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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

August 12, 2020

DIJ research at ‘Asia’s New Ruralities’ online conference

Our research fellows Sonja Ganseforth and Isaac Gagné will present their latest research on different aspects of rural Japan at the upcoming ‘Asia’s New Ruralities’ online conference (August 12-13) at the University of Vienna. Based on case studies of small family businesses, cooperatives, and revitalization programmes in different fishing villages in Kyushu, Sonja’s paper “New Marinalities of Japanese Fishing Villages” studies multiple influences on the shaping of new marine ruralities. Isaac’s paper “Local Economies of Care: The Impact of Demographic Changes on Social Welfare in Rural Japan” analyzes the emergence of a resilient and innovative local economy of care among local actors and is based on results of his fieldwork in a rural community in Nagano Prefecture. Full programme and registration details here.

July 24, 2020

Japan and the Tokyo Olympics: Author Interviews on DIJ YouTube channel

On July 24, 2020, more than one billion people worldwide were expected to watch the opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. What was supposed to be a glorious year for Japan, 2020 instead catapulted the world into a pandemic, sees the Olympic Games postponed and their future for Tokyo uncertain. Despite its postponement and potential cancellation, the build-up to the 2020 Olympic Games has already had a major impact on Tokyo, Japan, and the many stakeholders in government, business, and society involved. The publication Japan Through the Lens of the Tokyo Olympics (Routledge 2020) explains this multifaceted impact and is available open access (free download). To learn more about the book’s chapters you can watch interviews with our authors on the new DIJ YouTube channel. The playlist will be updated periodically. In the first episode, main editor and DIJ deputy director Barbara Holthus introduces the book and her own chapter on volunteering.

July 14, 2020

Franz Waldenberger in NHK World interview on recent stock market developments

Screenshot © NHK World

The value of tender offers, i.e. public takeover bids to purchase a major portion or all of a companies outstanding stock, have risen to a record in Japan this year. According to some experts the surge has been caused by the COVID-19 crisis because companies are now rushing to consolidate amid the business slowdown. On NHK World TV, DIJ director Franz Waldenberger explains what the increase in tender offers means for the Japanese economy and how the surge is related to the digital transformation. The interview was broadcast on NHK World’s Newsroom Tokyo programme on July 14, 2020 and can be viewed for one month on NHK World’s website.

July 15, 2020

Webinar on ‘Tokyo Olympics Postponed: How Japanese Society Responds’

Originally scheduled to begin on July 24, 2020, the Tokyo Olympics have been postponed to July 2021. This is a dilemma: The Olympics were supposed to present a brand-new Japan to the world, a leader in sustainability, diversity, inclusion, and a slew of other admirable goals. But almost overnight, Tokyo’s buzz of Olympic logos, countdown clocks and construction hustle have come to an eerie standstill: What now? Watch sociologist and DIJ deputy director Barbara Holthus, editor of Japan Through the Lens of the Tokyo Olympics and Ulrike Schaede, former member of the DIJ’s advisory board, in this UC San Diego Japan Forum Webinar to learn how the postponement has affected the various stakeholders in society: athletes with crushed aspirations, para-Olympians with broken dreams, disappointed volunteers, empty-handed ticket holders, devastated inn- and shopkeepers, jubilant anti-Olympic movement participants, among Tokyoites and in the periphery. The video of this event is available on You Tube (link).


DIJ research presentations at SASE Virtual Conference


DIJ research fellows Susanne Brucksch and Markus Heckel will participate in the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE). This year’s meeting will be held online from July 18-21.
Susanne will participate as a discussant in the Roundtable “Economy, Society, Polity: Global and National Health(care) Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic”. She will also present her paper “Innovation Activities through Medtech Partnerships in Japan?” which highlights current efforts to increase medtech partnerships, cluster policies and matching-hubs to cross disciplinary and organizational boundaries and to encourage innovation activities in the field of medical devices in Japan.
Markus will present two papers: “Deflation – Lessons from the Japanese Experience”, co-authored with DIJ director Franz Waldenberger, applies the quantity theory of money and international arbitrage conditions. It suggests that expansionary monetary policies are very limited in fighting deflation in Japan. Markus’ paper “Central Bank Communication under Unconventional Monetary Policy: The Bank of Japan during Times of Crisis” analyzes the monetary policy and central bank communication of the Bank of Japan during 2003-2019 with a focus on the global financial crises and the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Results show that the complexity of monetary policy can be reduced to forms of “general” monetary policy with quantitative easing and short-term liquidity emergency measures used in crisis times.

June 30, 2020

New issue of DIJ Newsletter published

The latest issue of our DIJ Newsletter features reflections on the impact of COVID-19 on Japan and Japanese Studies, summarizes our first web forum on the pandemic in Germany and Japan, and introduces a new DIJ research project on Digital Transformation as well as a book publication on the Olympic Games. We also congratulate one of our colleagues on the receipt of a prestigious award, give an update on recent publications, and announce recent personnel changes  in our “Staff News” section.
Visit our DIJ Newsletter webpage to download the most recent issue or to order your free print copy.

July 14, 2020

Future Visions of a (Digital) Public Sphere:
Findings from Japan

© M. Hohendanner & C. Ullstein

With the pandemic since early 2020, the use of online platforms has increased in most societies. Consequently, providers of digital platforms have gained substantial influence on how people inform themselves, for example about the novel coronavirus or political topics. However, many posts and publications include falsified or unproven data (better known as “fake news”), also in Japan. In the course of our research we raise the question how the status quo and the future of the aforementioned digital platforms can be explored collectively with regards to issues like fake news, democratic values or privacy. We argue that the resulting scenarios, which arise from the subjective experiences of their speculators and, hence, reveal individual hopes and fears, allow us to explore and discuss utopian and dystopian visions of technological futures and alternative realities. Details

Michel Hohendanner, Munich University of Applied Sciences
Chiara Ullstein, Technical University of Munich

Upcoming Events

Nothing from August 11, 2020 to January 11, 2021.

Temporary closure of the institute

Following recommendations by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare regarding measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, the DIJ has decided to close the institute (incl. library) temporarily and to cancel or postpone all public events until further notice. We ask for your kind understanding.

Call for Papers

Interdisciplinary Conference “Climate Change, Energy, and Sustainability in the Pacific Region. Knowledge, Policies, and Transfers (1970s – Present)”, DIJ Tokyo, 19-20 April 2021

Extended deadline for proposals: 21 August 2020.
Read full CfP → conference page.

Project: Tokyo Olympics

“Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics”

For more information see our
→ project page.

Cursed #Olympics every 40 years? Watch @stenweber in ep. 10 of our Author Interviews’ series ‘Japan through the lens of the #TokyoOlympics’ on Tokyo's 1940 phantom Olympics & Tokyo's Olympic history in ... today‘s public memory in Japan

Die #Atombombe als Abschreckungswaffe: "Dass sie gegen Japan eingesetzt wurde, lag daran, dass sie zu spät fertig wurde für Deutschland". Japan-Historiker &früherer DIJ-Mitarbeiter Gerhard Krebs in @radioWissen zu den letzten ... Kriegswochen in Japan #DIJAlum

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DIJ Monograph Series

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

Call for Submissions

Contemporary Japan
current issue Vol. 32, No. 1
Contemporary Japan is open year-round for rolling submissions, with accepted publications published immediately online. Please see the instructions for submission here.