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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

German Institute for Japanese Studies

Research focused on modern Japan, in global and regional perspectives. Located in one of the important economic and political hubs of East Asia, Tokyo.

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Events and Activities

Publications
March 28, 2024

DIJ Newsletter Spring 2024

In the spring issue of our DIJ Newsletter we introduce new publications, new team members, guests, and upcoming events. We also report on Alumni news as well as on a selection of our recent academic and outreach activities. We hope you will enjoy exploring this new edition of the DIJ Newsletter. If you haven’t done so yet, you can subscribe to receive our Newsletters directly to your inbox. The full issues and subscription form are available here.

Publications
February 29, 2024

New DIJ Monograph studies political participation and well-being in rural Japan

© Iudicium

What motivates people to get involved in politics in their free time? How can they derive pleasure from it? In this new book publication (in German), DIJ political scientist Sebastian Polak-Rottmann analyses how people in rural Japan try to change local society through a variety of activities, such as agricultural, political, and social work. Based on extensive fieldwork in Southern Japan’s city of Aso (Kumamoto prefecture), he concludes that mutual enjoyment is a core element of the well-being of politically active people in rural Japan. Giving pleasure to others through activities therefore leads to a positive experience for both sides involved. With this reciprocal understanding of well-being, this book builds on relational concepts of happiness and embeds them in a new model that focuses on the connections between spatial, social, every day, individual, procedural, and temporal contexts. Wie politische Partizipation Freude bereiten kann (How political participation can be enjoyable) is published by Iudicium as volume 67 in the DIJ Monograph series.

Publications
March 8, 2024

New journal article discusses Japan’s digital capitalism and its global relevance

A new journal article by DIJ researcher Harald Kümmerle and DIJ director Franz Waldenberger studies Japan’s consensus-driven approach to data regulation as an alternative to the market-driven US, the state-driven Chinese, and the rights-driven EU models. The authors argue that Japan’s approach is based on soft regulation and aims at striking a balance between privacy concerns and commercial and public interests in the usage of data. They also show that Japan’s COVID-19 countermeasures relied on data strategies fully compatible with its consensual regulatory model. By combining rights-driven and market-driven aspects, Japan can potentially mediate between the EU and the US regimes. Japan’s approach also offers an attractive alternative for countries that do not want to pick a side in the Sino-American competition. “Japan’s ‘consensual’ variety of digital capitalism and its global relevance” was published in Asia Pacific Business Review (online first).

Publications

Japan 2023: Articles by DIJ researchers and alumni on Japanese society, economics, history, and politics

© Iudicium

The latest issue of the Japan Jahrbuch, the yearbook published by the German Association for Social Science Research on Japan, includes four articles (in German) written by current and former DIJ researchers on Japanese society, economics, history, and politics. DIJ director Franz Waldenberger and Kostiantyn Ovsiannikov (Atsugi) provide a quantitative review of Japan’s municipalities in demographic transition, while DIJ economist Markus Heckel assesses the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy under Haruhiko Kuroda and Kazuo Ueda. DIJ historian Torsten Weber and Anke Scherer (Bochum) analyse recent developments in historical debates and historical consciousness in Japan. Former DIJ senior research fellow Christian G. Winkler (Fukuoka) examines domestic Japanese politics in 2022/2023. The volume is edited by DIJ advisory board member David Chiavacci and DIJ alumna Iris Wieczorek. For more details please see the table of content. The book is available as softcover and e-book from the publisher here.

Publications
December 15, 2023

DIJ Newsletter Winter 2023/24

In the winter issue of our DIJ Newsletter we introduce new team members, guests, and publications. We also report on two Alumni meetings as well as on a selection of our recent academic and outreach activities. We hope you will enjoy exploring this new edition of the DIJ Newsletter. If you haven’t done so yet, you can subscribe to receive our Newsletters directly to your inbox. The full issues and subscription form are available here.

Publications
December 12, 2023

Now Open Access: book publication ‘Research into Japanese Society’ co-edited by Sebastian Polak-Rottmann

© BZJ

How can researchers conduct fieldwork during a pandemic? And how can students contribute actively to the collaborative production of knowledge? The new open access publication Research into Japanese society: Reflections from three projects involving students as researchers during the COVID-19 pandemic (University of Vienna 2023), co-edited by Antonia Miserka and DIJ’s Sebastian Polak-Rottmann, collects three group projects from Sophia University, the University of Vienna and FU Berlin that involve students as researchers at different stages in their academic lives. In all three cases, students actively participated in gathering data for a group project and reflected on their experiences. The volume also demonstrates how research in a team can be conducted, albeit in an adjusted manner, during a pandemic. The fifteen contributions include a chapter co-authored by Sebastian and DIJ alumnus Hanno Jentzsch (“Rural spaces, remote methods—the virtual Aso Winter Field School 2022”) and a conversation between Sebastian and John W. Traphagan (University of Texas at Austin) on his book Cosmopolitan Rurality, Depopulation, and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in 21st-Century Japan.

Publications
December 7, 2023

Sebastian Polak-Rottmann untersucht gute Orte des Älterwerdens in Japan

© archithese

Die japanische Gesellschaft ist bekannt für ihre hohe Lebenserwartung und die steigende Zahl älterer Menschen. Aber was sind gute Orte des Älterwerdens? Für die Schweizer Architekturzeitschrift Archithese hat DIJ-Forscher Sebastian Polak-Rottmann (zusammen mit Victoria Schweyer und Jana Wunderlich) einen Blick auf Möglichkeiten für lebenswertes Wohnen im Alter und attraktive Arbeitsumgebungen im Pflegesektor im ländlichen Japan geworfen. Ihr Artikel “Gute Orte für das Alter: Bestandsrevitalisierung für eine kommunenbasierte Altenpflege” untersucht, wie die wachsende Alterung der Bevölkerung die architektonischen und sozialen Strukturen beeinflusst; welche Verantwortung Politik und Gesellschaft bei der Bewältigung dieser Herausforderungen tragen; an welchen Orten wir alt werden wollen. Der Beitrag stellt u.a. multifunktionale und integrative Care-Einrichtungen vor, in denen die Pflege älterer Menschen in das Gemeinschaftsleben der Nachbarschaft eingebettet ist und schwellenlose Begegnungen und Aktivitäten möglich sind. Er ist ein Ergebnis des Forschungsprojektes Handlungen der Resilienz ergänzen: Die Auswirkungen des demographischen Wandels auf kommunale Aktivitäten und zivilgesellschaftliches Engagement. Details zum Japan-Themenheft der Zeitschrift finden Sie hier

Publications
November 16, 2023

David M. Malitz analyses Japan’s diplomatic reaction to the war in the Middle East

Screenshot IPS

The online journal International Politics and Society (IPS) has published an article by DIJ researcher David M. Malitz analysing Japan’s diplomatic reaction to the war in the Middle East. In “Guardians of the international order”, David explains that some of the criticism Japan has received for its cautious response to the war is undeserved. As he writes, it would “be wrong to play up or misinterpret why Japan did not sign the ‘Joint Statement on Israel’ with Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and the United States on 9 October. Japan could not back the phrase ‘our countries will support Israel in its efforts to defend itself’ because its law prohibits exporting weapons.” Notwithstanding, high-ranking Japanese diplomats condemned the ‘terror attacks’ by Hamas and ‘expressed solidarity with the Israeli people’. “Japan has again demonstrated that it shares the same values and that its main concern is maintaining the rules-based international order”, David concludes. The article is also available in German here.

 

Upcoming Events

24/04/2024
  • DIJ History & Humanities Study Group
    18:30 ~ 20:00

    “Give Us Our Blue Skies Back!” The extraordinary anti-pollution movement of ordinary Japanese housewives (1950-1969)

25/04/2024
  • DIJ History & Humanities Study Group
    18:30 ~ 20:00

    Captured in Reflection – Japanese photography in Manchuria

15/05/2024
  • DIJ Study Group
    18:30 ~ 20:00

    Inhabiting the Interstice: the Regulation of Post-Bubble Housing Insecurity in Tokyo

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    Call for Submissions

    Contemporary Japan
    current issue Vol. 36, No.1
    Contemporary Japan is open year-round for rolling submissions, with accepted publications published immediately online. Please see the instructions for submission here.

    DIJ Monograph Series

    Our monograph series is Open Access Open Access after a one-year embargo period. Downloads are available on our
    → monographs pages
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    Access

    DIJ Tokyo
    Jochi Kioizaka Bldg. 2F
    7-1 Kioicho Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
    102-0094 Japan
    Where to find us

    +81 (0)3 3222-5077
    +81 (0)3 3222-5420
    dijtokyo@dijtokyo.org

     


     

    DIJ-ARI Asian Infrastructures Research Partnership