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May 2019

Book Talk

Peak Japan

Tuesday, May 21
  • Brad Glosserman (Deputy Director and Visiting Professor, the Center for Rule-making Strategies, Tama University)

The post-Cold War era has been difficult for Japan. A country once heralded for evolving a superior form of capitalism and seemingly ready to surpass the United States as the world’s largest economy lost its way in the early 1990s. The bursting of the bubble in 1991 ushered in a period of political and economic uncertainty that has lasted for over two decades. There were hopes that the triple catastrophe of March 11, 2011—a massive earthquake, tsunami, and accident at…

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A Method to North Korea’s Madness in 2017: Kim Jong-un’s Rational Play of a Weak Hand

Thursday, May 23
  • David Shin (Associate Professor and Deputy Chair, National Intelligence University (NIU))

David Shin in his talk on “A Method to North Korea’s Madness in 2017: Kim Jong-un’s Rational Play of a Weak Hand,” challenges the view that the U.S. and North Korea were on the brink of war in 2017. He goes beyond the U.S.-North Korea dyad during the crisis by examining the roles of China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea as independent actors, not an element of U.S. strategy of maximum pressure or as bystanders. More importantly, Shin considers Kim’s strategy to…

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Japan’s New Immigration Policy

Tuesday, May 28
  • Naohiro Yashiro (Professor of Economics, Showa Women’s University)

Japan’s revised immigration law was enacted on April 1st this year. It is a radical reform by Japanese standards. It aims to attract around 350,000 foreign workers over the next five years to help Japan deal with its rapidly aging population. The Abe administration was criticized on the grounds that the legislation was vague and too hastily implemented. Also, there is a widespread misunderstanding that Japan finally opened the door to unskilled workers. Nevertheless, the revision of the immigration law…

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Book Talk

Beyond the Gender Gap in Japan

Thursday, May 30
  • Mito Akiyoshi (Professor of Sociology at Senshu University)

Beyond the Gender Gap in Japan (Gill Steel, ed. University of Michigan Press, 2019) asks, why do Japanese women enjoy a high sense of well-being in a context of inequality? This volume brings together researchers from across the social sciences to investigate this question. The authors analyze women’s values and the lived experiences at home, in the family, at work, in their leisure time, and in politics and policy-making. Their research shows that the state and firms have blurred “the public”…

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