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.

(Eunjung Lim)



Graduation Ceremony was held

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! 




New JDP English website is now live and provides details about the program

In April 2018, the College of International Relations will start a Joint Degree Program with School of International Service, American University.


The new English website is now live and provides details about the program - including its 4 year study plan, as well as the latest scholarship information. Please check it out!



Career guidance events for international students were held in English

Many international students from various countries like the U.S.A, Canada, U.K, Korea, India, China, Indonesia are learning in the College and Graduate School of International Relations. The Career Center and University Consortium Kyoto held a career guidance session for students who are seeking job in Japan after their graduation.

The Career Center held the program “Working in Japan” by inviting young alumni of the Global Studies major, who are working in Japanese companies now. They encouraged current students to expand their opportunities after introducing their job hunting process and efforts they made such as undertaking Japanese language training, CV writing practice and information gathering.

In the Kyotomorrow Academy guidance, students had an introduction of activities of the program like Japanese training, cultural experiences and internships in Japanese company. Current Academy members explained their experiences too.

By hosting such guidance sessions, the College of IR will support international students who seek job opportunities in Japan.



【Event Report】International exchange program with diplomats

On Saturday, December 9th 2017, RIRIE (College of IR Students’ group of international exchange) and the College of IR held an international exchange program with 32 diplomats and government employees from various countries and regions who are studying Japanese and Japanese cultures, and 13 IR students at the Japan Foundation Kansai International Center in OSAKA.

All Ritsumeikan participants were keen to learn new things and appeared to have a really meaningful time. After the main event, some of us had dinner together at the canteen. During that time, we shared cultures and future plans. We also had the opportunity to talk with many people.


It was really valuable for all the participants to talk with diplomats and government employees. Through such events, we can forge good relationships beyond borders. This connection motivates students on our international activities.

RIRIE is going to plan this kind of international exchange programs henceforth. The next event will be one with high school students from South Korea in February, 2018. We look forward to getting many applicants.

(Adapted from RIRIE’s report.) 



IR Office Closing (2017 Dec 27- 2018 Jan-4 )

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.

Happy Holidays.



Exploring the future: Student discussion with Israel-Palestine young professional leaders.

Israeli and Palestinian young professional leaders from government, media, NGOs, and business visited Ritsumeikan University. As part of the “Joint Youth Invitation Program from Israel and Palestine” conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, they visited Hiroshima, Tokyo and Kyoto.

Prof. Mitoji YABUNAKA (Former Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs) led a lively discussion on the issues of the area, such as peace building and future development, among these leaders, Ritsumeikan graduate and undergraduate students from the College and Graduate School of International Relations, exchange students from Indonesia, the UK, Poland and Norway and high school students.

Graduate School and College of International Relations

The Graduate School and College of International Relations hold courses on diplomacy, international peace building and cooperation. Students have many interests in this field and area, and recently developed an independent study group on Israel and Palestine.



2018Ritsumeikan University Undergraduate Readmission Examination Guidelines

2018Ritsumeikan University Undergraduate Readmission Examination Guidelines (Spring/Fall) is now available.
Click the link below to download them.

- Readmission Examination Guidelines

- Request for Readmission



Caution: Early graduation system for students entering AY2018

Caution: For students entering from AY 2018, along with the graduation thesis becoming mandatory, the College of International Relations will no longer offer the Early Graduation System.



IR Office will be closed for Summer break

-IR Office will be closed for Summer break -

Our office will be closed from August 11
to August 21, 2017 for Summer holidays.

We will be back in the office on Tuesday, August 22,
2017 and will respond to your message as soon as possible
on our return.

We are sorry for the inconvenience we may cause.

*Summer Recess; Office Hours start from 1pm to 5pm 
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College of International Relations Ritsumeikan University

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Graduate School of International Relations Ritsumeikan University