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Shouldn’t Cool Japan Be Changed?

Watanabe Hirotaka, Director, Institute for International Relations, Tokyo University of Foreign StudiesCool (smart and stylish) Nippon (Japan) should be pitched throughout the world. Under the slogan of Cool Japan, the movement for the transmission of Japan’s hidden gems to the world has been brisk. From animation, video games, and other pop culture to Japanese cuisine, many foreigners are drawn to Japanese style. Under such circumstances, shouldn’t the method for the transmission of information be changed? Director Watanabe Hirotaka, Institute for International Relations, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, the foremost authority on research in culture and diplomacy, points out what is missing in the current Cool Japan campaign. What Abe Mario symbolizes The main character that enlivened the final scene at the Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was the Nintendo video game character, Super Mario, played by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. The unexpected performance surprised the media around the world, which applauded it. ... [Read more]


Watanabe Hirotaka, Director, Institute for International Relations, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies

Shouldn’t Cool Japan Be Changed?

Kawashima Shin, Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo

Will the Contradictions between the Xi Jinping Administration and Pax Americana Be Resolved?
―The Decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the South China Sea and China’s Response

Tanaka Akihiko, Professor, The Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo

The Spheres in International Politics and Summit Diplomacy

Sato Yuji, former Commandant of the Japan Coast Guard

The Japan Coast Guard protects the Senkaku Islands to the last

Kitaoka Shinichi, President, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

For the Advancement of Japan’s International Cooperation
―After the Terrorist Attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh


Tanaka Naoki, President, Center for International Public Policy Studies

Interpreting the Upper House Elections: Two concerns about maintaining the status quo
― Sustaining social security and Japan’s policy towards China

Takenaka Harukata, Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies

Interpreting the Upper House Elections: Please don’t squander your political capital, Prime Minister!
―Putting growth strategies and fiscal health ahead of constitutional reform

KAMIYA Matake, Professor, National Defense Academy of Japan

Evaluating the Statement made by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo

YOSHIZAKI Tatsuhiko, Economist

“Security” or “Constitution” – Don’t Fall Between Two Stools

Modern Historian Hata Ikuhiko

Paper Commemorating Receipt of the 30th Seiron Prize
Comfort Women in the Battle over History

The battle over history started by South Korea and China continues to get worse. Is there any prospect of Japan mounting a counterattack?


Itoh Motoshige, Professor, Gakushuin University

Significance of Free Trade: Continued Trade Negotiations will Allow for New Progress
―Distinguish between internationalization and people, goods, and money

Tsutsui Junya, Professor, Ritsumeikan University

What is needed to counter the falling birthrate? The short cut is to rectify the long working hours
―A solution in the style of the United States/Northern Europe is difficult

komamura Kohei, Professor, Keio University

What is needed to counter the falling birthrate?  Bold funding investments are urgent
―Salaries for nursery school teachers and tuition fee support

Komine Takao, Professor, Graduate School of Regional Policy Design, Hosei University

Abenomics at a Watershed
―Proper Approach to Monetary Policy

Large number of Pokémon Trainers gathered in Ueno Park in the midnight of August 2, 2016. Same phenomenon could be seen all over the nation.

The “Pokémon GO” Bubble:
Expectations and Anxiety for

Yanagawa Noriyuki, Professor, University of Tokyo

Will Pokémon GO increase investment?

Tanno Kiyoto, Professor, Tokyo Metropolitan University

Perspective on the Problems of Foreign Labor: Enacting Employment Policies That Encourage Long-Term Residence
― Improvements in Ability Development and Handling are Essential

Saito Makoto, Professor of the Faculty of Economics, Hitotsubashi University

Where have integrity and modesty gone in the policy decision-making process?
Residual Problems in Japan’s Democratic Government Stemming from The Second Postponement of The Consumption Tax Hike

Yamaguchi Kazuo, Ralph Lewis Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago

Why Japanese-style Employment Systems Hamper the Success of Women

FUJIMORI Katsuhiko, Chief Research Associate, Mizuho Information & Research Institute, Inc.

The Rapid Increase of Elderly Single Households and the Declining Marriage Rate
― Social System Rebuild Inevitable

IWATA Kazumasa, President of the Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER)

Preventing Deflationary Pressure from Flaring Up Again
― Investors Placing Funds in Assets Other Than Government Bonds


The Making of an
Intellectual Property-based Nation

YAMADA Hisashi, Chief Economist, Head of Economics Department, the Japan Research Institute, Ltd.

Will Japan’s Labor Shortage Worsen?
Overstaffing May Resurface If Problems Are Left Unaddressed


Investing in Japan

IWATA Kazumasa, Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER) President

The Bank of Japan Can Continue Quantitative and Qualitative Monetary Easing for Only Two More Years: The Adoption of Negative Interest Rates Is Proposed
– Eliminating the Zero Lower Bound is Crucial



“Abdication” Is Not Easy

Yamazaki Masakazu, playwright, critic

The Tenno Emperor—A Constant and Time-Honored Symbol

Fujishiro Hiroyuki, Journalist and Professor at Hosei University

Information Triage: Prioritization of The Social Media Society Following Major Disasters
—Three months after the Kumamoto Earthquake


What does the future hold for funerals in Japan?

Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation (RJIF) founder Funabashi Yoichi at the “Population Evaporation” symposium

Shock of a “Nation of 50 Million People


Okada Shoji, Professor, Kokugakuin University

Q&A The Origins of Shinto Shrines

Takatsukasa Naotake, aged 71, is the Chief Priest, the highest-ranking priest of Ise Jingu. Takatsukasa, whose previous family name was Matsudaira, was adopted by Takatsukasa Kazuko, the third daughter of Emperor Showa, and became the 27th family head, succeeding the Takatsukasa family, one of the five Fujiwara regent families. After completing courses in Instrumentation Engineering at the Graduate School of Keio University, he joined NEC Corporation, undertaking assignments such as improvements to the infrastructure of telecommunication systems and serving as president of the company’s subsidiaries, which reflects the other side of his career as a former engineer. In 2007, assuming the position of the ninth Chief Priest since the war, he successfully completed all the rituals related to the Shikinen Sengu, the rebuilding of the divine building of Ise Jingu that is carried out every twenty years, in March of last year. In May of this year, he received a courtesy call from the leaders regarding one the official programs prepared for the Ise Shima Summit. The Chief Priest, who had completed a milestone task, responded to an interview for the first time after the rebuilding. 

The Chief Priest of Ise Jingu talks at length about subjects such as the Shikinen Sengu, the Summit, and the succession of the legacies


How the Thousand-Year Capital Created Genius Painter  Ito Jakuchu and the City of Kyoto*

Shiraishi Masahiko, movie researcher, screenwriter and director

The Master of Special Effects – The Legacy of Tsuburaya Eiji
― In conversation with Ooka Shinichi, President of Tsuburaya Productions

Harold G. Meij (left) and  Nishiiwa Shinobu  

No future for places that fail to attract talent


KASHIKAWA Nobunari, Associate Professor, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

From the Subaru Telescope to TMT

ITOH Motoshige, Professor at the Graduate School of Economics of University of Tokyo

Electricity Reform Is the Best Performer for the Growth Strategy

22 October 2014, Professor Amano visited the Prime Minister’s Office (From the website of the Prime Minister of Japan and his Cabinet)

Corporations and Geniuses― The main man behind the invention of blue LEDs speaks.
Serendipity: No Such Thing Exists
Interview with Amano Hiroshi, Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University


The Robot & AI Revolution I
Robots will Change Work & Industry

SAKURA Osamu, PhD., Dean and Professor at the Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, University of Tokyo ©AOKI Noboru

The Robot & AI Revolution