Interdisciplinary Japanese Studies On Site

DIJ Newsletter 67

Spring 2022

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Welcome to the Spring 2022 issue!
The first months of 2022 have unfortunately not brought the hoped-for turnaround in the global fight against the pandemic. In fact, during the past months Japan has experienced its highest wave of COVID cases since the start of the pandemic. And as if the worldwide suffering caused by the pandemic were not enough, the war in Ukraine has put the world in a state of shock. The Max Weber Foundation, which also maintains institutes in Moscow and Warsaw, has expressed its distress regarding the military aggression against Ukraine (link). In response to the war, our colleagues in Warsaw have launched a scholarship programme to support researchers from Ukraine (link).
In this situation, people are clutching at straws: what good news has there been in the past three months? One is certainly that the Japanese government has finally relaxed the entry regulations to Japan, so that scientific exchange between Japan and the rest of the world can slowly pick up speed again. Another is that, after a break of more than two years, we also hope to be able to welcome PhD students in our scholarship programme back at the DIJ and to hold our first hybrid event with guests on site in the second half of this year. You will find more information on our upcoming events and a selection of recent DIJ activities and publications in this spring issue of the DIJ Newsletter.
We hope you will enjoy exploring this edition of the DIJ Newsletter. If you haven't done so yet, you can subscribe to receive it directly to your inbox here. We also welcome your feedback and updates to your email address via email to newsletter@dijtokyo.org
We wish you a pleasant spring and more than anything else: peace for all!
Torsten Weber

New Publications Gerade erschienen 新刊

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Book covers © publishers

Financial Systems in the Digital Age
The increasing capacity of digital networks and computing power, together with the resulting connectivity and availability of big data, are impacting financial systems globally. This volume, co-edited by DIJ economists Franz Waldenberger and Markus Heckel, brings together scholars, policymakers, and regulators with professional backgrounds in finance to analyse the digital transformation of financial systems. The Japanese version デジタル時代の金融システム―欧州と日本からの視点 was published by the Kinzai Institute for Financial Affairs, the English version by Springer. The English eBook edition is freely available under an open access licence.

Cover © Taylor&Francis

CJ Special Issue on Employment and HR
The latest issue of Contemporary Japan is a special issue on “Japan’s Employment System and Human Resource Management". It is guest edited by Parissa Haghirian and includes four research articles on legal, social, economic, and business implications of non-regular forms of employment, as well as on the increasing diversity in the workforce. In addition, the book review section features reviews of new publications in the fields of international relations, history, anthropology, media studies, literature, and religious studies.
Recent articles and book chapters by DIJ researchers include:

Upcoming Events Kommende Veranstaltungen今後のイベント

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Poster © NUS

Exploring Health Infrastructure in Asia
The DIJ and the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore (NUS) are organisers of the workshop 'Health Infrastructure and Asia’s Epidemiological Transitions: Historical Perspectives'. It aims to explore East and Southeast Asian experiences in crafting health infrastructures during the long twentieth century. It also seeks to produce new ways of understanding the dynamics of health and disease under the processes of decolonization and development. The online workshop takes place on April 13 and 14, 2022 and is co-convened by DIJ's David M. Malitz.

Photo © Gobierno de Chile (Wikimedia)

DIJ-MFJ-NIRA Conference on Liberalism
Thomas Piketty, French economist and author of Capital in the Twenty-first Century, will be the keynote speaker at the conference 'The Future of Liberalism: Japan, France and Germany in global context'. It will take place online from June 7 to 9 and is jointly organised by the DIJ, the Institut français de recherche sur le Japon (MFJ), and the Nippon Institute of Research Advancement (NIRA). In addition to Piketty's keynote, the conference features 18 speakers, including DIJ director Franz Waldenberger and DIJ alumna Yufei Zhou, who will give presentations on "Governance in a Knowledge-driven Society" and "The Transition of the Dominant Economic Ideology in China in the 21st Century", respectively.

DIJ News Aus dem DIJ研究所ニュース

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Photo © Yufei Zhou

Goodbyes after three, six, and 30 Years
Social scientist Susanne Brucksch (2016-22) and historian Yufei Zhou (2019-22) have left the DIJ to take up new positions at Teikyo University. Yufei has just started her position as Lecturer (Japanese Intellectual History) in the Department of Global Japanese Studies, Faculty of Language Studies. Later this month, we will also say goodbye to our secretary Marga Dinkel. She will retire after 30 years at the DIJ. We wish our (former) colleagues all the best for their new endeavours.
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Poster © DIJ

Join the DIJ in Research or Administration
The DIJ is hiring researchers working either on Digital Transformation or on Japan in Transregional Perspective or in the newly planned focus area "Sustainability and Resilience". Application deadline is April 30. Details can be found here (in German).
We are also searching for a new Head of Administration (application deadline: April 21) and two additional colleagues in administration (application deadline: April 30). We look forward to receiving applications from qualified candidates for all positions.

Past Events Vergangene Veranstaltungen最近のイベント

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Poster © DEA

Recent Trends in Digital Currencies in Asia
Central banks around the world have started to design their own central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) as a reaction to the competitive dynamics by cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. In this webinar, jointly hosted by the DIJ and the Digital Euro Association, four experts from Japan and Europe discussed initiatives in Asia to promote digital money, stablecoins, and CBDCs – and their lessons for Europe. The event was co-moderated by DIJ economist Markus Heckel and can be viewed on YouTube.
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Slide © Yufei Zhou

Symposium 'Globalizing Social Sciences'
At the end of the 19th century, Germany was widely recognized as the premier place to study political economy, law, and social sciences as summarized under the umbrella term of Sozialwissenschaften. Their approach significantly influenced elites from the so-called catch-up countries, including Russia, Japan, and China. Organised in cooperation between the DIJ, the German Historical Institute Rome, and the China Branch Office Beijing, this symposium reexamined the legacies and pitfalls of the German Sozialwissenschaften in East Asia from historical and transnational perspectives.
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Slide © Slidesgo/Kristina Iwata-Weickgenannt

Lecture Series 'Environmental Humanities'
In this new DIJ lecture series, organised by Barbara Geilhorn, researchers from the humanities are invited to discuss pressing questions, recent trends and approaches in the field of environmental humanities. Topics include ecocriticism, climate change, and the relation between humans, nature, and other living beings. The lecture series kicked off in February with a presentation on Toxic Food and Slow Violence in Japan’s Post-3/11 Literature by DIJ alumna Kristina Iwata-Weickgenannt (Nagoya University) and Aidana Bolatbekkyzy (University of Oregon).

Library News ・ Aus der Bibliothek図書室ニュース

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Poster © DIJ

Joint Book Exhibition 'The City of Tokyo'
In 1868, the name of Edo was changed to “Tokyo Prefecture”. From which perspectives has Tokyo been viewed and researched abroad since then? In this special exhibition in March, the libraries of the International House of Japan, the Maison franco-japonaise, and the DIJ displayed books about the city, its past and present in English, French, and German. The book exhibition at the DIJ is open to the public until April 28. For more information, please contact our library. Details and a list of books and articles at the DIJ library are available for download here.

Alumni News Unsere Ehemaligen DIJ 同窓会

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Screenshot © DIJ

Second Virtual DIJ Alumni Shinnenkai
In January, nearly 40 former and current DIJ employees met for the second DIJ Alumni Shinnenkai – the traditional first social gathering of the new year. Moved to virtual space as in the previous year, the event had the advantage that alumni from all over the world could attend. Deputy director Barbara Holthus hosted the meeting and guided the alumni via video on a bicycle tour from the DIJ's previous location in Kudan-minami to the current institute. The unanimous opinion of those present: even after the pandemic, there should be virtual alumni meetings again.
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Podcast on China and Knowledge Transfer
In the seventh episode of the Knowledge Unbound project's podcast, our alumna Yufei Zhou (see above) and Christina Philips (China Branch Office Beijing) explain how they approach their research on the history of transnational knowledge transfer with a focus on China. In the podcast, Yufei reports about her recently completed project at the DIJ, "The Making of Modern Social Sciences in East Asia", which studied the history of the institutionalisation of social sciences in East Asia from a global history perspective.
If you are part of the growing group of DIJ alumni and have recently published a book or have any other news to share with us, please contact us via newsletter@dijtokyo.org

Aktueller Begriff Catchword流行語

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Chart © Barbara Holthus

Agency for Children: Kodomo Kateichō
Low fertility rates, child poverty, domestic violence and child abuse, bullying and rising suicide rates: the Covid-19 pandemic has further aggravated social and economic problems among Japan's young. To tackle all of this, the Government announced the launch of an Agency for Children and Families (Kodomo Kateichō) as of April 2023. The publication “Basic Policy for a New Promotion System for Child Policies” lays out in detail how three ministries are to work closely together for the sake or children and families. But the plan has already come under criticism.

Social Media Soziale Medienソーシャルメディア

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Poster © IUPERJ

Digital Currencies & Corporate Governance
We have recently added two new videos to the DIJ's YouTube channel. In February, DIJ director Franz Waldenberger discussed Japan's 'performance puzzle' in a webinar organised by the Instituto Universitário de Pesquisas do Rio de Janeiro. He outlined Japan’s recent corporate governance reforms and explained their limited influence on the performance of Japan’s economy.
Also new on YouTube: a video of the joint DIJ & DEA Web-Forum on Digital Currencies (see above) with DIJ's Markus Heckel.
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