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Can Japan Come Back?


Leader Keiji Nakatsuji (Ritsumeikan Univ.)
Researcher Susan Pharr (Harvard U.), Akira Furukawa (Ritsumeikan U.), Sachio Nakato (Ritsumeikan U.), Hironori Sasada (Ritsumeikan U.)
Term April 2012 - March 2013
Research Outline

The group will discuss the three following perspectives concerning the 2-decade long stagnation of the Japanese economy after the burst of bubble in 1991.
1.Japanese Economy/Comparative Political Economy Perspective 
The group will seek root causes of the 20 year stagnation and present a politico-economic model to revitalize Japanese society. Post WWII politico-economic models (ex. 1940 system) will be reexamined and the reasons of their deadlocks will be clarified.
2.Japanese Politics/Society Perspective
The 20 year stagnation has a lot to do with political disorder of recent years. The group will discuss lack of leadership as well as appropriate policy mix. The role of people, especially civil society, will be explored to realize the comeback of Japan.
3.International Political Economy Perspective
One interpretation to explain Japan’s economic stagnation is disinflation caused by cheap Chinese imports, hollowing out the Japanese economy. On the other hand, relations with a growing Asia are considered important by some researchers for revitalizing the Japanese economy. The argument to emphasize the significance of regional integration through movements such as East Asia Summit can be understood as one of such lines of thinking. This group will discuss the issue from regional and global perspectives.


Leader Keiji Nakatsuji (Ritsumeikan Univ.)
Researcher Susan Pharr (Harvard U.), Akira Furukawa (Ritsumeikan U.), Sachio Nakato (Ritsumeikan U.), Hironori Sasada (Ritsumeikan U.)
Term April 2012 - March 2013
Achievements Outline

 In FY 2012, the research team was mainly preoccupied with the publication in book form of the research results of the previous project (“Global Balance and Unification of the Asia Pacific Region”). The research results, with the contributions of 11 authors from Ritsumeikan and other institutions, will be printed at the end of April by Nakanishiya Shuppan with the title “Why Regionalism?”.
 Additionally, a workshop was successfully held as an event of the USJI Week on March 1, 2013. At the workshop, Keiji Nakatsuji compared the so-called Abenomics with the strategy for the revitalization of Japan approved by the Japanese cabinet during the Noda administration.

Activity Contents

1. Research results of previous research project published with the title “Why Regionalism?” (Scheduled for printing at the end of April.)
2. Several research meetings conducted with U.S.A.-based research partner Prof. Susan Pharr of Harvard University during her visit to Japan.
3. On March 1, 2013, workshop titled “Evaluating Japanese Growth and Rebirth Strategy?; Is Abe Inheriting DPJ's Policy?” as an event of USJI Week. At the workshop, Nakatsuji gave a report with Prof. Susan as the master of ceremonies and welcoming Mr. Yokoyama, counselor of the Embassy of Japan in the United States, as a panelist.

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