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東京大学公共政策大学院 | GraSPP / Graduate School of Public Policy | The university of Tokyo

GraSPPers Voice GraSPPers Voice

Looking from Japan with hope for the future stability and prosperity of East Asia

Prof. Akio Takahara (from Japan) Professor

My research focuses on contemporary Chinese politics and diplomacy, including analyses of the Chinese Communist Party and Japan-China relations. Through my research, I aim to contribute to the peace and development of China and East Asia and to also provide suggestions for Japan’s foreign policy. It is of great significance to study Chinese politics in Japan, given the depth of economic and cultural ties, geographical proximity, and the sheer volume of information available. I hope that, at GraSPP, students will build abilities and networks that will support the future stability and prosperity of East Asia and the world.

My research focuses on contemporary Chinese politics and diplomacy, including analyses of the Chinese Communist Party and Japan-China relations. Through my research, I aim to contribute to the peace and development of China and East Asia and to provide suggestions for Japan’s foreign policy.

My interest in China was first sparked by the Chinese classics that had been rewritten for a Japanese audience, such as Sangokushi (The Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms) and the novels of Kobe-based ethnic-Chinese writer Chen Soon Shin, which I read as a child. When I studied overseas at graduate school in the early 1980s, I was considering working in the field of development as an international civil servant rather than becoming a researcher, and I chose China as the theme for both my master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation. As China was still in its early stages of development, my interest in China as a boy had naturally led me to want to work on its development-related issues. Upon returning to Japan after receiving my doctorate, I was introduced to a university teaching position and stepped into the path of research that I follow to this day.

 The study of contemporary Chinese politics can also be considered a study of the Chinese Communist Party, and while research is mainly based on publicly-available information from newspapers, magazines and other official media, information is also gathered through field research and interviews. However, it is important to bear in mind that there are some information sources that are not readily available and difficult to access in China itself, and that there are internal restrictions on the dissemination of information. In this respect, compared to other countries, Japan can be said to have a suitable environment for conducting research into Chinese politics, thanks to the depth of economic and cultural ties, geographical proximity, and the sheer volume of objective information that is received and transmitted. It is my hope that all students will cultivate the ability to analyze various phenomena in China objectively.

 GraSPP is a fascinating and invigorating place of learning in every aspect. Our students have rich and varied backgrounds, coming from a diverse range of faculties and professions, and from many different countries. In addition to an extensive double degree system with eminent schools overseas, more than half of the students enrolled in the program are overseas students and approximately half of all classes are taught in English. GraSPP affords students a rare opportunity to immerse themselves in an environment similar to the experience of overseas studies while staying in Japan.

 GraSPP is ideally suited to developing abilities and building networks that will support the future stability and prosperity of East Asia and the world. My hope is that, together with the students, we all make full use of this fantastic environment and strive for the highest standards.