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Analysis and insights from our experts

Through academic research and expert contributions in the media, Japan Program scholars offer meaningful perspectives on the pressing issues facing Japan. View our updates and media mentions below.

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Stanford’s Phillip Lipscy on China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

News / May 8, 2015

When China first proposed creating the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in 2013, it generated considerable anxiety in Washington and many other capitals. Many pundits and policymakers view the AIIB as a bid to undermine or replace the international architecture designed by the United States and its allies since the end of World War II. Although several U.S. allies, including Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom, have declared their intention to join the AIIB, others, including Japan, have expressed ambivalence.

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Abe at Stanford: Innovation will spur Japan's future

News / May 1, 2015

Japan must transform its economy in a way that mirrors the innovation ethos in places like Silicon Valley and Stanford University, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday during a speech on campus.

As an example of how to encourage such creativity, Abe hailed a new partnership starting this fall with Stanford that will train the next generation of biomedical experts. In doing so, he urged a "fundamental change" in how Japanese society views the process of innovation, from how ideas originate to competition in the marketplace.

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Faculty Spotlight: Takeo Hoshi

Q&As / March 26, 2015

In conversation with Shorenstein APARC, Takeo Hoshi, Stanford professor and director of the Japan Program, discusses his intial draw to studying the Japanese economy, and its intersections with finance and public policy. Hoshi highlights some of his recent research and the Japan Program's upcoming activities, including a new student course focused on innovation-based economic growth in Silicon Valley and Japan.

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Tokyo-based foreign correspondent receives Stanford award

Commentary / March 16, 2015

The Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center honored Wall Street Journal reporter Jacob Schlesinger with the Shorenstein Journalism Award last Monday. Schlesinger received the award, which includes a $10,000 cash prize, for his work on Japan that spans nearly three decades.

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At Stanford, innovation experts cultivate US-Japan ties

News / February 5, 2015

Innovation is a vital component of economic development, and the United States and Japan provide clear examples of how a knowledge-based economy can lead to sustainable growth. But Japan has sometimes encountered obstacles in bringing its wealth of ideas into the global market. A conference at Stanford seeks to help shift that reality.

“Japan is changing,” said panelist Gen Isayama, founder of the World Innovation Lab. “We’re seeing entrepreneurs…but we need a new role model – new stars emerging in Japan to excite younger people.”

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Sneider on Japan’s election results

Q&As / December 19, 2014

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dissolved Japan’s lower house of parliament in November, and held an early election on December 14. The vote kept the status quo – the ruling Liberal Democratic Party retained its majority in the Diet, winning two-thirds of the seats.

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Too early to judge Japan's economic strategy, Stanford economist says

Q&As / November 26, 2014

Though some signs point to Japan falling into recession, Stanford economist Takeo Hoshi disagrees and says it is premature to judge the effectiveness of Japan's new approach to its economy. Not enough time has passed for the reforms to produce results.

Despite a recent slowdown, time will tell if Japan has charted the right economic course after more than 15 years of deflation, says a Stanford economist.

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Former US ambassador to Japan shares lessons on politics, entrepreneurism

News / November 17, 2014

In March 2011, an earthquake and tsunami hit the eastern coast of Japan and caused one of the worst nuclear meltdowns ever seen. In the lead-up to that week, U.S. officials there were bracing themselves for a media firestorm following a controversial Wikileaks release, Japan’s new foreign minister was ushered into office, and an apology statement was delivered on behalf of the United States in Okinawa, explained the top U.S.

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Why North Korea released its American prisoners

Commentary / November 11, 2014

Recently, North Korea suddenly released the two remaining Americans it was holding – Kennth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller. The news made headlines internationally, and the drama of it was heightened because the United States’ top spy flew into Pyongyang and secured their release. Not surprisingly, the event raised many questions and is prompting a great deal speculation. Why did North Korea release the Americans? Why choose the U.S. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper to receive the handover?

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“Confronting Memories” reviewed by war studies journal

News / November 7, 2014

The Michigan War Studies Review (MiWSR), an online scholarly journal affiliated with the Michigan War Studies Group, reviewed Confronting Memories of World War II: European and Asian Legacies, a seminal book co-edited by Shorenstein Asi

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Call for applications: Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellowship in Contemporary Asia

News / October 2, 2014


The Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University is pleased to announce its search for two 2015–16 Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellows in Contemporary Asia. The award will be given to two junior scholars, who have completed their Ph.D. (with degree conferral and approval by August 31, 2015).

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Cloud computing is Japan’s way out of "Galapagos syndrome"

News / September 30, 2014

Japan is often cited for failing to capitalize on its innovative technologies and design aesthetics in global markets, but the advent of cloud computing provides new opportunities, says Kenji Kushida, the research associate for the Japan Program at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC), in a new coauthored op-ed.

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Shorenstein APARC changes program names

News / September 10, 2014

The Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) at Stanford University formally changed many of its program names in tandem with the website project led by our parent organization, the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

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Inclusion of women in Japan's labor market is vital, Hoshi says

Commentary / September 9, 2014


On Sept. 3, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reshuffled his cabinet, bringing more than double the number of female ministers on board, in line with his pledge to revive the economy based in part on increased participation of women in business and politics.

Traditionally, Japan has provided tax and pension incentives for women to stay at home or work part-time; however, Mr. Abe seeks to change this and has laid out a plan in the “third arrow” of his administration’s economic policy.

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Japanese governors convene in Silicon Valley

News / August 15, 2014

The Japan Studies Program co-hosted a delegation of government officials from six Japanese prefectures and business leaders from California in late July. The event was part of a two-day conference and initiative, led by the U.S.-Japan Council, to promote bilateral economic collaboration between the two countries.

A summary of the event can be found on the U.S.-Japan Council website.

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Stanford scholars examine Japan’s defense reform push

News / July 15, 2014
Shorenstein APARC's Ryo Sahashi, a visiting associate professor, and Daniel Sneider, associate director for research, offer insight on Japan's announcement to reinterpret their longstanding pacifist Constitution.
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Implementing Structural Reforms in Abenomics: How to Reduce the Cost of Doing Business in Japan

News / July 7, 2014
Stanford economist Takeo Hoshi’s new co-authored working paper, “Implementing Structural Reforms in Abenomics: How to Reduce the Cost of Doing Business in Japan,” is cited in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.
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Faculty Spotlight: Phillip Lipscy

News / June 27, 2014
Phillip Lipscy, the Thomas Rohlen Center Fellow at FSI and assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, talks about his time at Stanford as a student and teacher. In conversation with Shorenstein APARC, Lipscy highlights current projects and motivations to research in the fields of East Asian political economy and international relations.
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Fukushima: Japan’s political leadership helped save country from worst-case disaster, Stanford researcher says

News / June 25, 2014
Kenji Kushida, the Takahashi Research Associate in Japanese Studies at FSI’s Shorenstein APARC, argues Japan’s political leadership under Prime Minister Naoto Kan and the Democratic Party of Japan was beneficial, giving direction at a critical time, and when the government lacked capacity and systems of emergency planning.
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Aoki: Are the Tokyo Olympics a chance for change?

News / May 9, 2014
In a recent panel discussion, Shorenstein APARC’s Masahiko Aoki considered the challenges that Japan faces as it prepares for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and the prospects of the Games being used as an impetus for broader, national change.
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Senior fellow evaluates the first phase of Abenomics

News / April 22, 2014
Shorenstein APARC’s Takeo Hoshi assesses the initial ‘arrow’ of Japan’s economic strategy implemented by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a recent Marketplace article.
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Stanford economist discusses Japan's challenges

News / April 20, 2014
In an interview with Sentaku Online, Stanford economist Takeo Hoshi spoke on challenges for Japan's economic recovery.
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