New Voices from Japan: Perspectives on Energy, Demographics, and Economic Reform


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East-West Center in Washington and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) invite you to

When: Sep 15 2015 - 1:00pm until Sep 15 2015 - 2:30pm
Where: 1819 L St NW, Sixth Floor Conference Room, Washington DC, 20036

New Voices from Japan: Perspectives on Energy, Demographics, and Economic Reform

An Asia Pacific Political Economy Seminar featuring:

Ms. Takako Wakiyama
Policy Researcher, Climate and Energy/Green Economy, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)

Dr. Tomoko Wakui
SResearcher, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology (TMIG)

Professor Taro Ohno
Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics, Management and Information Science, Onomichi City University

Professor Nobu Akiyama (discussant)
Graduate School of Law, Hitotsubashi University

New Voices from Japan: Perspectives on Energy, Demographics, and Economic Reform from East-West Center on Vimeo.

The panelists, along with discussant Professor Nobu Akiyama, discussed pressing issues facing Japan.

Open communication and the exchange of ideas is a key component of both US-Japan relationship and the Young Japanese Scholars/Experts Overseas Deployment Program. Three participants in this SPF/SSRC-sponsored initiative, designed to provide opportunities for international dialogue to a new generation, will present their research on contemporary Japanese policy.

In her presentation on Climate and Energy Crisis, Takako Wakiyama examined the potential in Japan for renewable energy use and its economic impact. The government’s current energy policy, she argued, is not the best option in terms of energy security and long-term economic benefits. In her view, Japan needs to increase investment in renewable energy, and that to increase such investment it will need to make a number of policy and regulatory changes.

In her presentation How should we balance formal and informal care? Japanese Approaches to long-term care, Dr. Tomoko Wakui looked at efforts in Japan to build a long-term care system in the context of a rapidly aging society and declining birthrate. She focused on the dilemma in balancing formal and informal care and the challenge of allocating responsibility for caregiving between public agencies, the community, and the families of elderly people. Her presentation discussed the introduction of Long Term Care Insurance system and its impacts on family and society.

In Fiscal Deficit and Fiscal Reforms in Japan, Professor Taro Ohno examined the origins and economic impact of Japan’s growing fiscal deficit. Drawing on a comparison with two earlier attempts to deal with the deficit, he argued that economic reforms are insufficient to achieve the government’s current plan to bring the primary balance to surplus by 2020. Additional policies, including reducing social security expenditures and raising the consumption tax, will be necessary.

 For more images, please visit the album for this event on the East-West Center's Flickr page. 

Takako Wakiyama is a researcher in the Climate and Energy Area, and Green Economy Area at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES). The organization closely works with the Japanese Ministry of the Environment and research institutions of other Asian countries. Her research focuses on the Japanese energy system, including renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Dr. Tomoko Wakui is a researcher at the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology (TMIG). Her current research is in the field of health science and social gerontology, focusing on informal caregiving and the development of support programs for family caregivers, while evaluating research on Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI) for older adults and their families. She received a B.Sc degree in Engineering at Waseda University and her Master and Ph.D degrees in Health Science at the University of Tokyo.

Taro Ohno is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Economics, Management and Information Science at Onomichi City University. He received a doctoral degree in economics from Hitotsubashi University in 2008, and worked at the Policy Research Institute of the Ministry of Finance from 2008 to 2011. His research field is public finance with a particular focus on Japan’s tax system and social security.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Sarah Wang
Phone: 202-327-9755