Greetings from the RIETI Chairman


FUKAO KyojiChairman, RIETI

My name is Kyoji Fukao, and I have succeeded former Chairman Urata as chairman of the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

RIETI, Japan's first policy think tank established as an independent administrative agency in 2001 for the purpose of conducting effective and efficient research on economic and industrial policy, entered a new mid-term objective and mid-term plan period in April. What is required of us in the next five years is the ambitious goal of further advancing our world-class research, which has been recognized as top class in Asia, while undertaking our most important mission, which is making policy contributions.

In a 1997 publication by RIETI's predecessor, the Research Institute of International Trade and Industry (MITI/RI), former Director Ryutaro Komiya and new Director Masahiko Aoki respectively wrote that "MITI/RI's central mission is to academically analyze policy issues facing the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI)" and "as institutional reform has become a problem for Japan as a whole, MITI/RI is called upon to go back to the roots of this dynamism and academically clarify the issues of trade and industry policy.”

The world is currently undergoing an epochal transition due to the confrontation between China, Russia, and the West, the rise of the Global South, and the emergence and spread of new technologies such as AI, big data, and robotics. The Japanese economy is in a state of crisis in that it has been largely left behind by the technological frontier countries due to 30 years of stagnation, but as in the past, when the Meiji restoration opened up the country, and at the end of World War II, the existence of a large gap with the technological frontier countries is itself an opportunity for Japan, which is exiting from a long deflationary period.

In order to survive the turbulent world and to exit from economic stagnation, it is important for industry, government, and academia to work together, as they have done during the past two economic crises. In this new, unprecedented era, it is necessary for academia, which tends to look at issues from a medium- to long-term perspective, to help provide direction for policy changes. In this sense, RIETI is becoming increasingly important.

RIETI will actively strengthen its policy advisory functions through the EBPM Center, conduct analyses that open up "new opportunities for economic and industrial policy," and propose institutional reforms from a medium- to long-term perspective, with the ultimate goal of becoming the first policy and research institution that policy makers and industry turn to for both advice and to access research results.

April 1, 2024