Research Projects


Political Integration and Identity

Political Integration and Mechanism of Cooperation in Asia: Explaining "Peace" in Asia

Chikako Kawakatsu UEKI
Regional Architecture for Security Cooperation

This project explores possible architecture for regional security cooperation. East Asia is not free from conflict; the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan Straits are potential flash points; Sino-Japanese and Sino-U.S. rivalries may worsen in the future. Yet, there is no regional framework for security cooperation to ease tensions. This project analyzes the security strategies of each country in the region and also examines the feasibility and possible architecture of security cooperation in East Asia.

Satoshi AMAKO
Domestic/Diplomatic Affairs and Regional Order

Globalization and the increasingly close relationships among Asian countries resulting from globalization have changed those countries' class structures, class relations, lifestyles, behaviors, values and social consciousnesses. These changes bring the issue of political and diplomatic change to the fore and make themselves important themes for research. Given globalization and changing social systems, how should we approach political, economic and social frameworks to maintain and strengthen stability in the Asia-Pacific area?

The Asian Region in International Systems

While Asia as a region is dynamically developing through local efforts and energy, it cannot be isolated from developments in the rest of the world or from the global system. For instance, Asia's role in the 19th century and the implications of the international system of Imperialism differ from those in the 21st century (which can be defined as a global and transnational system, or simply, the "American Empire"). This project explores how the Asian region and its integration relate to the modern international system.

Public Diplomacy in Asia

Asia is becoming increasingly unified through a variety of integration and collaboration initiatives led by Asian governments in such areas as economics and transportation. Using this unification process as a venue, each Asian country is competing to exercise its soft power. This project will closely examine public diplomacy as a means for these countries to exercise their soft power, thereby addressing the issues, such as culture and national identity, that impact Asian unification.

Takashi TERADA
Political Economy in the Evolution of East Asian Regionalism

The shared experience of the East Asian financial crisis has been a major impetus behind the affected countries' institutionalizing economic cooperation in East Asia. This interest has been pursued through growing regionalization and regional integration. This project aims to analyze these policy changes from the three major IR theoretical perspectives--those of power, interests and norms/identity--to develop a broader understanding of regional economic cooperation.

Economic Integration and Sustainability

Theory building and experimental studies for mechanisms of regional integration

Economic Integration in East Asia and Non-traditional Trade Concerns

East Asia is characterized by strong links between trade and capital. This project examines the substantive effects, aside from tariff reductions, that non-traditional trade concerns are having in themes of promoting economic integration, or whether they are, in fact, functioning as impediments. Such analysis will allow us to determine whether such trade concerns should be included in proactive economic integration packages.

Shujiro URATASub- Leader (in charge of developing human resources)
Asian Economic Integration- Current Progress and Problems

This project measures progress made in economic integration thus far, with a focus on trade capital. It will also analyze the obstacles to integration that remain. Additionally, since several Free Trade Agreements (FTA) are in place, the project will observe any resulting trade creation effects, including diversions to non-participating countries. The project also includes a comparative examination of regional initiatives including the East Asia Free Trade Agreement (EAFTA), the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA) and the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP).

Tran Van Tho
East Asian Regional Integration and Less Developed Nations- Considering the Impact of China

The influence of Free Trade Agreements (FTA) on less developed ASEAN nations, particularly those with China, is not necessarily positive. This project will analyze these negative influences and seek to clarify the issues surrounding sustainable economic development, including the cooperative role of Japan and other surrounding ASEAN countries.

Mitsuhide SHIRAKI
East Asian Labor Markets

This project will first undertake a statistical analysis of data available on numbers of workers being dispatched overseas throughout East Asian countries including Korea, Taiwan and China. It will then investigate changing currents in regional human migration, taking into account the strong trend towards multi-lateral movement in place of more traditional bi-lateral migration. Our findings will be presented at the 3rd International Symposium (scheduled to be held in Korea University); our efforts to construct a network of HRM researchers throughout the East Asian region will also continue.

Kazuhiko YOKOTA
The Increase in Parts & Components Trade in East Asia and the Development of Interdependent Relationships

This project will survey and analyze the current situation of capital goods and parts/components trade, both of which are distinctly active elements in the East Asian economy. This research is designed to clarify the factors, such as fragmentation, out-sourcing, and vertical specialization, that cannot be covered by conventional international trade theory, and to develop demonstrative proof for the construction of a new theory. Additionally, the project will consider what hints are present for successful economic integration.

Shunji MATSUOKASub- Leader (in charge of developing research)
Environmental Governance in Asia

This research project will analyze the institutional process of regional environmental governance in Asia with special attention to the formation of global environmental governance. This research will focus on the relationship between environmental community and regional economic integration in Asian. Global climate change, transboundary air/marine pollution and nature conservation issues will be analyzed.

Ken-Ichi AKAO
Trade and Environmental Sustainability

This project contributes to sustainable development in the Asian region by considering the balance between free trade and the environment that has caused much debate. We will first establish the facts behind the debate through empirical research and then shed light on the relationship between free trade and the environment by applying the dynamic trade theory, a new and growing field in economics.

Social Integration and Network

Searching for the characteristics of social network in Asia and possibilities of regional integration

Historical Examination of Asian Regional Integration

Asian Regional Integration is not a new concept, but existed as one of the most important subjects in various areas such as economics, political thought, and international relations in pre-1945 Japan. This project reflectively analyzes Japan-led ideas such as "Asianism" or "East Asia Cooperative Community" and finds historical lessons for theorizing contemporary Asian Regional Integration.

Building a Framework for Educational Cooperation in Asia

As international students become increasingly mobile, educational institutions operate on a more global scale and new Asian donors become key players in international educational cooperation. It is now necessary to study educational policy and the potential for educational integration and cooperation throughout Asia. This project aims to facilitate and contribute to building a framework for Asian regional educational policy integration by analyzing international student mobility and educational aid programs.

Koichiro KUDO
Asian Network for Preparedness for Global Infectious Diseases

Given the growing global danger of infectious diseases such as SARS and the emerging influenza pandemic, it is critical to prepare a response to protect and minimize the loss of human lives and damage to society and the economy. The Asian Network was formed to encourage cooperation among Asian nations to overcome this crisis, especially important given that such diseases are emerging from Asian countries. This project aims to identify the necessary steps to educate experts and establish medical systems to solve these urgent problems.

Human Rights Governance in Asia

After World War II, the framework for international human rights has mainly evolved through the United Nations. Complementing this, there are already regional human rights regimes in Europe, the Americas and Africa. In Asia, there have been efforts to establish a human rights mechanism within ASEAN, but the process is not smooth. On the other hand, on specific issues such as human trafficking, five countries of the Greater Mekong Sub-region have already created the first agreement in the region. In this context, this project will examine the feasibility of human rights governance in Asia.

International Cooperation in Asia-Pacific Region

This project examines the historical process of institutionalization of intellectual networking in the inter-war period in the Asia-Pacific Region. Specifically, it investigates the Institute of Pacific Relations (IPR), an international non-governmental organization that is now regarded as the first attempt at Asian regional integration, and as the origin of Asia-Pacific studies. The IPR laid the foundation for the APEC through private organizations such as PBEC, PAFTAD, and PECC.

Tomoko AKO
Problems of Poverty in Agricultural Communities in Asia

Since agriculture is less likely to produce added value than other types of industry, it is disadvantaged as global capitalism accelerates. Depopulation and poverty continue when younger human resources drain from the economically and culturally less attractive agricultural communities.
This project analyzes this phenomenon in Asia, particularly the administrative intervention, market mechanism and community governance (social capital) that seek to protect food for human beings and vitalize agricultural communities.

Visiting Professor / Senior Fellow

Tsuneo AKAHA
Human Security Cooperation in East Asia

Human security issues in East Asia present a serious challenge to the regional governments and societies. They constrain the capacity of the governments to address other pressing problems, such as economic development, environmental pollution, and even national security. On the other hand, the human security problems also provide the regional governments with an opportunity for to forge international cooperation. In order to test this proposition, this project aims to study the current state of international migration, human trafficking, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic in East Asia, examine the level and form of multilateral cooperation regarding these issues, and suggest further steps that are required to solidify regional cooperation, as well as implications for regional integration.