to mention the high dropout rate.

While Japanese government is reluctant to introduce a social integration policy to promote educational and occupational achievement of young migrants, a movement of resilience has emerged within the Brazilian community in recent years. That is to organize non-formal education activities aiming to provide a second chance for those who lost educational opportunities due to linguistic, cultural and institutional barriers.

In this research, she conducted semi-constructed interview with students and educators of three different types of ethnic non-formal education (ENFE) – distance higher-education, job training and language learning – to identify their role in the empowerment of migrant youth as well as their limitations.

Graduate Student Forum

Theorizing Social Inclusion of Immigrants and Persons with Disabilities Through Urban/Peri-urban Agriculture: Implications from Canada and Japan

Date
Tuesday, 16 March 2021 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Akane Bessho Graduate Student, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Kenneth McElwain Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

Stated as the underlining keyword of the Sustainable Development Goals, “social inclusion” has been increasingly recognized as a significant indicator for building socially just and sustainable cities today. While the definition and scope of social inclusion widely vary across nations, the concept emphasizes active participation of various marginalized populations into various arenas of society. Among them, there are two key groups that face multiple barriers for inclusion, particularly in workspace: immigrants and persons with disabilities. While the two groups traditionally were studied under separate disciplines, both are often positioned as permanent “recipients” of services and welfare by the receiving society, despite their skills and interests. In order to foster an inclusive society, there is an urgent need to develop spaces that ensure opportunities for individuals to play roles not only as “recipients,” but ones to contribute and support other members of the society.

In this study, we focus on urban/peri-urban agriculture as potential space for social inclusion of immigrants and persons with disabilities. For the first part of the presentation, she will discuss a multiethnic community farm in Toronto, Canada as a case study to explore the process of immigrants’ “role shift.” For the second part, she will present preliminary findings of the nationwide survey on organizations engaging in agricultural activities with persons with disabilities, identifying their motivations, scales, and current challenges.

Graduate Student Forum

Ruikatsu Activities in Tokyo: Exploring the Link between Crying and Mental Health

Date
Tuesday, 9 March 2021 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Carlota Solà Marsiñach School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

Originating in 2013, the number of ruikatsu activities in Tokyo has slowly but steadily proliferated during the past years, catering to companies and other institutions such as schools, clinics and community centres. Drawing from her yearlong fieldwork in Japan (2018-2019), my presentation will try two answer two main questions: what is ruikatsu? How and to what end is it used by individuals and institutions?

While ruikatsu is presented as an activity aiming to improve mental health by relieving stress through crying, she will argue that ruikatsu is in fact understood and used in two different ways. On the one hand, ruikatsu is used as a tool to relieve stress and thus be able to control oneself and endure in ‘normal daily life.’ On the other, ruikatsu is used to facilitate the expression of one’s honne in order to strengthen bonds with others and improve communication, be it in the personal sphere or in the workplace. In this way, in her presentation she will show how these two understandings and uses of ruikatsu reveal two competing views regarding emotional expression in Japan, and how these views are tied to broader medical and socio-political stances.

Graduate Student Forum

Baby Boom in Post-War Japan: Analysis with Individual Data

Date
Tuesday, 2 March 2021 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Erika Igarashi Graduate School of Economics, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Kenneth McElwain Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

Between 1947 and 1949, Japan experienced a high fertility crude birth rate of over 32‰. This period is well known as the baby boom. There has been little empirical research on the conventional theory regarding the baby boom period in Japan due to a lack of data on the characteristics of pregnant women. Her study examines the high fertility in the postwar period using individual documents to identify the characteristics of the pregnant women. And she measures the relationship between pregnant women in the baby boom period and demobilized soldiers. She can verify the effectiveness of other factors contributing to the birth rate because the documents contain information about household income, land area, and family composition.

Graduate Student Forum

Transition to Broader-Based Politics: The Role of Suffrage Extension in Early 20th Century Japan

Date
Tuesday, 25 February 2021 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Shuhei Kainuma Graduate Student, Graduate School of Economics, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Rieko Kage Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

Modern industrialisation typically coincides with gradual democratisation through enfranchisement and intra-elite competition between traditional landlords and emerging capitalists. Does the redistribution of the de jure political power through suffrage extension provoke the transition in intra-elite power structures reflected in political representation? This study exploits suffrage extension, induced by the wartime tax increase during the mid-1900s Japan, and its regional heterogeneity to estimate its impact on the occupational composition of the House of Representatives. Using a difference-in-differences framework, he shows that the expansion of electorate representation resulted in a significant decline in the seat share of farmers and landlords, originally a dominant occupational group in the House. By contrast, no other major occupational groups exhibit systematic compensational increases in their shares. In the historical context, the results suggest that suffrage expansion likely contributed to the diversification of House politics from the landlord-centred system.

Graduate Student Forum

Civic Groups and Japanese Local Assemblies’ Foreign Policies: A Panel Data Analysis of Resolutions Regarding North Korea (1993~2018)

Date
Tuesday, 16 February 2021 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Sohyung Lee Graduate School of xxx, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Kenneth McElwain Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

Over the last few years, Japanese prefectural assemblies have issued a considerable number of resolutions concerning North Korea. However, those numbers vary throughout the whole Japanese 47 prefectural assemblies. What accounts for such variation in the number of resolutions concerning North Korea that each legislative body adopts? What are the main factors influencing the local assemblies to adopt bills concerning North Korea? In order to explain the varying numbers of written opinion and resolution adoption across prefectures, this research empirically studies the impact of civic groups on local government using original panel data on the whole Japanese 47 prefectures from 1993 to 2018.

The findings from this research suggest that grassroots activism does affect and facilitate the adoption of bills by local legislative bodies. Local civic groups can exert influence in policy-making. Although it is too soon to generalize this study’s findings beyond this specific area, it can still contribute to a better understanding of the influence of grassroots activism concerning Japan’s North Korean policy more broadly. Also, it demonstrates that in order to understand Japan’s North Korean policy, it is necessary to pay attention to local politics as well.

Graduate Student Forum

Dynamic Mechanisms and Heterogeneity of Urban Land Ownership

Date
Tuesday, 9 February 2021 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Risa Kobayashi Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Daiji Kawaguchi Professor, Graduate School of Economics, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

She assumed that landowners’ land ownership behaviors were at the edge of urban development and changes in urban space and that modeling their behavioral norms could provide insights into urban planning.

She constructed a model of landowner preferences for land ownership patterns that take into account landowner heterogeneity and time preference. The model is validated using the old land registers used in modern times in Japan.

Graduate Student Forum

The Market and the Red Carpet: Value Transforming Platforms Social Networks, and the Transnational Film Industry Circuit in Asia and Beyond

Date
Tuesday, 2 February 2021 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Sten-Kristian Saluveer Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

The past decade has witnessed a dramatic transformation from national to transnational mode of how cinema is being produced, exhibited and consumed globally. This exponentially escalating process can be witnessed most clearly at three levels: the transnationalization and proliferation of the international film festival spectacle globally and in Asia, the increase in the number and prevalence of film markets and professional trade events, and lastly the flourishing of film co-productions pooling talent, finance and audiences across borders. Accompanying and driving the former three has been the growth of the size and the importance of the “international film industry circuit” of global film professionals that blends “local and the global, the city and the nation, and the space of the media with the place of the event in a network configuration” (DeValck 2007).

The PhD thesis draws by the the recent emergence of the discipline film festival studies, by providing a pioneering look behind the scenes of the international film festival circuit and the inner mechanics between the red carpet spectacle of the film festival, and the forces of capital and practice within the film and content markets that supply the festival with talent, content and finance. Specifically the work examines the historical, technological and cultural forces behind the transnationalization of the film festival and the market, the actors, networks and practices of the film industry circuit, the dichotomous relationship in transforming cultural capital to fiscal capital between the red carpet and the market, as well as cosmopolitan identity building activities in the global film community through the technology of assemblage of international co-productions

About the Speaker
Graduate Student Forum

Establishment Dynamics in Post-War Japan: Disappearing Startups and Shrinking Size

Date
Tuesday, 26 January 2021 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Zhu Xuanli Graduate School of Economics, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Daiji Kawaguchi Professor, Graduate School of Economics, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

This paper documents three important but largely undocumented facts on the evolution of the establishment dynamism in post-war Japan. First, the entry rate continues to decrease since the late 1950s, along with a declined and stagnated exit rate. As a result, the population of business units keeps growing older. Second, the average size of establishments fall substantially in the 1960s and 1970s, especially in manufacturing and construction sectors. Third, the average life cycle growth of the establishments that enter in a typical year is low, and correlated with the cohort’s average size at birth. These facts indicates that the underlying reason for the low market dynamism in Japan is largely historical, and that understanding the changes in life cycle growth profile of establishments in early historical episodes are important for understanding the market dynamism today. We then use the canonical firm dynamics model to study the potential drivers behind these observed trends. We find that while the decline in labor force growth rate can account for most of the decline in entry rate, labor friction costs, either distorted or not, fail to explain the declined average establishment size and the retarded life cycle growth. Finally we argue that the evolution of the subcontracting in post-war Japan may contribute to the patterns in average establishment size and average life cycle growth that we observed.

Graduate Student Forum

Japan’s Path to Multiculturalism: What We Can See from Early Childhood Education and Care Centers

Date
Tuesday, 19 January 2021 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Yuki Nagae Graduate School of Education, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Kenneth McElwain Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

This study looks at one Japanese preschool in an area that has historically been home to people from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds. Using children’s names as a key point of inquiry, it examines how people interpret “culture” and attempt “co-exis-tence” in their daily lives. There are two reasons I consider preschools. First, preschools are community centers that build relationships with local residents through child-raising. Second, preschools are institutions which provide early-childhood educa-tion and childcare to develop children’s social skills.

Graduate Student Forum

Quiet Acquisition: The Politics of Justification in Japan’s Military Capability Trajectory

Date
Tuesday, 12 January 2021 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Deirdre Martin The University of California, Berkeley
Moderator
  • Rieko Kage Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

What explains variation in acquisition strategies advanced industrialized states adopt when attempting to develop their security capacity? States’ defense programs vary widely; patterns of acquisition often vary and rarely exclusively reflect pressing security threats. Furthermore, most developed industrial democracies face significant political and budgetary constraints when attempting to build up their defense capabilities; while they are usually able to develop anything they want, they are unlikely to be able to develop everything that they want. States’ security policy development patterns, therefore, represent the result of strategic choices, have important implications for states’ international interactions and relationships, and provide clues regarding domestic priorities, constraints, and intent.

Her dissertation addresses these strategic choices, asking why and under what conditions states like Japan with reliable security assurances from the United States sometimes purchase high-tech military capabilities from allies, sometimes eschew purchase in favor of domestic development, and sometimes pursue other strategies. In contrast with traditional explanations which tend to focus on either state actors motivated by security concerns or business actors seeking entry into profitable markets, she argues that Japanese acquisition decisions are the result of domestic political balancing between state and business actors. When these interests are aligned, acquisition trends tend to be relatively stable over time; however, some strategies, particularly development under license, indicate initially mismatched interests. Decision-makers are aware of and concerned about perceptions of indigenous development and will choose to postpone indigenization until capabilities become “justifiable” to the general public, either through changes in public understanding of the technology or through the introduction of a clear strategic threat. She tests these claims through close examination of Japanese acquisition of intelligence-gathering satellites, Patriot missile defense, radar technologies for Aegis Ashore, and maritime patrol aircraft.

Graduate Student Forum

Intrahousehold Property Ownership & Women’s Labor Market Behavior

Date
Tuesday, 1 December 2020 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Xinwei Dong Graduate School of Economics, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Daiji Kawaguchi Professor, Graduate School of Economics, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

This study investigates the effect of intrahousehold property ownership change on married women’s labor market behaviors, using an exogenous institutional change in the marriage law in China.

Graduate Student Forum

Effect of Minimum Wages on Formal and Informal Employment in Japan & Thailand

Date
Tuesday, 17 November 2020 | 12:15 - 13:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Saisawat Samutpradit Graduate School of Economics, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Daiji Kawaguchi Professor, Graduate School of Economics, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

When there is a sector not covered by the minimum wage law, the two-sector model predicts that minimum wage increase pushes workers from formal to informal employment. Using Thai data from 2010 to 2015, during which the country experienced an irregular increase in minimum wages of about 60 percent, I found no impact on overall employment but an employment reduction in the sector covered by the minimum wage legislation and an increase in the size of the uncovered sector. Estimates on wage showed minimum wages increased wage in the covered sector but not in the uncovered sector. The results can be generalized to other countries. Although Japan had a much smaller uncovered sector of approximately 10 percent of total employment, an increase in minimum wages could displace workers from regular employment to self-employment or family business.