Seminar Series

Japan’s Economic Gender Gap and Political Parties

Date
Thursday 7 March 2024 | 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar  REGISTER HERE
Language
English
Speakers
  • Miki TOYOFUKU Associate Professor, Faculty of Core Research, Ochanomizu University
Moderator
  • Rieko KAGE Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

The tax and pension systems that favor households in which the wife is a homemaker or part-time worker, known as the annual income barrier, are seen as contributing to the persistence of traditional gender roles and the economic gender gap in Japan. Why have such “familialistic” policies been adopted and maintained? Focusing on the attitudes of political parties, this presentation reexamines the view that emphasizes the conservative party’s preference for gender roles and discusses that the preference for supporting low-income families, held by both conservative and centrist/leftist parties, was a factor leading to the adoption and maintenance of such policies. Drawing on the welfare state literature, it also suggests possible directions for Japan to reduce the economic gender gap in the future.

About the Speaker

Miki Toyofuku is Associate Professor of Political Science at Ochanomizu University. Her research interests include gender and politics, public policy, tax policy, and Japanese politics. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo. Her recent publication is Miki Toyofuku, 2024, “Tradeoff between Gender and Class Equality: An Analysis of Tax Policy in Japan ” Social Politics, https://doi.org/10.1093/sp/jxad036

Seminar Series

Book Talk Series 『親密圏と公共圏の社会学 ケアの20世紀体制を超えて』 (Sociology of the Intimate and Public Spheres: Beyond the 20th-century Care Regime)

Date
Friday, 9 February 2024 | 12:15 - 13:00 p.m. (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
Japanese ( 本セミナーは日本語で行われます/This seminar will be held in Japanese. )
Speakers
  • Emiko OCHIAI Professor, Faculty of Sociology, Kyoto Sangyo University. Professor Emeritus, Kyoto University
Moderator
  • Sawako SHIRAHASE Director of TCJS
Event Description

「人が生きること」とそれを支える「ケア」が今日の社会の中に正当に位置づけられていないという問題関心を抱き続けてきた。20年来の論考を集めた本書では、社会の自己認識の学である社会科学に「生」と「ケア」を「内部化」すべく、歴史的・人口学的・アジア的という3つの視点をもつ枠組みを提案し、世界各地の現状を分析する。欧米圏では1930年代から1970年までの「短い20世紀」に国家・経済・家族の3者を主要なセクターとする近代社会の典型的な構造が確立して「ケアの家族化」が定着し、その後にこの体制が変容して「ケアの脱家族化」が起きている。他方、東アジアと東南アジアでは、さまざまな方向への「ケアの脱家族化」が実現されているものの、「ケアの家族化・再家族化」も同時に起きており、「主婦化」と極低出生率も見られる。「圧縮近代」において複数の論理が絡まり合っているのである。

「親密圏と公共圏の社会学 ケアの20世紀体制を超えて」落合恵美子 著(2023年 有斐閣)

About the Speaker

京都産業大学現代社会学部教授。京都大学名誉教授。東京大学大学院社会学研究科博士課程単位取得修了後、同志社女子大学専任講師、国際日本文化研究センター研究部助教授、京都大学文学研究科教授、Blaise Pascal国際研究員(社会科学高等研究院勤務)等を経て、2023年より現職。専門は家族、ジェンダー、人口、福祉レジーム等の歴史社会学および比較社会学。主要著書に『近代家族とフェミニズム(増補新版)』(1989→2022年 勁草書房)、『21世紀家族へ――家族の戦後体制の見かた・超えかた(第4版)』(1994→2019年 有斐閣)、『リーディングス アジアの家族と親密圏』(共編著2022年 有斐閣)、Japanizing Japanese Families: Regional Diversity and the Emergence of a National Family Model through the Eyes of Historical Demography, (co-editorship, 2023, Leiden: Brill)など。

Seminar Series

The Politics of Child Custody in Japan and Beyond

Date
Thursday 8 February 2024 | 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Allison ALEXY Associate Professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, the University of Michigan
Moderator
  • Sawako SHIRAHASE Director of TCJS
Event Description

In 2023, a committee from the Ministry of Justice announced the possibility that a joint custody option might be created for divorcing parents in Japan. Before this change, divorced parents must pick one person to hold legal custody, and now more than 80% of custody is granted to mothers. For decades, activists within and beyond Japan have been advocating for a joint custody option, focusing particularly on fathers’ loss of rights and connections with their children after divorce. In particular, international cases of so-called “parental abduction,” when one parent takes their child and refuses access to the other parent, have drawn more global media attention to Japanese family law and custody rules, prompting diplomatic and political calls for change. In this presentation, I examine the questions and debates surrounding child custody within Japan and as a global topic, including violence within families, fathers’ rights, and parental alienation. 

About the Speaker

Allison Alexy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Michigan. She is a cultural anthropologist focused on contemporary Japan and investigates changing norms for romantic relationships and legal constructions of intimacy contextualized within the rapid societal changes in recent decades. Intimate Disconnections: Divorce and the Romance of Independence in Contemporary Japan, was published through open access and in Japanese and Chinese translations. She has co-edited Home and Family in Japan and Intimate Japan, and is the editor for the Asia Pop! series from the University of Hawai’i Press.

Seminar Series

Book Talk Series  “Enacting Moral Education in Japan: Between State Policy and School Practice”

Date
Thursday, 1 February 2024 | 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Sam BAMKIN Assistant Professor of Center for Global Education, The University of Tokyo
  • Roger GOODMAN The Nissan Professor of Modern Japanese Studies and the Warden of St Antony’s College at the University of Oxford
Moderator
  • Sawako SHIRAHASE Director of TCJS
Event Description

Moral education is one of the most controversial areas of Japanese education, and recently underwent a period of reform as part of a suite of nation-building policies. However, research on moral education is largely based on policy studies. It regularly overlooks the agency and political awareness of teachers and school administrators, who combine scepticism, indifference and appreciation toward aspects of moral education, experienced as everyday practice. Whilst the analysis of policy debates, curriculum and textbooks represents a mature body of research, even baseline studies of moral education in the classroom or the teacher’s room are scarce.
Based on extensive data collection at multiple levels of the education system, this book looks beyond written policy to explore how teachers and school administrators make sense of moral education reform, and how they translate it into practice. It aims to better understand (1) what changes were made to moral education practice locally during its reform, and how this compares to the ‘intentions’ of national policy; (2) how teachers mediated the implementation of national policies; (3) the changing roles of the Ministry of Education, boards of education, and other actors in policy enactment; and (4) the theoretical implications understanding moral education, the Japanese education system, and policy enactment.
The book presents a new perspective on the complexity of education policymaking in the space between policy and practice.

Enacting Moral Education in Japan: Between State Policy and School Practice, by Sam Bamkin, Routledge, December 2023.

About the Speaker

Sam Bamkin is Assistant Professor at the University of Tokyo. He studied the reform of moral education between 2018 and 2023. Recently, he has begun studying policies on the digitisation of compulsory education in Japan, and global studies on education policymaking processes.

Roger Goodman is the Nissan Professor of Modern Japanese Studies and the Warden of St Antony’s College at the University of Oxford. His main research interests are Japanese education and social policy. He is currently a Visiting Professor at Tokyo College, the University of Tokyo where is undertaking a new research project on the Japanese health system.

Seminar Series

Economic Security versus Japan’s Regional Integration Strategy: Assessing Private Sector Responses to Changing Incentives

Date
Thursday 18 January 2023 | 9:00 -10:00 a.m. (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Kristin Vekasi Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and School of Policy and International Affairs, University of Maine
Moderator
  • Kenneth Mori McElwain Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

Japan’s international business practices face simultaneous and opposing trends: a general increase in patterns of diversification of trade and investment away from China and a deepening reliance on China in key sectors. State policy reflects this bifurcation. The state-led liberal strategy promotes regional economic integration (including with China), while the economic security approach focuses on supply chain resilience, critical technologies, and diversification away from China. This research investigates the economic and political pressures and incentives facing Japanese firms, and evaluates “derisking” versus “regional integration” strategies. Sectoral-level analysis finds no evidence suggesting that full-scale “decoupling” is currently occurring or likely to occur in the near future, but there is private-sector diversification in the Asia-Pacific region. Japanese business strongly supports globalization, and it is unlikely that the Japanese government will broadly implement policies that harshly restrict business opportunities with China. However, the analysis also indicates that industries under threat of economic coercion or severe disruption respond to government incentives and are actively diversifying.

About the Speaker

Kristin Vekasi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and School of Policy and International Affairs at the University of Maine. Her research focuses on trade and investment strategies in changing geopolitical environments, and the political risk management of supply chains. She specializes in Northeast Asia, and has spent years conducting research in China, Japan, and South Korea. Her book Risk Management Strategies of Japanese Companies in China (Routledge 2019) explores how Japanese multinational corporations mitigate political risk in China. Vekasi received her PhD in political science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Prior to joining the faculty at University of Maine, she taught at New College of Florida, was a visiting Research Fellow at the University of Tokyo and a Fulbright Fellow at Tohoku University. She is a member of the Mansfield Foundation’s US-Japan Network for the Future, and a 2019 National Asia Research Program Fellow with the National Bureau of Asian Research where she is also a nonresident fellow. In 2021-2022, she was an academic associate at the Harvard University US-Japan Program.

Seminar Series

Forging your career path beyond the university: Gender and the job market

Date
Friday 15 December 2023 | 18:00-19:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar  REGISTER HERE
Language
English
Speakers
  • Laurie Silverberg Scientific Officer, G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council (GEAC); Strategist, facilitator, communicator, and project leader, Intellerate Consulting
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase Director of TCJS
Event Description

After spending many years in a clearly defined path of study, graduate students and early-career professionals may find the prospect of career development beyond the university an anxiety-inducing prospect. Rather than climb a predetermined “career ladder,” one must be ready to forge a unique career path and apply one’s graduate training in new and unexpected ways. While all job seekers contend with this challenge, research shows that women in particular are less likely to pursue career opportunities commensurate with their skills and expertise. This talk, which is aimed at both women and men, will provide practical guidance for developing a professional career in which one can excel and thrive. Topics covered will include reading and interpreting job descriptions, communicating academic experience to hiring managers, impostor syndrome, and navigating explicit and implicit gender bias.

About the Speaker

Laurie Silverberg, PhD, is a strategist, facilitator, communicator, and project leader with over 15 years of international experience in higher education, intergovernmental organizations, and health care. Since 2022, she has served as Scientific Officer to the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council. She has held administrative leadership positions at the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Jewish Studies and Department of Surgery, where she was responsible for hiring both faculty and staff. In Germany, she partnered with social scientists at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center to develop one of Germany’s first ethics policies for social science research. Dr. Silverberg holds a PhD in Music History from the University of Pennsylvania and is the founder of Intellerate Consulting, which provides strategic facilitation, research, and writing services to clients in the higher education, intergovernmental, and nonprofit sectors.

Seminar Series

Book Talk Series ”Man’yōshū and the Imperial Imagination in Early Japan”(Japanese Title:”万葉集と帝国的想像”)

Date
Thursday 30 November 2023 | 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar  REGISTER HERE
Language
Japansese(This seminar will be held in Japanese. / 本セミナーは日本語で行われます)
Speakers
  • Torquil Duthie Professor of Japanese literature in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles
Moderator
  • Mareshi Saito Professor, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, Director of The University of Tokyo Humanities Center
Event Description

Based on the book  “万葉集と帝国的想像“  written by Torquil Duthie , Kachosha Press , Publication scheduled for November 2023

七世紀後期から八世紀初頭にかけて、ヤマト宮廷が帝国として文学的に表象された。実際には、ヤマトまたは「日本」は、モデルにした華夏大帝国に匹敵するほどではなかったが、全世界が一人の帝王に支配されるという、つとに漢代およびそれ以前の古典に表明された理念を追い求めた。ヤマトの帝国的国家への転換が促されたのは、七世紀後期の宮廷で読み書き能力が急激に拡張したこと、またその結果、華夏文明のもろもろの行政技法や芸文の諸形態が導入されたことに起因する。本書は、まず上代日本における帝国の文学的レトリックを幅広く考察したうえで、独自の帝国世界としてのヤマト宮廷の表象に『万葉集』における在来語の詩歌がいかに寄与したかという、いっそう特殊な論件に進んでいく。

About the Speaker

Torquil Duthie was born in the United Kingdom and grew up in Cádiz, Spain. He is professor of Japanese literature in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the author of Man’yōshū and the Imperial Imagination in Early Japan (Brill, 2014) (Japanese translation, Man’yōshū to teikokuteki sōzō, forthcoming from Kachōsha, 2023) and The Kokinshū: Selected Poems (Columbia University Press, 2023).

Seminar Series

Book Talk Series “Japan’s Nuclear Disaster and the Politics of Safety Governance”: Why Japan Struggles to Revive Nuclear Power

Date
Thursday 26 October 2023 | 16:00-17:00(JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar  REGISTER HERE
Language
English
Speakers
  • Florentine Koppenborg Postdoctoral researcher, Technical University of Munich (TUM)
Moderator
  • Kenneth Mori McElwain Professor,Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

Based on the book  “Japan’s Nuclear Disaster and the Politics of Safety Governance”  written by Florentine Koppenborg, Kodansha, Cornell University Press, June 15 ,2023

In this book, Florentine Koppenborg argues that the regulatory reforms taken up in the wake of the Fukushima disaster on March 11, 2011, directly and indirectly raised the costs of nuclear power in Japan. The new Nuclear Regulation Authority resisted capture by the nuclear industry and fundamentally altered the environment for nuclear policy implementation. Independent safety regulation changed state-business relations in the nuclear power domain from regulatory capture to top-down safety regulation, which raised technical safety costs for electric utilities. Furthermore, the safety agency’s extended emergency preparedness regulations expanded the allegorical backyard of NIMBY demonstrations. Antinuclear protests, – mainly lawsuits challenging restarts – incurred additional social acceptance costs. Increasing costs undermined pro-nuclear actors’ ability to implement nuclear power policy and caused a rift inside Japan’s “nuclear village.” Small nuclear safety administration reforms were, in fact, game changers for nuclear power politics in Japan.

About the Speaker

Florentine Koppenborg has been a postdoc at the Chair of Environmental and Climate Policy at the Technical University of Munich since 2017. Her research interests address energy and climate policy, particularly energy transitions (“Energiewende”) and interactions with climate policy. She has authored several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on Japan’s nuclear energy and climate policy. Since 2022, she has been the principal investigator of a research project on “Governing Sustainability Transitions: Technology Phase-outs in Germany and Japan.”

Seminar Series

Social Science after the Digital Revolution: Contrasting Developments in Artificial Intelligence in Australia and Japan

Date
Tuesday 24 October 2023 | 9:00-10:00 a.m(JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar  REGISTER HERE
Language
English
Speakers
  • Anthony Elliott Dean of External Engagement and Bradley Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of South Australia
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase Director of TCJS
Event Description

Artificial intelligence (AI) represents a new front line for the world and is powerfully reshaping the global economy. In this presentation, acclaimed sociologist Anthony Elliott reviews developments in AI, focusing especially on both policy and practical responses in Australia and Japan. The presentation will also introduce some recent research supported by the Toyota Foundation on changes now occurring in elderly care, associated with a raft of AI technologies. Elliott argues that personal life today is increasingly intertwined with networked technological systems and human-machine configurations, including relations with social robots. He concludes by highlighting the mix of opportunities and risks that the culture of AI portends.

About the Speaker

Anthony Elliott writes about identity, society, globalisation and the digital revolution. His research has had a lasting impact upon social theory and sociology worldwide. He is the author and editor of over 50 books, translated into 17 languages. Dr. Elliott is Bradley Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of South Australia, where he is Dean of External Engagement and Executive Director of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. He is Super-Global Professor (Visiting) in the Graduate School of Human Relations at Keio University. He is Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, UK; Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia; and, Senior Member of King’s College, Cambridge. Most recently, Prof. Elliott was appointed Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in The King’s Birthday 2023 Honours in recognition of his significant service to education and to social science policy and research. His recent books include The Culture of AI (2019), Making Sense of AI (2021), Algorithmic Intimacy (2023) and Algorithms of Anxiety: Fear in the Digital Age (2024).

Seminar Series

Gender and Health in Japan: Evidence from Nationally Representative Data

Date
Thursday 5 October 2023 | 9:00-10:00 a.m. (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar  REGISTER HERE
Language
English
Speakers
  • Yuka Minagawa Associate Professor of Sociology at the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia University, Tokyo
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase Director of TCJS
Event Description

Compared to a large volume of work on the physical health of the Japanese population, relatively little is known about their mental health status. This is because the physical and mental health literatures remain largely separate, leaving it unclear as to how they are related to overall population health. Guided by Veenhoven’s (1996) conceptual framework of negative and positive health, this study examines the relationship between mental and physical health status among Japanese men and women. A special focus is placed upon variations, if any, by gender and age.

About the Speaker

Yuka Minagawa is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan. Her research program is focused on the social causation of health and mortality in Japan and the former Soviet republics, with particular attention given to gender differences in these patterns. She is also involved in research examining how support and strain occurring in family life affect women’s physical and mental health status in Japan.

Seminar Series

Board Gender Diversity and Corporate Governance Reform in Japan

Date
Thursday, 14 September | 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. (JST)
Venue
Webinar  REGISTER HERE
Language
English
Speakers
  • Kumiko NEMOTO Professor of Management in the School of Business Administration, Senshu University
Moderator
  • Kenneth Mori McElwain Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo.
Event Description

As many Japanese companies engage in corporate governance reforms to globalize their business management, some researchers debate whether Japanese companies are shifting their management toward the US corporate management model, which is based on strong shareholder presence and market efficiency with high CEO compensation and weak labor security. These corporate reforms, which include a large increase in foreign shareholders, also correspond with an increase in female board members. The number of female board members in Japanese companies has quadrupled over the last decade. Does this mean that Japanese companies are emulating Western corporate efforts to rigorously incorporate female top executives in their businesses? In this presentation, I examine how pressure from the Japanese government and foreign institutional investors plays a large role in increasing the number of female outside board members in many Japanese companies and how such changes in board diversity may help to remedy gender inequality in Japan.

About the Speaker

Kumiko Nemoto is a professor of management in the School of Business Administration at Senshu University in Tokyo, Japan. Her research focuses on gender, work, organizations, and institutional conditions. She completed her Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Too Few Women at the Top: The Persistence of Inequality in Japan (Cornell University Press, 2016).

Seminar Series

Children of divorce and stepfamilies in Japan: Why they are left behind after all these years

Date
Thursday, 7 September 2023 | 9:00-10:00 a.m. (JST)
Venue
Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Shinji Nozawa Department of Sociology, Meiji Gakuin University
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase Director of TCJS
Event Description

Children of divorce and stepfamilies have been gradually gaining academic and social attention in Japan. Two decades of our research on stepfamilies in Japan has produced two contradicting models of stepfamilies as key factors in understanding stepfamily dynamics. The first is the “scrap and build” household type (the substitute family model), and the second is the expanded and interconnected household type (the enduring family model). The former model assumes that once a custodial parent remarries or re-partners, the other biological parent must be replaced by a stepparent. However, in the latter model, the child’s biological parents remain as (custodial) parents irrespective of the parents’ marital status. A series of family law reforms based on the Rights of the Child seem to have socially and culturally normalized the latter model in Western societies. This presentation discusses how and why the former model is still dominant in Japan, affecting many children’s well-being and life course.

About the Speaker

Shinji Nozawa is a Professor of Sociology and a Former Vice President at Meiji Gakuin University. In more than two decades, he has been pioneering stepfamily research in Japan, recently focusing more on children’s experiences of parental divorce and remarriage in the Japanese legal and social contexts. His work includes a co-authored book, Stepfamilies (Kadokawa, 2021, in Japanese), an academic journal article, “Similarities and variations in stepfamily dynamics among selected Asian societies,” (Journal of Family Issues, Vol.41, No.7, 2020), and a book chapter, “Remarriage and stepfamilies,” (S. R. Quah ed., The Routledge Handbook of Families in Asia, Routledge, 2015).

Seminar Series

Olympic Games in Paris : What sort of urban transformation for whom ?

Date
Wednesday, 5 July 2023 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Webinar  REGISTER HERE
Language
English
Speakers
  • Patrick LE GALÈS CNRS (National Scientific Research Centre) Research Professor of Sociology, Politics and urban studies at Sciences Po, Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics. Fellow of the British Academy (FBA). Visiting professor at Waseda University in Tokyo.
Moderator
  • Sawako SHIRAHASE Director of TCJS
Event Description

In most developed large metropolises, housing price increases have led to more inequalities and spatial segregation. The governments of those metropolises are under pressure to deal with these issues through urban development projects and housing construction, while promoting economic competition to attract people and capital. On top of this, the climate crisis is defining a new set of policy priorities with different social consequences. As the most popular mega event, the Olympic Games reflect those tensions and contradictions. The paper will present the case of Paris 2024, contrasting the goals to combine the event with social urban renovation projects and sustainable development. It will stress the political dynamics of the state elites, left wing municipalities, business interests and protest movements. As many analysts of the Tokyo Olympics tend to emphasise the triumph of “unrestrained capital without sustainable principles” (Aramara, 2023), the paper will conclude by speculating on the social consequences of the Paris Olympics and a call for more comparison.

About the Speaker

Patrick Le Galès is CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research) Research Professor of Politics, sociology, and urban studies at Sciences Po Paris, Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics. He is a Fellow of the British Academy. He was the founding Dean of Sciences Po Urban School (2015-2022), the president of (SASE) Society for the Advancement of Socio Economics, the editor of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research and current co editor of the European Journal of Sociology/Archives Européennes de Sociologie. In the spring of 2023, he is a visiting professor at the University of Waseda
His work deals with comparative public policy (housing, transport), state restructuring, comparative urban governance of large metropolis, mobility and urban class making, political economy. He is currently working on the sociology of global cities.
Recent Publications include : Reconfigurating European States in Crisis (with D.King, OUP, 2017); Que se Gobierna ? El caso de la ciudad de Mexico, (with V.Ugalde, Colejio de Mexico, 2018) Gouverner la métropole parisienne. État, conflits, institutions, réseaux (Presses de Sciences Po. 2020) ; “High priced metropolis as generators of inequality, a comparison between Paris, London, New York and San Francisco”, (with P.Pierson, Daedalus, 2019); « Work in London, love in Paris: middle class mobility over the Channel Tunnel», Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, (with C.Barwick, 2020), « The rise of local politics, a global review », in Annual Review of Political Science, (vol 24, 2021). The Routledge Handbook of Comparative Global Urban Studies (edited with J.Robinson) will appear in September 2023.

Seminar Series

The Long Shadow of the Secretary: Gendered Job Segregation and Attitudes towards Women

Date
Thursday, 8 June 2023 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar  REGISTER HERE
Language
English
Speakers
  • Hilary Holbrow Assistant Professor of Japanese Politics and Society at Indiana University
Moderator
  • Kenneth Mori McElwain Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

The World Economic Forum claims that “Japan’s gender gap can be solved through equality from the top!” Acting on this belief, the Kishida government is aiming to fill 30% of leadership positions with women by 2030. These actions and arguments can be traced to the idea that, when women enter management in greater numbers, attitudes towards and treatment of women improve. But what if this has it backwards? What if our attitudes come not primarily from whom we see when we “look up” the organizational hierarchy, but from whom we see when we “look down”? Using novel data from a large Japanese manufacturing firm, I show that attitudes towards women are less favorable where women are overrepresented among low-status job holders.

About the Speaker

Hilary J. Holbrow is Assistant Professor of Japanese Politics and Society at Indiana University. A sociologist by training, her scholarship examines social and economic inequality, work and organizations, immigration, and the intersections of gender, race, and ethnicity. She is an International Research Fellow at the Canon Institute for Global Studies in Tokyo, an Associate in Research at Harvard’s Reischauer Institute, and a member of the US-Japan Network for the Future.

Seminar Series

Wedge Issue Politics in Japan: Why Not Revising the Constitution Helps the Pro-Revision Ruling Party

Date
Thursday, 11 May 2023 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar  REGISTER HERE
Language
English
Speakers
  • Ko Maeda Department of Political Science, University of North Texas
Moderator
  • Kenneth McElwain Associate Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

Japan’s opposition has been fragmented into many parties, which has been giving an electoral advantage to the LDP. I argue and demonstrate that the issue of constitutional revision is working as a wedge issue that is preventing the opposition supporters from getting unified under a single major opposition party. This finding implies that the LDP is better off electorally if it raises the salience of the constitution issue but does not achieve the goal of revising it.

About the Speaker

Ko Maeda (Ph.D., Michigan State University, 2005) is an associate professor of political science at the University of North Texas, specializing in elections, party competition, and political institutions. His work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Electoral Studies, and the Journal of Theoretical Politics.

Seminar Series

Book Talk Series Fifty-year-journey of the “Napalm Girl”: Why did the iconic subject of the most impactful Vietnam War photo flee from her country?

Date
Friday, 17 March 2023 | 17:00 - 18:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
Japanese
Speakers
  • Erika Toh Asahi Shimbun staff writer
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

based on the book “Fifty-year-journey of the ‘Napalm Girl’ “ (in Japanese) written by Erika Toh, Kodansha June 8, 2022

ベトナム戦争末期の1972年6月8日、南ベトナムの子どもたちがナパーム弾を浴びた直後をとらえた写真は世界に衝撃を与え、日本を含む世界の反戦運動を勢いづかせた。ただ、写真自体が世代を超えて知られる一方で、被写体の女性キム・フックさんが自由を求めて長くもがき、1992年にカナダに亡命した物語はほとんど知られていない。一時は、日本にも多く辿り着いた「ボートピープル」に加わっての脱出まで試みている。彼女はなぜ、ベトナム戦争が終わって17年が経ってもなお、決死の亡命を図ったのか。彼女や、あの写真を撮影した元AP通信記者ニック・ウトさん、家族及び関係者への長年の取材や交流を踏まえ、戦争によっていかに難民が生まれるのかを考えたい。

About the Speaker

藤えりか|朝日新聞記者。1993年に朝日新聞社に入り、水戸支局や北海道報道部(札幌)、東京・名古屋の経済部や国際報道部、ロサンゼルス支局長、GLOBE編集部などを経て現在、デジタル機動報道部記者。著書に『「ナパーム弾の少女」五〇年の物語』(講談社)、『なぜメリル・ストリープはトランプに嚙みつき、オリバー・ストーンは期待するのか ハリウッドからアメリカが見える』(幻冬舎新書)。

Seminar Series

世界のコミックス — 江戸時代の草双紙くさぞうしの視点から

Date
Thursday, 9 March 2023 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
Japanese
Speakers
  • Adam L. Kern Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, Faculty of Letters, the University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Yukiko Sato Associate Professor, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, the University of Tokyo
Event Description

この講義では、現在私が取り組んでいる、赤本・黒本・青本・黄表紙・合巻のジャンルの代表的な作品の翻訳と注釈からなる草双紙英訳作品集(全3巻、計1500ページ・Routledgeから出版決定)についてお話しします。草双紙の特徴の1つは自己言及性、つまり作者が作品中でその作品に言及することです。コミックスを「文字と絵が混在している作品」と定義した場合、面白いことに、自己言及性は島国であった江戸時代日本の草双紙だけでなく、時や場所を超えた、世界の様々な地域のコミックスにも見られます。この偶然にも見える現象への説明を考える中で、世界のコミックスへの理解をさらに深めることをこの講義の狙いとします。

About the Speaker

アダム・L・カーン (Adam L. Kern)氏:米国生まれ。ハーバード大学日本文学PhD。ウィスコンシン大学マディソン校アジア言語文化学部の日本文学・視覚文化学教授。

高校時代に埼玉県でロータリークラブ留学。これまでに、京都大学国語国文学部(文部省大学院研究生)、国文学研究資料館(客員教授)にも所属。現在、東京大学文学部で客員研究者(フルブライト研究員)。

主たる著書として、Manga from the Floating World: Comicbook Culture and the Kibyōshi of Edo Japan (Second Edition) (Harvard University Asia Center, 2019)、The Penguin Book of Haiku (Penguin Classics, 2018)、共編著のA Kamigata Anthology: Literature from Japan’s Metropolitan Centers, 1600-1750 (Hawaii 2020)がある。

Seminar Series

Learn from ‘experts’ ? Covid-19 and Policy learning, a case from Japan

Date
Thursday, 2 March 2023 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Chiaki Ishigaki Associate Professor, Department of Human Welfare, Yamanashi Prefectural University
Moderator
  • Rieko Kage Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which became a pandemic in 2020, has had a significant impact on countries. In order to respond to the virus that mankind encountered for the first time, policy-maker in both international and domestic politics are highly influenced by the opinions of “experts”. The relationship between science and politics has been actively discussed. In Japan, too, the views of expert meetings and the infectious disease control subcommittee impacted policies. In order to obtain insights into the relationship between experts and politics, theories of epistemic community and policy learning are very effective. When the government tries to acquire highly technical knowledge, “epistemic learning” is carried out by learning from a cognitive community composed of scientists, but as the government’s learning progresses, the role of the expert group is said to change to a “contributor ” to ask experts only what they want to know. This has been confirmed in the course of Japan’s COVID-19 responses up to the present, but even so, experts have been united internally to serve as “teachers” to amend government policy partially.

About the Speaker

Chiaki Ishigaki is an Associate Professor at the Department of Human Welfare, Yamanashi Prefectural University. She obtained her Ph.D. at the University of Tokyo. She published “Comparative politics on healthcare reforms in Japan, UK and US. -Focusing on Guidelines and professionals” (in Japanese), which is originally her doctoral dissertation. Her research interest is expert knowledge (including professionals) and policy making. After the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, she wrote some articles in the digital paper of Asahi Shinbun (main newspaper in Japan) about policies against Covid-19 in European countries. Currently, she is interested in state-private company relations as an operator of health insurance.

Seminar Series

Book Talk Series The Universality and Originality of the Japanese Constitution in Quantitative Perspective

Date
Wednesday, 1 March 2023 | 17:00 - 18:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Kenneth Mori McElwain Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
  • Satoshi Yokodaido Professor, Law School, Keio University
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

Based on the book The Universality and Originality of the Japanese Constitution in Quantitative Perspective (in Japanese), written by Kenneth Mori McElwain (Chikura Shobō, 2022)

The Constitution of Japan (COJ) is the oldest amended constitution in the world, despite decades of contestation about its historical origins and its continuing viability. Using data from over 900 national constitutions since the 18th century, this book argues that the COJ’s seeming stasis is due in large part to its textual brevity, particularly on political institutions. Globally, constitutional amendments focus on institutional changes to electoral rules and central-local powers. Because the COJ leaves these to be determined by law, however, institutional adaptation can occur through regular legislation, lessening the COJ’s structural need for amendment. Of course, this is not to say that the COJ cannot be improved upon. This book explores the historical evolution of constitutional change and notes issues on which amendments may be desirable and where we should be cautious. It concludes by analyzing original survey data on public attitudes towards constitutionalism, which shows that the primary concern of citizens is the further enumeration of human rights, particularly relating to the environment and privacy.

About the Speaker

Kenneth Mori McElwain is a Professor of Comparative Politics at the Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo. His research focuses on comparative political institutions, most recently on the politics of constitutional design. He received his BA in public policy from Princeton University and Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University. His work has been published in various journals, edited volumes, and monographs, most recently The Universality and Originality of the Japanese Constitution in Quantitative Perspective (Chikura Shobō, 2022), which won the 34th Asia-Pacific Award Special Prize. More details can be found on his homepage, https://www.kennethmcelwain.com/. He also serves as Editor-in-Chief of Social Science Japan Journal, published by Oxford University Press.

Satoshi Yokodaido is a professor of law at Keio University, Japan, and currently serves as a visiting fellow at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. He holds a Ph.D. degree from Keio University (2011). He teaches Japanese constitutional law, and his research topics are freedom of speech, governmental interpretation of the constitution, comparative constitutional law, etc. He is the author of dozens of law reviews and other scholarly articles, many book chapters, co-authored books, and single-authored books. His work includes; ‘Constitutional Stability in Japan not due to Popular Approval’ 20(2) German Law Journal (2019); ‘Asian Human Rights Law, Jurisprudence and Practices toward the Internet’ in Human Rights, Digital Society and the Law: A Research Companion (Mart Susi, ed., Routledge, 2019); Japan chapter in The 2020 International Review of Constitutional Reform (Luís Roberto Barroso & Richard Albert, ed. 2021)(co-authored). In addition, he was a member of the National Bar Preliminary Examination Commission, the Law School Common Achievement Test Commission (chair in 2019), and many other governmental commissions.

Seminar Series

Gender Politics in Japan

Date
Thursday, 16 February 2023 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Kiyoteru Tsutsui Professor, Sociology/Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University
  • Charles Crabtree Assistant Professor, Department of Government, Dartmouth College
Moderator
  • Kenneth Mori McElwain Professor, Institute of Social Science, the University of Tokyo
Event Description

Recent years have seen issues around gender discrimination occupy prominent space in Japan’s political debates. From same-sex marriage to married couples’ last names, conservatives offer arguments in defense of the status quo while progressives call for changes to empower women and LGBTQ communities. Where is the public opinion on those issues, and what type of framing might move it? We answer these questions in an experimental survey on same-sex marriage, married couples’ last names, and female representation in the Diet and corporate boards. The results show that the Japanese public generally supports women’s advancement in society, pointing to a need for changes in the selection mechanism for candidates for critical positions. On same-sex relations, bias against them remains more persistent, especially among older generations, but support increases when the issue is framed in terms of human rights.

About the Speaker

Kiyoteru Tsutsui is Henri H. and Tomoye Takahashi Professor of Japanese Studies, Deputy Director of the Shorenstein Asia Pacific Research Center (APARC), Director of the Japan Program at APARC, Senior Fellow of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Co-Director of the Center for Human Rights and International Justice, and Professor of Sociology, all at Stanford University.

Charles Crabtree is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College. He is also an affiliate faculty in the Department of Eastern European, Eurasian, and Russian Studies, the Department of Sociology, the Program in Social Science, and the Arthur L. Irving Institute. He is, at the same time, a Senior Fellow at the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research.

Seminar Series

Resilience of Agroecosystems and Continuity in Landscape Practice: A Perspective from Historical Ecology

Date
Thursday, 2 February 2023 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Junko Habu Professor, Department of Anthropology, Chair, Center for Japanese Studies, and Tomoye Takahashi Endowed Chair in Japanese Studies, University of California, Berkeley & Affiliate Professor, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

This presentation examines continuity and change in landscape practice and the resilience of agroecosystems in rural Japan. Examination of the vegetation and topography of the Japanese archipelago makes us realize that approximately four-fifths of the country is covered by forest and two-thirds of the terrain is mountainous. Rapid economic growth and large-scale land developments during and after the 1960s, combined with the government’s policy to westernize the agricultural practice, resulted in the destruction of the habitats of many animal and plant species, the reduction of crop diversity, and the overall decrease in farmland. Despite these changes, the rural Japanese landscape still retains the signature of long-term environmental management and associated biodiversity supported by local and traditional ecological knowledge. Examining continuity and change in landscape practice from the Jomon period to the present will help us understand the mechanisms of the resilience and vulnerability of human-environmental interactions.

About the Speaker

Junko Habu is a Professor of the Department of Anthropology and Chair of the Center for Japanese Studies, University of California, Berkeley, and Affiliate Professor of the Research Institute for Humanity andNature (RIHN). Born in Kanagawa Prefecture, she received her BA (1982) and MA (1984) from Keio University and her Ph.D. (1996) from McGill University. From 2014 to 2016, she was the project leader of the Small-Scale Economies Project at RIHN. As an environmental archaeologist and historical ecologist, she has conducted many archaeological and ethnohistoric projects, including the excavation of the historic Edo period site at the Todai Hongo Campus.

Seminar Series

Pets in Pandemic Japan

Date
Thursday, 19 January 2023 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Barbara Holthus Deputy Director at the German Institute for Japanese Studies Tokyo
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

For almost three years, anti-Covid measures in Japan have told people to engage in physical distancing and “self-restraint”. This has led to spending extended periods of time at home while less time with extended family and friends. In response, pets as “substitute” family members have gained added interest in order to fill the void in human-human interaction. Japanese remain more inclined to “shop” a new family member at a pet shop than adopt a shelter animal. The increasing number of new pets, however also led to increased numbers of animals in shelters. The accelerated interest in pets, not since the pandemic but intensified by it, as well as accompanying normative changes regarding pet ownership within Japanese society are the focus of this presentation. Through interviews with pet owners and shelter organizations, as well as participant observation in pet shops, pet cafes, and at adoption fairs this presentation tries to highlight the changing role of pets in Japanese society and the particular role of the pandemic.

About the Speaker

Barbara Holthus, Ph.D. in Japanese Studies, University of Trier, Germany, 2006, and in Sociology, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2010, is deputy director at the German Institute for Japanese Studies Tokyo. Her research is on marriage and the family, child care, happiness and well-being, volunteering, gender, rural Japan, as well as demographic and social change. She was the principal investigator of a German Science Foundation (DFG) funded research project comparing parental well-being in Germany and Japan (2014-2017). She is the lead editor of Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics (2020; co-editors I. Gagne, W. Manzenreiter, F. Waldenberger).

Seminar Series

①多元的デジタルアーカイブズ・シリーズと「ウクライナ衛星画像マップ」②「出征兵士の足どり ー新潟県長岡市からー」デジタルアーカイブ

Date
Tuesday, 17 January 2022 | 17:00 - 18:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
Japanese
Speakers
  • Hidenori Watanave Professor, Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, the University of Tokyo
  • Naomi Mikami Graduate student of the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, the University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

①広島・長崎原爆、東日本大震災、さらにウクライナ侵攻など、戦災・災害の貴重な記憶を未来に継承する 「多元的デジタルアーカイブズ」のデザイン手法, 地域の人々が主体的にアーカイブを育んでいくためのコミュニティ形成・被災地支援のありかたについて,コンテンツの実演を交えて解説する。

②「出征兵士の足どり」を主題としたデジタルアーカイブ制作のアクションリサーチについて解説する。新潟県長岡市における実践の結果、出征者とその家族から、新たな証言を集められた。さらに、長岡市の戦災焼失地図の空白を埋める想定外の証言なども得られている。

About the Speaker

渡邉英徳
東京大学大学院情報学環・学際情報学府教授。筑波大学大学院システム情報工学研究科修了、博士(工学)。首都大学東京(東京都立大学)准教授、ハーバード大学客員研究員などを歴任。著書に『データを紡いで社会につなぐ』『AIとカラー化した写真でよみがえる戦前・戦争』(共著)など。

三上尚美
東京大学大学院学際情報学府博士前期課程。慶應義塾大学総合政策学部在学時より「地域の戦争の記憶の継承」をテーマに研究している。12歳から映像制作に取り組んでおり、若者と戦争の向き合い方をテーマにした短編作品『NAO』が東京アマチュア映像祭ヤング部門大賞を受賞。

Seminar Series

Book Talk Series “The Second Generation Immigrants in Japan: Cross-Ethnic Comparison of ‘Newcomer’ Children Today”

Date
Friday, 13 January 2023 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Misako Nukaga Professor, the Graduate School of Education, the University of Tokyo
  • Tomoko Tokunaga Associate Professor, the Institute of Human Sciences, the University of Tsukuba
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

Based on the book Second Generation Immigrants in Japan: Cross-Ethnic Comparison of “Newcomer” Children Today, written by Mutsumi Shimizu, Akira Kojima, Hiroki Tsunogae, Misako Nukaga, Akiko Miura, Kohei Tsubota (Akashi Shoten, 2021)  (in Japanese)

As Japan opened its door to overseas workers amid a declining population and labor shortage, the number of children with immigrant backgrounds has steadily increased since the 1990s, thus dismantling the country’s mono-ethnic myth. How do these second-generation immigrant children born and/or raised in Japan experience acculturation? What are their educational and occupational outcomes in the host society and how do they relate to acculturation patterns? The Second Generation Immigrants in Japan: Cross-Ethnic Comparison of “Newcomer” Children Today (published in Japanese) offers the most comprehensive portrait to date of the second generation immigrants’ developmental pathways and adaptation outcomes in Japan. It is based on in-depth interview data from 170 youths whose parents migrated from Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Brazil, Peru, and the Philippines. From these voices, the authors provide a detailed analysis of diverging acculturation and adaptation processes within the second-generation youth in Japan, highlighting the impact of school, community, and peer-group forces that are unique to Japan, as well as transnational social spaces that the youth engage in.

About the Speaker

Misako Nukaga is a Professor at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Tokyo. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2009. Her research interests lie at the intersections between immigration, ethnicity, gender, and education. From a cross-national comparative perspective, she studies how children with immigrant backgrounds experience acculturation through schooling in the host society, particularly focusing on the effects of unequal structures in which they are embedded. Her recent work examines identity formation and educational achievement of second-generation immigrant youth in Japan, and considers culturally inclusive and socially just education for minority students.

Tomoko Tokunaga is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Human Sciences at the University of Tsukuba. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (specialization in Sociocultural Foundations of Education) at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research interest includes the anthropology of education, immigrant education, youth studies, and participatory action research (PAR).

Seminar Series

A Neuroscientific Method for Understanding the Legal Mind: from the Perspective of Expertise

Date
Thursday, 12 January 2023 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar  REGISTER HERE
Language
English
Speakers
  • Shozo Ota Professor of Meiji University, Emeritus Professor of the University of Tokyo
  • Takeshi Asamizuya Assistant Professor at the 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

We conducted an MRI study comparing legal experts and lay persons on how the brain works in people facing a sentencing decision. This study is designed to obtain relevant implications for the criminal justice system and to explore the effective connectivity underlying expertise. Although the two groups reveal no differential brain activation in sentencing decisions, the dynamic causal modeling (DCM) analysis reveals distinct patterns of connectivity associated with subjects’ expertise and mitigating factors (remorse). The strength of a certain connection is correlated with the decrease in punishment severity with mitigating factors. Our results suggest that legal expertise means making the legal decision easier with legal training. The different directionality revealed by DCM analysis could be interpreted as reason controlling emotion in legal experts while emotion controls reason in laypersons.

About the Speaker

Shozo Ota is a Professor at Meiji University School of Law. He is also an Emeritus Professor at The University of Tokyo. He taught Japanese Law at Michigan Law School as a Visiting Professor of Japanese Law from 1997-98. His research focuses on A.I. & Law, Neuro-Law, Law & Social Science, Legal Negotiation, etc. He is the President of the Japan Access to Law Association, and Japan Law & Economics Association.

Takeshi Asamizuya is an Assistant Professor at the Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, at the University of Tokyo. He received his BA in physics at the Faculty of Science, Rikkyo University, and his Ph.D. in Science at the Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University. He served as technical staff of the MRI facility at RIKEN BSI for 10 years before assuming his current position.

Their recent publication is Takeshi Asamizuya, Hiroharu Saito, Ryosuke Higuchi, Go Naruse, Shozo Ota, & Junko Kato, “Effective Connectivity and Criminal Sentencing Decisions,” Cerebral Cortex, bhab484, https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhab484 (2022).

Seminar Series

The politics of immigration in the wake of the “specified skills visa”

Date
Thursday, 8 December 2022 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Michael Strausz Professor of Political Science, Texas Christian University
Moderator
  • Kenneth Mori McElwain Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

In recent years, labor shortages caused by an aging and declining population have created pressures for Japan to find new ways to admit foreign laborers. The Japanese government has responded to these pressures with a number of policy innovations. Most interestingly, the government created the “specified skills visa” in December of 2018 to admit manual laborers as a defined category for the first time. Just a few months after this new visa category went into effect, Japanese voters went to the polls to elect their representatives in the House of Counselors. What does that election tell us about the politics of immigration in Japan? This paper combines quantitative analyses of Diet candidates’ positions on the issue of immigration in 2019 and other recent elections with qualitative case studies of LDP two candidates in the 2019 election to assess the new political context in which immigration policy is made in Japan.

About the Speaker

Michael Strausz is a Professor of Political Science at Texas Christian University. His research focuses on immigration policy and public opinion relating to immigration, and his recent book Help (Not) Wanted: Immigration Politics in Japan (SUNY Press 2019) explains the persistent restrictiveness of Japan’s immigration control policy. He has conducted research in Japan on grants from the Fulbright Program and the Japan Foundation. He is a member of cohort three of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation’s US-Japan Network for the Future. He earned his Ph.D. in 2007 from the University of Washington.

Seminar Series

An Enlightened Society Full of Stereotypes: A Case of Early Modern England, c. 1550-1750

Date
Thursday, 24 November 2022 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Koji Yamamoto Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics, the University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

Recent events like the Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump unleashed a wide range of stereotypes, including stereotypes of immigrants, of African Americans, of conservative southerners and of autocrats. The proliferation of stereotypes, however, is never a uniquely modern phenomenon. It was also a defining feature of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England, what Jürgen Habermas once viewed as the origin of the public sphere. What does progress mean if stereotypes spread so widely today, as they did in the early modern period? Early modern people often appealed to reason and were preoccupied with the ‘advancement of learning’ and the promise of enlightenment. Yet that did not prevent stereotypes from spreading. Stereotyping was so pervasive and foundational to social life, and yet so liable to escalation, that collective engagements with it often ended up perpetuating the very processes of stereotyping. Engaging critically with recent works in social psychology and sociology, I explore broader implications of this finding for social sciences in general and Japan studies in particular.

About the Speaker

Koji Yamamoto is an Associate Professor of Business History at the University of Tokyo. He is the author of Taming capitalism before its triumph (Oxford, 2018), and has also published articles in Historical Journal and English Historical Review. He is a founder of the Japanese grassroots organization Historians’ Workshop, a platform for preparing Japan-based early-career historians for a global academic arena. This talk draws on the recent volume of essay he has edited, ‘Stereotypes and Stereotyping in Early Modern England’.His next book project is a history of the South Sea Bubble, the first stock price bubble in history.

Just published |
https://www.manchesteropenhive.com/view/9781526119148/9781526119148.xml
(full book can be downloaded from bottom of link)

Seminar Series

Japan: The Harbinger State

Date
Thursday, 17 November 2022 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Phillip Lipscy Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo and Department of Political Science, University of Toronto
Moderator
  • Kenneth Mori McElwain Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

Why study Japan? Research on contemporary Japanese politics and foreign policy faces headwinds from the relative geopolitical decline of Japan and scholars skeptical about single-country studies. An overview of Japanese politics publications in English-language journals over the past four decades suggests the subfield remains active and robust. However, there is still room to grow. I argue that Japan is a harbinger state, which experiences many challenges before others in the international system. As such, studying Japan can inform both scholars and policymakers about the political challenges other countries are likely to confront in the future. In turn, scholarship on Japan offers a critical opportunity to develop theoretical insights, assess early empirical evidence, and offer policy lessons about emerging challenges and the political contestation surrounding them. I consider the reasons why Japan so often emerges as a harbinger across issue areas and suggest areas for ongoing scholarly attention.

About the Speaker

Phillip Y. Lipscy is a professor of political science at the University of Toronto, where he is also Chair in Japanese Politics and Global Affairs and the Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Japan at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. In addition, he is cross-appointed as a professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Tokyo. His research addresses substantive topics such as international cooperation, international organizations, the politics of energy and climate change, international relations of East Asia, and the politics of financial crises. He has also published extensively on Japanese politics and foreign policy.

Seminar Series

A study of the regulation of individual behavior during a pandemic crisis in Japan

Date
Thursday, 27 October 2022 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Naomi Aoki Associate Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy, the University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Daiji Kawaguchi Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy, the University of Tokyo
Event Description

This presentation is based on a study conducted in 2020, which examined whether a stay-at-home order with penalties would be an effective measure for regulating public behavior during a pandemic lockdown in Japan. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, authorities around the world have taken measures to limit civil liberties by means of stay-at-home orders, with penalties for infractions. In contrast, at the time of 2020 when this study was conducted, Japan had avoided legislating sanctions and instead sought voluntary cooperation from the public. Such a self-restraint request could be expected to deter public activity in Japan, whose society is known for conformity and social order so penalties might not be necessary. Nevertheless, the study found, through an online scenario-based experiment, that adding penalties still made a positive difference in the intention to stay home, especially in places with high infection rates, such as Tokyo. This study contributes to a broader discourse on what sort of measures can be taken to encourage public cooperation and compliance and on how to balance civil liberties with national health policies.

About the Speaker

Naomi Aoki (Ph.D., Public Administration) is an associate professor of public management in the Graduate School of Public Policy (GraSPP) at the University of Tokyo (since April 2020), and was formerly an assistant professor at the National University of Singapore (August 2011- March 2020). As a researcher, Aoki addresses emerging issues in public administration and management through an interdisciplinary fusion of approaches. Her works have appeared in journals, such as Cities, Computers in Human Behavior, Government Information Quarterly, Habitat International, and Public Management Review.

Seminar Series

Adoption and Reproduction in Tokugawa Japan: Family strategies in a society of low fertility

Date
Thursday, 7 July 2022 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Satomi Kurosu Faculty of Global Studies, Reitaku University
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

Adoption is an important strategy for families without biological children to secure a successor. Adoption also serves as a means to redistribute a surplus of sons for families with many children. This study utilizes a longitudinal database from early-modern Japan, providing a rare opportunity to analyze how adoption practices were used and how they relate to reproduction. The data record is based on Ninbetsu-aratame-cho, annual population registers from 1716-1870 in north-eastern Japan. Commoners suffered a series of famines and crop failures, the hardship of which manifested in declining population and low fertility. Applying the method of event history analysis, this study reveals how the economic condition of the villages as well as the socioeconomic status of households and co-residents influenced a couple’s decision of having children versus adopting. The empirical study of a society with low fertility will make us consider the continuity and change of Japanese families throughout the centuries.

About the Speaker

Satomi Kurosu is a Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Population and Family History Project (PFHP) at Reitaku University. Her work covers the area of historical demography and family sociology, with a focus on household and life course studies in early modern Japan. She was a key member of the Eurasia Project, led by Akira Hayami (1929-2019), the founder of Japanese historical demography. As the inheritor of Hayami’s large collection of historical population materials, Prof. Kurosu continues to archive, construct and analyze population records from pre-census Japan. Her work includes international collaborations, Similarity in Difference: Marriage in Europe and Asia (MIT 2014).

Seminar Series

Do Gendered Expectations Help or Hinder the Evaluations of Women Politicians?

Date
Thursday, 30 June 2022 | 16:00 - 17:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Seiki Tanaka An assistant professor of international relations at the Department of International Relations and International Organization, University of Groningen
Moderator
  • Rieko Kage Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the University of Tokyo
Event Description

Do voters in advanced democracies evaluate women politicians more critically than men counterparts? Some scholars find that women politicians have to endure more scrutiny with regards to their qualifications than their male counterparts and are punished more harshly in case of scandals. Yet, a growing body of the literature also suggests that women and men politicians are equally evaluated and, in some cases, women politicians are viewed even more positively than men. We argue that the mixed findings are in part due to the existence of competitive mechanisms through which gendered stereotypes affect the evaluations of women politicians. We examine the argument by using a survey experiment in Japan.

About the Speaker

Seiki Tanaka is an assistant professor of international relations at the Department of International Relations and International Organization (IRIO), University of Groningen. His research interest lies in exploring and researching the processes and mechanisms underlying social conflicts and cooperation. In particular, he examines the microfoundations of social diversity and conflicts and how different groups of people can co-exist within a society in an era of globalization and technological advancement.

Seminar Series

Bank Resolution Regime after the Global Financial Crisis

Date
Friday, 24 June 2022 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Tomoaki Hayashi Ph.D., Graduate Schools for Law and Politics Faculty of Law, the University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Masayuki Tamaruya Professor, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, the University of Tokyo
Event Description

“Banks live globally but die local”, as described by former Bank of England Governor Marvin King, banking activities are increasingly globalized beyond national borders, while legal frameworks remain separate and distinct at the sovereign level including banking licenses, deposit insurance, and insolvency laws. In the wake of the global financial crisis, international discussions arose toward ending the Too-Big-to-Fail (TBTF) issue. This led to the establishment of international standards for bank resolution, notably “Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes for Financial Institution” (Key Attributes). The purpose of this seminar is to give an overview of the post-financial crisis international debate over the cross-border banking resolution and analyze the remaining issues and challenges for effective cross-border bank resolution.

About the Speaker

Tomoaki Hayashi is a recent graduate of a Ph.D. in Law at the University of Tokyo. He currently serves as an economist in the Monetary and Capital Markets Department of the IMF. Prior to joining to the IMF, he worked for the Financial Services Agency in Japan (FSA), with responsibility for international discussion for bank resolution. He has a Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Columbia University and also a Master’s degree in Law (LL.M.) from the University of Michigan. He has numerous publications, including Japan’s chapter in the “Research Handbook on Cross-Border Bank Resolution” (joint with Hideki Kanda, edited by Matthias Haentjens and Bob Wessels, Edward & Elgar, 2019). He also has experience serving as an external lecturer at Keio University.

Seminar Series

How Incumbent Politicians Respond to the Enactment of a Programmatic Policy: Evidence from Snow Subsidies

Date
Thursday, 23 June 2022 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Amy Catalinac Assistant professor of Department of Politics, New York University
Moderator
  • Kenneth Mori McElwain Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

More than fifty studies have examined the programmatic incumbent support hypothesis, which posits that once enacted, programmatic policies increase electoral support for the incumbent. Despite the careful attention to causal inference in this work, empirical findings have been strikingly inconsistent. We make the case that these inconsistent results are likely explained by incumbents’ strategic responses to the enactment of a programmatic policy. Specifically, incumbents have good reasons to distribute different amounts of non-programmatic goods to voters who do and do not receive a programmatic policy. To examine this conjecture, we turn to the case of Japan, where municipalities receive allocations of non-programmatic goods and vary in their eligibility for a programmatic policy (a snow subsidy) according to factors that are plausibly exogenous to voting behavior. Using a geographic regression discontinuity design, we find that municipalities receiving the programmatic policy receive systematically more non-programmatic goods than municipalities that do not.

About the Speaker

Amy Catalinac is an Assistant Professor of Politics at New York University. She is a scholar of electoral systems, distributive politics, and contemporary Japanese politics. She earned her Ph.D. at Harvard University. Her first project examined how electoral systems influence politicians’ policy priorities and ideological positions. This research appears in the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, and in her first book, Electoral Reform and National Security in Japan (Cambridge University Press). Her second project examines how lawmakers use geographically-targeted spending to increase their re-election chances. This research appears in World Politics, Comparative Political Studies, and Electoral Studies.

Seminar Series

How to manage Sovereignty Restriction: Japan’s experience of the 19th century “Unequal Treaty” and postwar Japan-US Security Treaty

Date
Thursday, 26 May 2022 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Kaoru Iokibe Professor, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Masayuki Tamaruya Professor, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

Despite prewar modernization and imperialism and postwar economic growth, Japanese diplomacy has long suffered from a sense of victimization. The sentiment derives from “Unequal Treaties” thrust upon Japan in the mid-nineteenth century. Japanese citizens relived the experience with the US-Japan Security Treaty after World War II, as incidents arose between Japanese citizens and American soldiers in Japan. This talk examines little known tactics used by Japanese officials to restore some sovereignty under both the “Unequal Treaties” and the US-Japan Security Alliance. How might we adjust the alliance to best fit the challenges of twenty-first century East Asia?

About the Speaker

Kaoru Iokibe is Professor, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, University of Tokyo, and is currently an Academic Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University. He has a PhD in Law from Tokyo University and focuses on the political and international history of modern Japan. His first book examined opposition politics in latter nineteenth/early twentieth-century Japan (2003). His second book highlighted the latter nineteenth-century revision of “unequal treaties” and restoration of Japanese sovereignty (2010, English translation forthcoming). Recently he has begun investigating postwar US-Japan relations and the history of political lies, the latter resulting in the publication of his third book, Political History of Deception: The Insincere Politics of a Sincere Society (2020).

Seminar Series

Welfare Reform and Life Satisfaction in Japan

Date
Thursday, 12 May 2022 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Hiroshi Ono Professor of Human Resource Management at Hitotsubashi University Business School and Affiliated Professor of Sociology at Texas A&M University
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

Whether economic growth improves the human lot is a matter of conditions. We focus on Japan, a country which shifted in the 1990s from a pattern of rampant economic growth and stagnant well-being, to one of modest growth and increasing well-being. We discuss concurrent policy reforms and analyse the changes in well-being. In particular, we assess whether the correlates of the increase in well-being are consistent with those expected from the reforms. We apply Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition to World Values Survey data in 1990 and 2010. Results show that improved conditions for the elderly, parents of young children and women, that is the primary groups targeted by the reforms, correlate with well-being increases during this time period. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that social safety nets can make economic growth compatible with sustained increases in well-being.

About the Speaker

Hiroshi Ono (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is Professor of Human Resource Management at Hitotsubashi University Business School and Affiliated Professor of Sociology at Texas A&M University. He studies demographic change and labor market dynamics in Japan. He has also published extensively on digital inequality and social implications of the Internet. He is a frequent contributor for Japanese and global news media, both print and broadcast. He is the author of Redistributing Happiness: How Social Policies Shape Life Satisfaction (with K.S. Lee, Praeger, 2016). His work has been published in the American Sociological Review, Asian Business & Management, Oxford Economic Papers, Social Forces, and Social Science Quarterly, among others.

Seminar Series

Gender Gaps in the Labor Market in Japan

Date
Thursday, 17 March 2022 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Shintaro Yamaguchi Professor, Graduate School of Economics, the University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

Japan ranked 120th among 156 countries in the gender gap rankings in 2021. Focusing on gender gaps in the labor market, I review how they evolved in the last few decades and discuss how policies can narrow the gender gaps. Although the progress may be slow, the gender gaps have been steadily narrowing in the last few decades. Indeed, prime-age women’s labor force participation rate in Japan has been higher than in the U.S. since 2015. While many factors seem to have contributed to this progress, I show empirical evidence that parental leave and childcare policies significantly increased women’s labor supply. Unfortunately, the narrowing gender gaps stalled because of the COVID-19 pandemic that hurt women disproportionately. I argue that promoting men’s participation in childcare and household chores is the key to further narrowing the gender gap in the labor market in Japan.

About the Speaker

Shintaro Yamaguchi is a professor in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Tokyo. His research interest includes labor economics, the economics of the family, and the economics of education. He is also a co-editor of Japanese Economic Review and affiliated with CREPE and CEDEP at UTokyo and CReAM at University College London. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006.

Seminar Series

Convention, Protest, or Violence? Explaining Tactical Choices in Contentious Political Events around the World

Date
Thursday, 24 February 2021 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Takeshi Wada Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

Contentious political events—such as the collapses of socialist regimes around 1990, the Zapatista uprising in Mexico in 1994, the Arab Spring around 2010, and the Black Lives Matter movement since 2014—often catch us by surprise. Why do people use conventional tactics such as petitioning, voting, and lobbying to make claims at times, go out to protest publicly at other times, and even resort to violence on still other occasions? It appears that people’s tactical choices are totally unpredictable, but the social movement literature suggests the contrary: their choices are highly predictable because these are dependent upon people’s familiarity with the tactics. In a word, people cannot perform if they do not know how. This presentation explores such a cultural hypothesis about contentious tactics and repertoires and asks to what degree we can explain and predict tactical patterns. It conducts a cross-national comparison of tactical patterns using a data set of 10 million events worldwide, reported by Reuters, between 1990 and 2004.

About the Speaker

Takeshi Wada is a Professor in the Department of Area Studies and Director of the Latin American and Iberian Network for Academic Collaboration (LAINAC) at The University of Tokyo. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University in 2003. His area of specialization includes political sociology, social movements, sociology of development, and Latin American Studies. Dr. Wada has served as a Visiting Student at El Colegio de México (2000-2001), as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University (2003-2005), and as a Visiting Scholar at the Jack W. Peltason Center for the Study of Democracy, University of California Irvine (2019).

Seminar Series

Current Japanese Sovereign Debt Situation and Policies to Mitigate a Crisis Triggered by Its Debt

Date
Thursday, 3 February 2022 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Michinao Okachi Associate Professor, 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

Many governments in advanced countries including Japan accumulate a large amount of sovereign debt. The IMF projects that the average sovereign debt-to-GDP ratio of advanced countries in 2021 will reach 123%, which is almost as same as the level after WWII. In terms of the Japanese case, many researchers estimate that its sovereign debt-to-GDP ratio will keep increasing because of high social security costs and interest payments. If this ratio is on the divergent path, it would not be sustainable for good and an economic crisis might be caused in the future. It will be beneficial to obtain a policy to mitigate the economic damage triggered by high public debt. He introduces several policies that the Japanese government can take when a sovereign debt crisis happens in Japan. Then, he explains his and prior research what kind of policy should the government take to minimize its effect in Japan.

About the Speaker

Michinao Okachi (Ph.D. in economics, Australian National University) is an Associate Professor of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo. He is also a visiting associate professor at Tohoku University. He has a wide range of interests in macroeconomics such as international economics, public finance, monetary policy, inequality, and environmental economics. He is currently studying sovereign debt crises, global warming effects on the economy, and COVID-19 infections in universities. Some projects are funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and government-sponsored agents.

Seminar Series

Retirement Transition and its Outcome in Japan

Date
Thursday, 13 January 2022 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Masaaki Mizuochi Professor, Faculty of Policy Studies, Nanzan University
Moderator
  • Daiji Kawaguchi Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

Previous studies have not paid much attention to growing heterogeneity in the nature of retirement. Retirement does not always entail a clean departure from a career job and full withdrawal from the labor force but is often a complex process involving the gradual transition from full-time career employment to full retirement. Understanding the various retirement transitions is substantially important in the context of population aging, labor force shortages, changing pension policy, changing family environment, and growing poverty/inequality. Using a Longitudinal Survey of Middle-aged and Elderly Persons 2005–2019 collected in Japan, we classify the pattern of retirement transition by sequence analysis and examine the relationship between retirement transition type and individual attributes. Moreover, we estimate the effect of the pattern of retirement transition on some outcomes including health, subjective well-being, and economic condition in retirement life.

About the Speaker

Masaaki Mizuochi is a Professor of Faculty of Policy Studies, Nanzan
University. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Tohoku University.
After his graduate study, he worked as an associate Professor at Mie
University in 2006-2013. He works in the area of labor economics, family
economics, demography, and gerontology. His most recent work is
“Retirement type and cognitive functioning in Japan” (with James Raymo),
Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social
Sciences, forthcoming. He is currently working on a retirement
trajectory and its effect on health in Japan.

Seminar Series

Property Regimes, Religious Power, and State Formation: Modern Transformation of the East Asian Region

Date
Thursday, 25 November 2021 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Kentaro Matsubara Professor, Graduate School of Law and Politics, the University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Kenneth Mori MCELWAIN Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

This presentation focuses on the relationships between the protection of property and the formation of the state in Tokugawa Japan and Qing China, highlighting the differences in the roles of what we might call religious beliefs. The protection of the private property is seen as a basic function of the modern sovereign state. However, before the state systems of China and Japan were reformulated into modern sovereign states, the relationships between state bureaucracy and property regimes functioning at the level of local communities greatly differed in the two societies. This was partly due to different relationships between state bureaucracy and local communities. The difference in the formation of local communities was tightly connected to a difference in the roles of religious beliefs. Moreover, such differences in traditional social formation would influence the different ways in which China and Japan would integrate themselves into the Westphalian system of sovereign states in the 19th century.

About the Speaker

Kentaro Matsubara (LL.B. Tokyo, D.Phil. Oxford) is a Professor of Legal History at the University of Tokyo. He works in the intersecting area of legal history and comparative law, focusing on property regimes and state structures in East Asia. His most recent works include: ‘East, East and West: Comparative Law and the Historical Processes of Legal Interaction in China and Japan’ (2019) 66(4) American Journal of Comparative Law. He is currently working on a manuscript on Law of the Ancestors: Lineage Property-Holding and Social Structures in 19th Century South China. He has held visiting appointments at Columbia Law School, the University of Hong Kong, the National University of Singapore, and Yale University.

Seminar Series

Social Consequences of the New Educational Assortative Mating in Japan

Date
Thursday, 11 November 2021 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Setsuya Fukuda Senior Researcher, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research
Moderator
  • Daiji Kawaguchi Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

A recent study shows that the negative educational gradient in women’s marriage in Japan has been reversed since 2005 and turned positive around 2013. The shift in educational gradient is brought by a decline in the marriage rates of homogamous marriages among less-educated women and an increase in the marriage rates of hypogamous marriages among highly educated women. While the consequences of this shift are important in understanding the mechanism of social inequalities in Japan, no systematic study has been conducted yet. By using nationally representative survey data, this study shows first descriptive results on how 1) the process of marriage, 2) economic and domestic role sharing, 3) family and gender values, 4) couple relationship and 5) fertility desire/outcome differ by educational pairings among Japanese married couples, and evaluates possible outcomes of the emerging new marriage pattern in Japan.

About the Speaker

Setsuya Fukuda is a Researcher at the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, where he conducts demographic research on the inter-relationships between gender, family formation, and family policy. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Meiji University. After his graduate study, he worked as a researcher at Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany in 2008-2011. His current research focuses on gender role division, educational assortative mating, fertility, and intergenerational transfers in international comparative settings, looking, particularly, how Japan’s gender structure and intergenerational relations are going to change in relation to population decline and new family policies.

Seminar Series

The Politics of the Pandemic in Asia

Date
Wednesday, 27 October 2021 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Jeff Kingston Professor, Asian Studies, History, Temple University
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCSJ Director
Event Description

The Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak since 2020 has had a variety of consequences, exacting a high death toll, swamping medical systems, derailing economic growth and saddling governmentsThe Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak since 2020 has had a variety of consequences, exacting a high death toll, swamping medical systems, derailing economic growth and saddling governments with massive debts. The pandemic has also had significant political consequences, facilitating democratic backsliding, shoring up authoritarian regimes, eroding digital and media freedoms and downsizing political leaders. In Japan, for example, PM Abe and Suga lost public trust due to perceptions they mismanaged the outbreak. Regional tensions have escalated due to intense public relations campaigns to assign blame and claim credit from vaccine diplomacy.

About the Speaker

Jeff Kingston is Director of Asian Studies and professor of history at Temple University Japan where he has taught since 1987. He has written and edited a dozen books on Japan and Asia, including Press Freedom in Japan (2017), The Politics of Religion, Nationalism and Identity in Asia (2019), Japan (2019) and Press Freedom in Asia (2020). He is co-editor of Japan’s Foreign Relations in Asia (2018) and the forthcoming Heisei Japan in Retrospect (2021). He also edited a special issue in 2020 for the Asia Pacific Journal Japan Focus on the Pandemic in Asia.

Seminar Series

Clusters: Locations, Ecosystems, and Opportunity

Date
Wednesday, 6 October 2021 | 9:00am - 10:00am (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Jon Metzler Lecturer, the Haas School of Business, the University of California, Berkeley
Moderator
  • Tetsuji Okazaki Professor, Graduate School of Economics, the University of Tokyo
Event Description

Clusters – or, more broadly, the economics of geography – has been topic of interest for decades, and indeed, Paul Krugman won his Nobel for his research on the subject! And in Japan, clusters have been viewed as essential for regional revitalization (地方創生). Remote work, and the Return to Work, adds a new wrinkle to the subject. Can cities that have not been able to replicate more successful clusters benefit from the pandemic and hybrid work?

About the Speaker

Jon Metzler is Lecturer at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, where he teaches on competitive strategy; strategy for the networked economy; international business; and clusters at the undergraduate and MBA levels.He is also founder of Blue Field Strategies, a consulting firm helping infrastructure clients accelerate service innovation and develop innovation ecosystems.He completed his MBA/MA-Asian Studies at the Haas School of Business. There he co founded the Berkeley Asia Business Conference (now the Bridge Conference), and authored a thesis comparing the innovation ecosystem in Silicon Valley and Japan. He is a member of the board of directors for the Japan Society of Northern California.

Seminar Series

THE FUTURE OF UNPAID WORK: How Could Automation Transform Time Spent on Housework and Care Work in the UK and Japan?

Date
Wednesday, 15 September 2021 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Ekaterina Hertog Research Fellow, Department of Sociology, Oxford University
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

Unpaid household work is a major activity that impacts economic and social well-being. It is essential for human reproduction and enables all other forms of work. Recent debates about the “future of work” have engaged with the impact of technology on labour from various perspectives but have yet to address unpaid labour. This paper addresses this gap by focusing on two questions: First, what is the likelihood that various types of unpaid work will be automated? Second, what is the likely impact of such automation on time savings and gender equality, notably by facilitating female participation in the paid labour market? We use three established estimates of the likelihood of automation of paid work occupations as proxies for the future likelihood of automation of similar housework and care work activities. We specifically match paid work occupations with a harmonized list of 19 housework and care work activities in UK and Japanese national time use data. This matching enables us to simulate several plausible scenarios of how automating a variety of unpaid work tasks may impact the unpaid workloads across gender and age groups. We find that most unpaid work activities are distributed within a range of 50 to 85 per cent across the two different automation likelihood scores. We analyse how the likely automation of these tasks is to decrease women’s daily unpaid workload. We also run a simulation to investigate whether the reduction of the domestic load is sufficient for men and women currently outside of the labour market to take on full-time or part-time paid work. We estimate that automation could free 1.9-2.4% of women in Japan and 0.4-0.8% in the UK to take up full-time employment and 5.4-7.0% of Japanese women and 3.7-4.9% of British women to take on part-time jobs. The impact for men is much smaller than that for women, except for the potential full-time employment which is higher for British men compared to British women. The above is just one illustration of how labour-saving technology in the household can increase individuals’ time use choices. Women may also choose to spend the newly available time to sleep more, develop their human capital, have more rest, etc. Our broader argument, therefore, is that automation could bring about increased personal choice which can lead to greater well-being.

About the Speaker

Dr Hertog’s research interests lie at the intersection of family sociology and digital sociology. She leads the ESRC-funded DomesticAI project that aims to scope new technologies’ potential to free up time now locked into unpaid domestic labour and measure how willing people are to introduce these technologies into their private lives. Ekaterina is also a research fellow at the GenTime research project, investigating gender differences in time use in East Asia. Ekaterina’s time use research looks at factors that impact the gender balance in the domestic division of labour, associations between children’s time use patterns and their natal family characteristics, and gender differences in time use at old age.

Ekaterina’s earlier research includes a study of never-married single mothers in Japan that provides an in-depth analysis of Japanese women’s decision-making on childbearing issues and the related value systems. It was published as a book by Stanford University Press titled ‘Tough Choices: Bearing an Illegitimate Child in Contemporary Japan’. Ekaterina also used customer data from one of the largest Japanese marriage agencies to analyse partner search processes, identifying the social factors that drive individual success and failure on the Japanese marriage market.

Seminar Series

Transnational Migration and Ethnic Business Involution: the Case of Indian-Nepali Restaurants in Japan

Date
Wednesday, 14 July 2021 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Gracia Liu-Farrer Professor, Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

Researchers investigating immigrants’ economic practices celebrate ethnic entrepreneurship as an alternative socioeconomic mobility strategy. Immigrants seize emerging market opportunities and utilize ethnic resources to achieve economic advancement when their entry into the mainstream labor market is blocked by language barriers or discrimination. Ethnic business can be involuted, however, leading to excessive internal competition, diminishing productivity and co-ethnic exploitation. This study uses the case of Nepalese immigrants’ restaurant business in Japan to illustrate the characteristics and detriments of such involution. This study examines the transnational process that creates such an ethnic business. It explores the role of the immigration regime, the migration industry, and sociocultural characteristics of the immigrant community in shaping such an involuted ethnic business. It argues that an involuted ethnic business creates a situation of transnational precarity in which not only do immigrant workers have little means to achieve social and economic mobility in the host society but might also destabilize the socioeconomic foundation of the sending society.

About the Speaker

Gracia Liu-Farrer is Professor at the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies and Director of Institute of Asian Migration at Waseda University, Japan. Her research examines immigrants’ economic, social and political practices in Japan, and the global mobility of students and professional migrants. She has authored books Labor Migration from China to Japan: International Students, Transnational Migrants (Routledge, 2011), Handbook of Asian Migrations (co-edited with Brenda Yeoh, Routledge, 2018), and Immigrant Japan: Mobility and Belonging in an Ethno-nationalist Society (Cornell University Press, 2020). She has also published over 50 book chapters and journal articles in leading migration and area studies journals.

Seminar Series

Contested Skill Regime and Divergent Migration Infrastructure: Comparing the Recruitment of Foreign Care Workers in Japan and Taiwan

Date
Wednesday, 30 June 2021 | 9:00am - 10:00am (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Pei-Chia Lan Distinguished Professor, Department of Sociology, National Taiwan University
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

Recent scholars have problematized the social construction of skills and competency in labor migration policies and governance. The formation of skill regime is especially ambivalent in the sector of migrant care work, characterized by feminization, racialization, and familialism. This talk examines the divergence of migration policies and infrastructure in two major receiving countries in East Asia. Taiwan and Japan, both facing population aging and labor shortage, have nevertheless recruited foreign caregivers in distinct ways. Taiwan started the guest worker policy in the early 1990s and most care workers are recruited via for-profit brokers and placed at home. Only recently did Japan widen the gate for migrant caregivers through multiple tracks, including EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement) candidates, students, trainees, and “specified skills visa” workers; all of them are employed by care facilities and prohibited from working at private households. The comparison demonstrates how receiving states and migrant brokers co-participate in the formation of global care chains through the practice of recruitment, training, and visa documentation.

About the Speaker

Pei-Chia Lan is Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Associate Dean of College of Social Sciences, and Director of Global Asia Research Center at National Taiwan University. She was a Yenching-Radcliffe fellow at Harvard University, a Fulbright scholar at New York University, a visiting professor at the Waseda Institute for Advanced Study, Kyoto University, and Tubingen University, and a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley. Her major publications include Global Cinderellas: Migrant Domestics and Newly Rich Employers in Taiwan (Duke 2006, Distinguished Book Award from the American Sociological Association and ICAS Book Prize) and Raising Global Families: Parenting, Immigration, and Class in Taiwan and the US (Stanford 2018).

Seminar Series

Infectious Diseases & Management: A Retrospective Look at Japanese Society before World War II

Date
Wednesday, 12 May 2021 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Takashi Shimizu Professor, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

In Japan (as well as in other countries) before World War II, people had been suffered from infectious diseases – such as the Spanish flu, Tuberculosis (TB), or Dysentery and resulting high risks of losing their lives, health or money. Japanese companies as well as their stakeholders – such as employees, consumers and shareholders – had to cope with such risks and a future uncertainty caused by them. In this seminar, I will investigate how they dealt with such risks and uncertainty, and try to show that they built mutual trusts and established cooperative relationships to manage such risks and uncertainty. I will also discuss what are lessons we can learn from history to survive in the era of COVID-19.

About the Speaker

Takashi Shimizu (Ph.D. in economics, The University of Tokyo) is Professor of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo. He is a scholar of management and business history who is specialized in corporate systems and interactions between legal systems and corporate behaviors. Recently he published a book titled “感染症と経営:戦前日本企業は「死の影」といかに 向き合ったか (Infectious Diseases and Management: How Japanese Companies coped with the Shadow of Death before WWII)” from Chuo-Keizaisha Publishing.

Seminar Series

“Premodern Japanese Studies” and Public Scholarship

Date
Wednesday, 28 April 2021 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Christina Laffin Associate Professor & Canada Research Chair in Premodern Japanese Literature and Culture, University of British Columbia
Moderator
  • Mao Wada Researcher, Humanities Center, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

This lecture will offer an overview of “Premodern Japanese Studies” in Canada and the US and an introduction to projects undertaken as “Public Humanities” initiatives. I will focus on the positioning of Japan and the Humanities at institutions in Canada, the US, and Japan and scholarly responses to perceived threats to the Humanities. How has the study of premodern Japan transformed over the past century and how is this linked to institutional structures and approaches such as Japanology, Japan(ese) studies, and transnational studies? How have scholars of premodern Japan tied their work to the influence of popular culture and political assertions of soft power? What potential is there for the “Public Humanities” framework to transform boundaries between disciplines or transcend traditional delineations between academic and public audiences. And can a better understanding of these issues offer any strategies for some of challenges Humanities scholars may face in Japan?

About the Speaker

Christina Laffin researches diaries, tales, poetry, and travel writing by women in premodern Japan. She has written about the life of the medieval poet Nun Abutsu, coedited a bilingual book on nō drama, and coordinated the editing of the multi-volume anthology Gender and Japanese History. She recently collaborated with colleague Ross King and six graduate students to translate Saito Mareshi’s Kanbunkyaku to kindai Nihon. Current projects include a series of short videos on premodern Japan, a textbook on Japanese poetry, and a collaborative, illustrated collection on birth, life, and death in 1103 based on the courtier journal Chūyūki.

Seminar Series

Moving Towards Vaccine Confidence for HPV Vaccine in Japan Analysis and Proposals

Date
Wednesday, 14 April 2021 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Keiko Kunitoki MD, MPH
  • Masafumi Funato MD, MPH
  • Makiko Mitsunami MD
  • Takahiro Kinoshita MD, MPH
  • Michael R. Reich PhD
Moderator
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

Vaccine hesitancy is a growing concern in global public health, and illustrates serious problems arising from lack of social trust. We analyzed Japan’s human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine crisis, which started with a rapid decline in the vaccination rate from approximately 70% to less than 1% and lasting until now, using a framework for examining barriers to access and use of health technologies according to four categories: architecture, availability, affordability, and adoption. Significant problems were identified in the architecture of the policy-making process, public information availability, adoption of evidence in decision-making body, knowledge and confidence among providers, and social trust from end-users. We propose a series of actions for key stakeholders (national government, municipalities, professional associations, politicians, civil society, and mass media). Through this case, we discuss how to build mutual trust, which is required to increase social trust in the vaccine and thereby regain vaccine confidence and reduce preventable deaths.

About the Speaker
Keiko Kunitoki, MD, MPH

Is a current research fellow of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School (HMS) and a graduate of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH). Her interest in preventive medicine has brought her to the main field investigating the gene-environment interaction on neurodevelopment, and also research activity on vaccine confidence launched as HPV-J (Harvard society for Promoting Vaccination in Japan).

Masafumi Funato, MD, MPH

is a family physician specializing in global health. Prior to Harvard, he worked as a health program manager at one of the national public donor agencies in Japan and managed implementation projects using a public-private partnership structure in Hanoi, Vietnam. Dr. Funato holds an MPH in Global Health from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Makiko Mitsunami, MD

is a Japanese obstetrician and gynecologist and a 2nd-year MMSc student at HMS, researching impacts of diet on fertility with Dr.Jorge E. Chavarro at the nutritional and environmental epidemiology department at HSPH. She is a co-founder of the HPV vaccine promotion group (Minpapi Association).

Takahiro Kinoshita, MD, MPH

is an emergency physician from Osaka, Japan. He has been engaged in social marketing/healthcare promotion using a verified account on Twitter. He is a co-founder of the two vaccine promotion groups: HPV vaccine (Minpapi Association) and COVID vaccine (CoV-Navi).

Michael R. Reich, PhD

is Taro Takemi Research Professor of International Health Policy at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He has many publications on health system strengthening and reform, access to medicines and pharmaceutical policy, and the political economy of policy-making processes, and has been engaged with health policy issues in Japan for five decades. For more information see:
https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/michael-reich/

Seminar Series

Contemporary Japanese Lookism What Underlies “World’s Three Beauties” Discourse

Date
Thursday, 11 March 2021 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
Japanese
Speakers
  • Nagai Kumiko Associate Professor, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Sato Yukiko Associate Professor, Graduate School of Humanities & Sociology, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

Cleopatra VII, Yang Guifei and Ono no Komachi, or Helen. They are called “the world’s three greatest beauties of all time” in Japan. They appear in various TV commercials and other media today. Many people wonder why these women were selected and why it seems to be a story that is widespread only in Japan. In this seminar, these questions will be addressed. Tracing the history of this discourse, the origin dates back to the Meiji and Taishō eras and in the story that seems to tell about diversity at first glance, Japan’s international relations and views on women after the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War are hidden. The speaker would like to discuss the background to the discourse and issues that this story highlights, which lead to the current concept of lookism in Japan.

About the Speaker

Kumiko Nagai is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tokyo. She holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Comparative Literature and Culture at UTokyo. Her specialization is Japanese classical literature and painting, especially the picture scrolls made in the 11th and the 12th century. Her recent works include writings about the essays on the Tale of Genji and the portraits of Lady Murasaki, the author of this tale. She also studies the influence of the legacies of the Heian dynastic style culture in modern Japan.

Seminar Series

Gimmicks, Politics, and Narrative: Japan’s Thwarted Commemorations, Celebrations, and Comebacks

Date
Wednesday, 20 January 2021 | 9:00–10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • David Leheny Professor, Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies, Waseda University
Moderator
  • Kenneth McElwain Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
Event Description

This presentation surveys efforts to symbolize Japan’s putative re-emergence as a global power, from the 2018 plans to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration through the as-yet-uncertain 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It focuses in particular on the rhetoric of a Japanese comeback, particularly under Prime Minister Abe’s cabinets, and on mediated representations of the collective agency that Japan supposedly once had and that is in the process of reconstructing. By drawing from recent theoretical work by Sianne Ngai, Jelena Subotic, Ayse Zarakol, and Lauren Berlant, this presentation inquires about the affective dimensions of historical representation, and identifies risks that failures of spectacle, whether because of unexpected political contestation (as in the Meiji commemoration) or of bad epidemiological luck (as in the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games), lay bare the gimmicky nature of political rhetoric.

About the Speaker

David Leheny (PhD, Government, Cornell University) is Professor in the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies at Waseda University. He previously held the Henry Wendt III ’55 Chair in Contemporary East Asian Studies at Princeton University, where he was Professor of East Asian Studies. Among his books are Empire of Hope: The Sentimental Politics of Japanese Decline (2018), Think Global, Fear Local: Sex, Violence, and Anxiety in Contemporary Japan (2006), and The Rules of Play: National Identity and the Shaping of Japanese Leisure (2003), all published by Cornell University Press.

Seminar Series

Family and Inequality: “Diverging Destinies” in Japan?

Date
Wednesday, 25 November 2020 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • James Raymo Professor of Sociology & Henry Wendt III ’55 Professor of East Asian Studies, Princeton University
Moderator
  • Shirahase Sawako TCJS Director
Event Description

Research on the “diverging destinies” of children provides a compelling and influential framework for understanding how growing socioeconomic differences in family behavior contribute to inequality and the reproduction of disadvantage. Despite the international prominence of this framework, it has received almost no attention in research on family and inequality in Japan. In this talk, I discuss demographic trends in Japan relevant to the notion of diverging destinies, consider what we can learn by incorporating Japan into the broader international research conversation, and summarize related work that colleagues and I have conducted in recent years. This work examines educational differences in marriage, cohabitation, pregnancy, childbearing, and divorce; the well-being of single mothers; and relationships between parental resources and children’s well-being. In making a case for research on diverging destinies in Japan, I stress the theoretical and empirical value of considering intergenerational family relationships, gender inequality, and the changing economic environment.

About the Speaker

Jim Raymo is Professor of Sociology and the Henry Wendt III ’55 Professor of East Asian Studies at Princeton University. Raymo is a social demographer whose research focuses on documenting and understanding the causes and potential consequences of demographic changes in Japan. His published research includes analyses of marriage timing, divorce, recession and fertility, marriage and women’s health, single mothers’ well-being, living alone, employment and health at older ages, and regional differences in health at older ages. His current research focuses on children’s well-being, changing patterns of family formation, single motherhood, and social isolation and health at older ages.

Seminar Series

The Historian’s Craft in Contemporary Japanese Studies: A Discussion with Prof. Yoshimi Shunya and Prof. Okazaki Tetsuji

Date
Wednesday, 21 October 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
Venue
Zoom Webinar
Language
English
Speakers
  • Yoshimi Shunya Professor, Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, and TCJS Board Member, The University of Tokyo
  • Okazaki Tetsuji Professor, Graduate School of Economics, and TCJS Associate Member, The University of Tokyo
Moderator
  • Shirahase Sawako TCJS Director
About the Speaker
Yoshimi Shunya: Scales of History: How Family History and Global History Work Together

In this short presentation, I will propose that there is correspondence between two scales of history: the social construction of “generations” and the so-called “long waves” of history. In modern and contemporary Japanese history, historic moments of change repeatedly appear every quarter-century: 1870 (more precisely: 1868), 1895, 1920 (more precisely: 1923), 1945, 1970 (more precisely: 1973), 1995, and 2020. Of course, this repetition is in a sense accidental. But it can also be interpreted in relation to the cycles of generational interval and the long waves of modern capitalism (world system). Using this hypothetical frame, I will analyze how contemporary Japanese history has been influenced by the historical practices of different generations, as well as by the structural condition of global capitalism.

Okazaki Tetsuji: An Apology for Japanese Economic History

The title of this talk is an homage to Marc Bloch’s “The Historian’s Craft,” which is known in French as “Apologie pour l’histoire ou Métier d’historien.” Bloch was one of the founders of the Annales School and gave his life for freedom in 1944. In his book, Bloch set out to answer an essential question: “what is the use of history?” In this short presentation, I will share my thoughts on this question as it relates to Japanese economic history. Drawing on some of my recent work in Japanese economic history, I will address two main issues: “why history?” and “why Japan?”