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Public Seminar: Economic Policy and the Welfare State in Japan and the UK
Talk: An Introduction to Sake
Japanese Studies Seminar in Alsace: Call for Participation!
Public Seminar: Japanese Archaeology in the Digital Age new
Book Launch: The Growing Power of Japan, 1967-1972 new

Public Seminar: Economic Policy and the Welfare State in Japan and the UK   org

In this public seminar political scientists Prof Nobuhiro Hiwatari and Prof Junko Kato from the University of Tokyo join us to discuss their latest research into social policy reforms during financial crises, and tax politics and the welfare state.

 

Abstracts

Are Neo-Liberal Reforms Undemocratic? Evidence from the OECD and cases from the UK and Japan  

Prof Nobuhiro Hiwatari, University of Tokyo

In this paper I provide a new way of addressing whether spending cuts and social policy reforms are undemocratic.  Although measures that weaken market protection and social safety nets are opposed by organized interests and are unpopular with the voters, what if they reflect the position of the democratically elected legislature and not just the incumbent government? To show this is a possibility, I hypothesize that, when faced with global recessions, party leaders competing for power must show that they have viable plans to revive the economy, and as such, they have strong incentives to persuade the median voter that such reforms are unavoidable in order to stabilize the economy and assure international investors.  Evidence from 20 OECD countries shows that the major left and right parties tend to move rightward during global recessions, but not so much leftward during economic recoveries with the rise of economic inequality. In addition, I show that spending cuts do represent the policy position of the legislative centre rather than the government centre. The validity of the argument is further demonstrated by examining the cases of Japan and the UK.

 

Taxation and the Welfare State: Japan in a Comparative Perspective   

Prof Junko Kato, University of Tokyo

Since the 1980s, the institutionalization of regressive taxes for effective revenue-raising during a period of high growth has helped industrial democracies resist welfare state backlash. Building on this observation, I argue that the funding capacity of a welfare state is path-dependent on a revenue shift from progressive to regressive taxation. Tax politics is a critical intervening factor. Japan has been regarded as a proto-typical example in which the government failed to introduce a strong revenue-raising machine during a period of high economic growth. Today, Japan has again accumulated a massive government debt that is greater than twice its GDP and recently managed to increase consumption tax rates (from 5 to 8 %) for the first time in seventeen years. Strong opposition to tax increases in Japan appears puzzling considering its relatively low tax level and extremely high debt compared with other industrial democracies. Yet, it is consistent with a comparative analysis of tax politics in mature welfare states. I will explain the current situation in Japanese tax politics in comparison with other industrial democracies, focusing especially on European countries. 


Date: 17 September 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

 

Image: ©Asher Isbrucker 

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Talk: An Introduction to Sake   org

Sake, or nihonshu, is one of Japan’s most famous exports and is an increasingly popular fixture on menus 
at bars and restaurants across the UK.  But with such a dizzying array of classifications and often confusing 
terminology it’s not easy for the uninitiated to know where to start.  

Sake, or nihonshu, is one of Japan’s most famous exports and is an increasingly popular fixture on menus at bars and restaurants across the UK.  But with such a dizzying array of classifications and often confusing terminology it’s not easy for the uninitiated to know where to start.  

In this special talk, sake specialist Oliver Hilton-Johnson (Tengu Sake) joins us to demystify this ancient drink covering everything from the history of sake, how sake is made and its main classifications, to different flavours and suitable food pairings.  Also joining us will be Rie Yoshitake who will discuss the recent fortunes of Japan’s sake industry, while also introducing the activities of the Sake Samurai Association, an organisation formed by young sake brewers in Japan that works to promote sake in overseas markets.

Following the talk, guests will have the opportunity to sample some of the varieties of sake discussed by our experts.  

Following the talk, guests will have the opportunity to sample some of the varieties of sake discussed by our experts.  


Date: 24 September 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking

**This event is now fully booked** 

If you would like to be added to the waiting list please e-mail your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk

 

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Japanese Studies Seminar in Alsace: Call for Participation!   org

Centre Européen d'Etudes Japonaises d'Alsace (CEEJA) and the Japan Foundation are now accepting applications for participation in Japanese Studies Seminar: Tokyo(東京) scheduled for 22 and 23 September, 2014 at CEEJA, in Kientzheim, France. The official language of the seminar will be JAPANESE.

This seminar aims to encourage networking among young researchers on Japan in Europe and further promote Japanese Studies in Europe.

Participants will join a two-day intensive workshop in the cozy and intimate atmosphere of CEEJA's facility in Kientzheim where they will present and discuss their current research projects with fellow participants and guest mentors from Japan and the USA.

The theme of this year’s seminar will be “Tokyo (東京).”  We are calling for applications from young researchers in Europe specializing in politics, history, sociology, literature, the arts, language, philosophy, economics, architecture, religion, etc. 

The deadline for applications is 30 June, 2014.

 

Please see the attached file 'Japanese Studies Seminar in Alsace' for further details including eligibility and application procedures. 


Date: 22 September 2014 - 23 September 2014
Venue:

Centre Européen d'Etudes Japonaises d'Alsace (CEEJA), Kientzheim, France

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Public Seminar: Japanese Archaeology in the Digital Age   JPsupported

Japan has one of the best archaeological resources in the world. And yet many of the treasures that archaeologists have uncovered throughout the archipelago over the past 150 years remain little known to the outside world. As well as being a valuable research resource, Japan’s archaeology and cultural heritage can contribute to education in many different ways. To help teachers and students, the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, supported by Hitachi Europe Ltd and Hitachi Solutions Ltd, has developed a new English-language Online Resource for Japanese Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (ORJACH).

The Japan Foundation is delighted to host the formal launch of ORJACH in a public seminar at our London office on 23 September.  Joining us to discuss ORJACH will be Don Henson (Honorary Director of the Centre for Audio Visual Study and Practice in Archaeology at UCL), Nakamura Oki (Research Fellow at the Pan-Pacific Civilisation Research Project at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto) and Ben Hui (Managing Director of Language Brand Communication). We are also pleased to welcome Prof Miyamoto Kazuo (Professor of Archaeology at Kyushu University) who will outline digital developments in Japanese archaeology, and Prof Julian Richards (Director of Archaeological Data Services, University of York) who joins as discussant. 

The seminar will be chaired by Dr Simon Kaner, Head of the Centre for Archaeology and Heritage at the Sainsbury Institute and Director of the Centre for Japanese Studies, University of East Anglia.


Date: 23 September 2014 from 6.30pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London

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Booking:

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please e-mail the Sainsbury Institute at d.clinciu@sainsbury-institute.org


   

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Book Launch: The Growing Power of Japan, 1967-1972   JPsupported

The Japan Foundation is delighted to host the launch of The Growing Power of Japan, 1967-1972: analysis and assessments from John Pilcher and the British Embassy, Tokyo, compiled and edited by Sir Hugh Cortazzi. The publishers, Renaissance Books in association with the Japan Society, would like to thank the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, Julia Bonas and others for their generous help towards the costs of publication.

In this volume Sir Hugh has compiled the defining reports from Sir John Pilcher’s time as ambassador to Japan from 1967 to ’72, a period in which Japan’s economy and power grew significantly and her relations with the United States became increasingly strained. Sir Hugh, who worked with Pilcher during these years and was himself Ambassador to Japan from 1980 to ’84, will open the launch with an overview of the changing character of Anglo-Japanese relations and of the first overseas visit by a Japanese Emperor. This will be followed by an open discussion led by Chairman of the Japan Society, Sir David Warren, and a drinks reception. We are delighted to announce that all attendees will receive copies of the book.

This collection of Pilcher’s reports to Whitehall provides a valuable record of Japan’s progress at this turning point in her post-war history, as well as insights into the hopes and expectations of the British Government in her dealings with Japan. Pilcher’s role during this period was that of bridge-builder between the two countries following the post-war decades of disenchantment and distrust.

Pilcher’s reports were not only unusually comprehensive but were characterised by his natural sympathy for the country and deep knowledge of its culture and religion. His writings on Japan have remained largely inaccessible, and unknown to most researchers, and The Growing Power of Japan offers readers a unique insight into the thoughts of this distinguished scholar-diplomat.


Date: 6 October 2014 from 6.45pm
Venue:

The Japan Foundation, London


Booking:

This event is organised by the Japan Society.  To reserve your place please contact the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email events@japansociety.org.uk or submit the online booking form.

 

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