-IR Office will be closed for Summer break -
Our office will be closed from August 11
to August 19, 2018 for Summer holidays.
We are sorry for the inconvenience we may cause.
*Summer Recess; From August 2nd to Sep 25th, Office Hours start from 1pm to 5pm.
Office will be closed in August 29th for staff training.
Thank you for your understandings.
College of International Relations Ritsumeikan University
Graduate School of International Relations Ritsumeikan University
Whither the Japanese “Circles of Compensation” in the era of globalization? Kent Calder, one of the most influential Japan specialists, talked for College of IR
On June 7, College of International Relations and the International Studies Association at Ritsumeikan University invited Dr. Kent E. Calder as the first guest speaker for its 30th anniversary special lecture series. Dean Akihiko Kimijima of College of IR introduced Dr. Calder as one of the most important Japan and Asia specialists, and emphasized his unique career as a researcher, as an educator at prominent schools, and as a practitioner. Dr. Calder has served as Special Advisor to the US Ambassador to Japan (1997-2001) and Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (1989-1993 and 1996). He is currently Professor and Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C., and will assume the Vice Dean at SAIS on July 1, 2018.
Many students from College and Graduate School of International Relations, include its Global Studies Major and American University Ritsumeikan University Joint Degree Program joined the lecture to learn from the well-known Japan specialist.
Dr. Calder’s talk was mainly about his latest book, Circles of Compensation: Economic Growth and the Globalization of Japan, published by Stanford University Press. This book can be understood as an updated and combined version of his earlier masterpieces, Crisis and Compensation: Public Policy and Political Stability in Japan, 1949-1986 and Strategic Capitalism: Private Business and Public Purpose in Japanese Industrial Finance, published in 1988 and in 1993 respectively by Princeton University Press.
What Dr. Calder tries to explain through the concept of “Circles-of-Compensation (CoC)” is how CoC in the Japanese society have internalized the benefits they can produce and how costs have been externalized to players who remain outside CoC. For instance, Kansai International Airport’s landing fee is much higher than other major international airports in the region such as Incheon International Airport. However, in the context of CoC, high price has not been regarded as a negative thing. Instead, higher price has been transferred to benefits that CoC can share together whereas external players should pay the higher cost. The question he wants to raise is whether CoC can be sustainable and continuously successful in the era of globalization when the rest of the world is competing by lowering price and rapidly changing.
Dr. Sumiyo Nishizaki, who is currently Assistant Professor of College of IR at Ritsumeikan University and served as the commentator of Dr. Calder’s talk, emphasized that CoC mechanism used to function very well as the stabilizer of the society in the era of Cold War when the Japanese economy was dramatically changing and when ideological conflict was serious enough to cause a domestic political crisis.
Dr. Calder does not disagree with Dr. Nishizaki’s view; he also admits historical contribution of CoC. Nonetheless, he continues that CoC are unlikely to work as effectively as before because CoC can keep making it difficult to reform the Japanese society and to adopt innovative changes the rest of the world would make. Abenomics’ third arrow, structural reform, remains as the most challenging task because of CoC, according to Dr. Calder.
His prescription, however, is neither collapse nor dismantling of CoC because it can be counter-productive. Rather, he suggests the following two: first, CoC can broaden the scope and be more inclusive to other domestic players; and second, CoC can also broaden the scope with cross-bordering players, internationally. His concluding remark was inspirational to Ritsumeikan Community who have been pursuing cosmopolitanism and innovation.
On March 20nd, the Ritsumeikan University Undergraduate and Graduate School Graduation Ceremony was held. There, 281 students from the College of International Relations and 15 students from the Graduate School of International Relations were awarded Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.
Many family members and friends of graduates, faculty and staff members were there to celebrate. Graduates will soon start their new careers here in Japan and around the world.
Graduates, congratulations and good luck on your future!
We'd like to inform you about the application guideline for "Post-master's Research Student & Doctoral Research Student".
Application Period: (Mon.) Mar 5, 2018 – (Mon.) Mar 12, 2018
"Post-master's Research Student & Doctoral Research Student" System is a system for graduates of our graduate schools to continue doing research at our facilities.
Post-master's Research Student and Doctoral research student cannot receive research instruction from faculty.
If you would like to apply, please submit application documents to IR office.
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
IR Office will be closed from 2017 Dec 27 to 2018 Jan-4.
Office support will be re-started after Jan 5th 2018.
Thank you so much for your understanding.
Dr. Miller is a Senior Visiting Fellow with the Japan Institute of International Affairs. Dr. Hardy-Chartrand is a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Canada. Both scholars are experts in the field of international affairs in the Asia Pacific. During this international workshop they have, in a spirit of team-work, superbly demonstrated the complex nature of politics and diplomacy in this region.
What was apparent at the very beginning of this lecture was the key role played by Washington. Nonetheless, the audience was cautioned not to neglect or downplay other regional actors and the interaction between their foreign policies – particularly that of Beijing, but also of middle-powers. The latter, so it was underlined, possess high potential with regards to the escalation and mediation of regional tension.
A major segment of the talk was dedicated to the North Korean nuclear and missile crisis. Given Washington’s current DPRK-policy’s focus of strategic pressure coupled with conditional willingness to negotiate, Dr. Miller and Dr. Hardy-Chartrand consider Trump’s North Korea policy not to be fundamentally different from that of the Obama-administration. Considering the North’s recent advances in its development of its ICBM-capability, pressure to accommodate the alliances between the USA, South Korea and Japan, on the one hand, and the role of China, on the other hand, is said to be rising. It remains to be seen to what extent a multilaterally coordinated response can be conjured, given Beijing’s recent support of UNSC Resolutions vis-à-vis North Korea while, overall, refusing to pressure Pyongyang to its fullest. As such, possible future developments in US-ROK and US-Japan relations with regards to the North Korean nuclear and missile crisis have been discussed.
During this workshop, Dr. Miller and Dr. Hardy-Chartrand outlined the overall complexity and multitude of problems in the region. Particular emphasis was put on the frequently neglected interconnectedness between the DPRK crisis, the territorial disputes in the East- and South China Seas, as well as Trump’s economic and military Asia Pacific, or rather, Indo-Pacific policies. Thereby, the fragility of relations and the danger of disputes of one matter transgressing into another were elucidated.
Lastly, attention was given to the role of Canada with regards to international problems in the Asia Pacific. Given its relatively untainted history, Canada was described by the two guest speakers to possess considerable soft power which might enable it to play a key mediating role in the region. Nonetheless, its apparently omnipresent economic interests are in danger of being perceived as a threat by some regional states which might render its potential as an independent mediator increasingly difficult.
Overall, this international workshop was a great educational enrichment for the audience. Dr. Miller and Dr. Hardy-Chartrand managed to introduce, elaborate, and simplify the complex web of regional diplomatic disputes and relations – a particularly difficult endeavor, given the time constraints of one single period.
A Special Lecture on “Transition and Structure of Japanese ODA” by H.E. Ambassador Mr.Shigeru Nakamura
On November 15, 2017, the Graduate School of International Relations organized a special lecture om “Transition and Structure of Japanese ODA” by H.E. Ambassador Mr.Shigersu Nakamura.As a diplomat of the Japanese ministry of foreign affairs, Mr.Nakamura was assigned to formulate Japanese aid policy and coordinate reconstruction of Iraq. In addition, he has rich experiences to deliver lectures in some prominent universities in Japan. At the lecture, Mr.Nakamura explained a brief history Japanese ODA and transition of its targets from “compensation for World War 2” in 1950s, economic & social development in 60 to 80s and “Peace-building” and “human security” after 2000. Particularly the relation between aid and diplomacy was quite interesting and realistic topics for the students from abroad. In the Q & A session, questions on characteristics of yen loan, grant aid and technical assistance, the future of Japanese ODA in financial burden were raised and followed by active discussions.
On November 2nd, a public lecture by Ms. Megumi Kagawa was held at the Graduate School of International Relations. Ms. Kagawa, a lecturer at the Faculty of Science and Technology at Keio University, is an expert on peacebuilding with a research focus on the Southern Philippines. More specifically, her focus concerns the role of rebel groups in the peace- and statebuilding context. Throughout her career, Ms. Kagawa has consulted intergovernmental organizations and has acquired substantial research experience over several years in regions of ongoing conflict.
By embodying her unique academic experience in her guest lecture, Ms. Kagawa has highlighted the depressingly complex, while nonetheless very exciting nature of peacebuilding and field research in regions of conflict. Through her integration into local communities in Mindanao (the Philippines) over several years, Ms. Kagawa was able to receive a rare and deep insight and understanding about the social as well as psychological circumstances of the locals. Such insights include the socio-economic role of weapons and the industries established around them in regions of conflict; the traumata of the victims of civil war; and the difficulties of negotiating stable cease fires, let alone peace agreements while including all warring parties.
The above are only three of the myriad of factors Ms. Kagawa analyzed in the context of statebuilding and ongoing security sector reforms. Several lessons can be obtained from her lecture. First, that research ethics are not mere academic manners but also ensure the psychological wellbeing of those researched; second, that empathy and a deep understanding of the local rites, as well as blending in by adapting to respective contextualities is key for a sound and representative research; and third, that the situation on the ground in regions of conflict and post-conflict are considerably more complicated than the oftentimes simplified empirical sections in textbooks on peacebuilding and conflict resolution. Overall, Ms. Kagawa’s lecture was not only inspiring for the graduate students at Ritsumeikan University, but moreover an invaluable academic enrichment for all those who were present.