SIPA & GraSPP students' discussion session at the House of Councilors Members' Office

On March 18th, 2014, nine students from the Graduate School of Public Policy (GraSPP), the University of Tokyo, and approximately thirty five students from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Columbia University met at the House of Councilors Members' Office. The event commenced with the discussion session with the former chief cabinet secretary of the 1st Abe Administration and now member of the Japanese parliament, Mr. Yasuhisa Shiozaki. Mr.Shiozaki made a presentation on Japan's current policies, which focused on the economic growth strategy of the current Abe administration. After the lecture, the participants had a Q&A session with Mr. Shiozaki, which covered a wide range of topics such as diplomacy, and improving women’s job opportunity, among others. After the session with Mr. Shiozaki, SIPA and GraSPP students formed small groups over lunch and had a discussion based on five topics: development, free trade and protectionism, immigration, territorial disputes, and humanitarian intervention. The event was very fruitful in a sense that students from the top public policy schools came together and exchanged their views over the policy issues.




Personally, this event helped me realize that it is very important to understand policy issues in Japan in detail. Likewise, it is equally necessary to have sufficient communication skills to be able to present one's ideas. Since SIPA students are strongly interested in the opinions of the GraSPP students, the questions that SIPA students asked me required substantial knowledge on the statistical data and current public opinions, accurate understanding of the historical background, and most importantly, my opinions regarding the issues.

On behalf of GraSPP, I would like to express our gratitude to Mr. Shiozaki for attending this event despite his busy schedule during the parliamentary session. My appreciation also extend to GraSPP and SIPA students who contributed to the vibrant discussions, as well as the event organizers from Japan Study Student Association at SIPA who gave us this great opportunity.

Shinji Yasui




安井 伸治

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