WATANABE, Hiroaki Richard

Programs and Languages

  • japanese|english|
  • japanese|english|


International Relations, Comparative Political Economy (East Asia/Asia-Pacific, Europe, USA)

Research Topic

I conduct research on the politics of labor market reform and precarious work in Japan from a comparative perspective. I particularly analyze how and why the governments have implemented labor market reforms and what socio-economic impacts they have had. I also conduct research on the politics of regional economic integration in the Asia Pacific, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). I examine not only economic but also political incentives for the governments to pursue free trade agreements.

You may be concerned about the increase in precarious work when you consider working for a company after graduating from a university. It is very useful to understand why precarious work exists and how we should cope with it from a political and economic perspective and through international comparison. Also, you can grasp the essence of international political economy by examining why countries pursue free trade agreements by applying international relations theory and understanding which political and economic actors are involved and what incentives they have.

Message for Applicants

I welcome graduate students who are interested in comparative political economy, with focus on Japanese politics and economy, and Japan’s international relations in East Asia and the Asia Pacific. I would like to emphasize the importance of “theory” and its application to practice and critical thinking aimed at adding a new theoretical and empirical perspective when you conduct research.

Advised Master’s Thesis (Last 5 years)

  •  Observing Weak Political Activism in Japan Using a Psychological Analysis Framework