Events and Activities
Due to the corona pandemic, work organization has been subject to dramatic change, and teleworking from home offices had to be suddenly implemented to keep businesses running. Mobile working, software-based collaboration, web-based meetings and new means of performance control were installed at a large scale. Have we suddenly reached the long-discussed digital future of work? Or is this only a temporary phase, and work life will return to what it was before the pandemic? Our speakers will outline the major changes in the organization of work caused by the pandemic in Japan and Germany. They will also discuss to what extent national regulations have been obstructing, shaping or supporting respective adjustments and assess to what extent the newly introduced workstyles can be expected to last. Details
Andrea Hammermann, German Economic Institute
Nobuko Nagase, Ochanomizu University
Michael Johannes Pils, Taylor Wessing
Chisako Takaya, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto
moderated by Franz Waldenberger, DIJ
The term digital transformation (DT) has become omnipresent in our personal, social, economic, political, cultural, and academic lives. What are the implications of DT for the social sciences and humanities? This new volume of our DIJ Miscellanea series approaches DT by exploring technological developments and methodology, research data and infrastructure, new research objects and perspectives as well as shifting boundaries of the social sciences and humanities. The publication is the outcome of the workshop “The Digital Transformation – Implications for the Social Sciences and the Humanities” at the DIJ in September 2019. Co-organized by the Nippon Institute for Research Advancement (NIRA) and the German Centre for Research and Innovation Tokyo (DWIH), it brought together scholars from Japan and abroad. The volume consists of ten chapters, including one each by DIJ social scientist Susanne Brucksch (“Insights into the Digital Transformation From the Fields of Medicine and Healthcare in Japan”) and the co-editors Harald Kümmerle (“Postscript: Comparative and historical perspectives on the digital transformation”) and Franz Waldenberger (“Knowledge production and the role of SSH in the digital age”). It is available for free download here
In this online session of the DIJ Business & Economics Study Group, our former PhD fellow Aya Adachi will present her research project which explores through a Comparative Political Economy perspective why Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) patterns differ in form and scope. The cases of China and Japan demonstrate the value of analyzing the role of the state and its interrelations with sub-national and market actors and spheres in PTA policy-making within two vastly different political systems. The main findings of this project show that the scope and depth of Japan’s PTAs are more consistent pronounced, while the scope of China’s PTAs are limited, with a main focus on liberalization of trade in goods. These differences have also regional and global economic governance implications: while China is promoting a supplementary and informal approach, Japan is supporting a more regulatory-based governance. Details
Aya Adachi, Ruhr University Bochum & University of Duisburg-Essen
Online Symposium (26-27 November 2020)
On November 29, 1890, the parliament of the Empire of Japan, the Imperial Diet, met for the first time marking the beginning of parliamentary government not only in Japan but also in Asia. While the recognition of Japan as a role model for successful ‘modernization’ of a non-Western society in the wake of the Russo-Japanese War has received much scholarly attention, the transnational appeal of this successful establishment of representative governance in Japan has not yet received much interest. Together with the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, the DIJ will take the occasion of this year’s 130th anniversary of the opening of the Imperial Japanese Diet as an opportunity to hold a symposium to discuss the global appeal of this first functioning constitutional government in Asia and beyond. For the programme and registration information see our event page.
DIJ researchers at VSJF Sections’ Meetings
Several DIJ researchers and alums will participate in this year’s sections’ meetings of the German Association for Social Science Research on Japan (VSJF). The sections’ meetings replace the annual conference which has been postponed to 2021 due to the Corona pandemic. Research fellow Nora Kottmann and DIJ alum Carola Hommerich are organizers of the Sociology Section (with Celia Spoden). The History Section is convened by VSJF president Anke Scherer and research fellow Torsten Weber. The Technology Section is convened by DIJ alum Cosima Wagner and research fellow Susanne Brucksch who will also give a paper (“Trend report: Digital health developments in Japan during the pandemic”) in that section. Former DIJ research fellow Harald Conrad organizes the Economy Section. The sections meet online on Saturday, 21 November, from 19.00-20.15 and 20.30-21.30 (JST). During the VSJF members’ meeting, the Contemporary Japan Best Paper Award 2020 will be presented by CJ’s Managing Editor Isaac Gagné. For the programme of all sections’ meetings see the VSJF website.
Sonja Ganseforth quoted in news reports on anti-Olympic protests
Comments by social scientist Sonja Ganseforth on recent anti-Olympic protests in Tokyo have appeared in international media. “Once the decision to hold the Olympics in Tokyo had been made, many (Japanese) also considered it anti-social or even unpatriotic to protest openly against the Games”, Sonja is quoted in the AP news article Critics speak out on Tokyo Olympic costs, pandemic, fairness published on 13 November. A version of the article also appeared in the Japan Times on 17 November. On 22 November, an interview with Sonja appeared in the German daily newspaper taz. In “Eine Absage ist möglich”, she explains the role of anti-Olympic activism in Japanese society. Sonja has been researching anti-Olympic movements in Japan as part of the DIJ special project on the Tokyo Olympics and its book publication Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics. Her chapter “The difference between zero and one” is available for free download, alongside all other chapters in this open access book.
Sonja Ganseforth’s research at Coastal Transitions conference
On November 6, human geographer Sonja Ganseforth presented her latest research on the implications of the Japanese Fishery Law reform for small-scale coastal fisheries at the “Coastal Transitions: Blue Economy” 2020 conference. Based on qualitative field research in rural Japan, Sonja’s paper “Blue Growth or Decline in Japanese Coastal Fisheries” analyzed how global discourses of sustainable growth and institutional reform in the Japanese fishing sector are driving the enclosure of one of the last vestiges of natural resource commons. The focus on private capital and presuppositions of economic and scientific rationality drives the commodification and enclosure of this contracting commons – a process supported by domestic political circles as well as through international agenda setting campaigns. Sonja’s presentation is part of her ongoing research project on Fishing communities between growth and demise in Japan. The online conference “Coastal Transitions: Blue Economy” was jointly organized by Liverpool John Moores University, Southern Connecticut State University and MIC University of Limerick.