RIETI Report May 2004

RIETI Update

Greetings from RIETI

This year's release of Mamoru Oshii's Innocence and Shinji Aramaki's Appleseed, has made it an exceptional year for Japanese animation, and what with Dreamworks having already bought the U.S. distribution rights to Innocence, some of this stunning work is going to reach an international audience. Those who still hold prejudices believing that animation is just for kids will be astonished to find that Innocence is not so much an animation as a 99-minute debate about what distinguishes humans from machines and a discourse on our fears of technological progress. But why is Japan so strong at animation, and why does the Japanese animation industry often excel its live-action film industry in terms of quality and popularity? There could be many fascinating cultural reasons for this, but the answer most often given is simply a financial one - animation allows one to create worlds and visions that would otherwise be impossible or at least financially impossible to accomplish on film. This is not to say though that animation is the poor person's film. On the contrary, as Hollywood continues to pump ever-increasing amounts of money into superseding last year's disaster movie with a yet even more complicated, realistic and mindless portrayal of the end of the world, animation's humble dignity lends it even more credit. Without a doubt, Japanese "anime" is the intelligent, economically-informed cinemagoer's choice. (DC)


*Symposium Announcement*

RIETI Policy Symposium
"Resolving New Global and Regional Imbalances in an Era of Asian Integration"
June 17-18, 2004

The core theme of the symposium is the threateningly large global current account imbalances that involve on the one hand the U.S. external deficit, and Asian external surplus and increasing foreign reserves on the other. The U.S. current account deficit relative to GDP is now far above that at the time of the Plaza Accord (1985). The other facet of the global imbalances is the triangular trade pattern consisting of China importing sophisticated intermediate goods from Japan and the NIEs, and exporting the processed products mainly to U.S. and EU. The resulting, rapidly growing foreign reserves of Asian countries have increased their money supply and even influenced the U.S. interest rates.
Having discussed and analyzed the nature, the consequences, and the sustainability of the above global imbalances, the symposium will delve into the adjustment processes which consist of 1) foreign exchange adjustments; 2) monetary-cum-fiscal policies; and 3) structural reforms. What will be the impact of the adjustment policies on the triangular trade pattern and the process of East Asian Integration? What would an appropriate adjustment policy mixes for the U.S., Japan, and other Asian countries consist of? Could Japan and the rest of Asia come up with policy initiatives that would sustain economic growth and contribute to further economic integration in East Asia?

For a program of the event and to register your attendance, please visit the website: http://www.rieti.go.jp/en/events/04061701/info.html

*Symposium Report*

RIETI Policy Symposium
"Fiscal Reform of Japan: Redesigning the Frame of the State"
March 11-12, 2004

Revolving around the announcement of the findings of the RIETI "Fiscal Reform Project," the symposium examined the fiscal problems presently facing Japan from broad perspectives, incorporating those of political science, economics of information and incentives, economic history, and management.

A report of the event is now available online at the RIETI website: http://www.rieti.go.jp/en/events/04031101/report.html

For a comprehensive list of past and upcoming RIETI events, please visit the website: http://www.rieti.go.jp/en/events/index.html

Brown Bag Lunch Seminars

All BBLs run 12:15 - 13:45, unless otherwise stated.

6/9 Speaker: YOSHIDA Yasuhiko (Special Assistant to Director-General, Manufacturing Industries Bureau, METI)
Moderator: KAINOU Kazunari (RIETI Fellow)
Title: tba
(in Japanese)

6/11 Speaker: OGAWA Hideki (Director-General for Consumer Policy Department, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau, METI)
Moderator: TOYA Riina (RIETI Research Associate)
Title: tba
(in Japanese)

For a complete list of past and upcoming BBL Seminars, please visit the RIETI website: http://www.rieti.go.jp/en/events/bbl/index.html



"BSE and the Ban on U.S. Beef Imports"
by YAMASHITA Kazuhito

"Academics and Ideology"
by Ronald DORE

"The Age of Imagination"
by YOKOYAMA Yoshinori

"Why Japan Should Pursue an FTA with China - The Need to Prevent a Hollowing-out of Domestic Industry"
by C. H. KWAN

"What Constitutes Sports Industry Promotion Policy?"
by HIROSE Ichiro

"A Re-examination of Labor Movement and Economic Development in China" by MENG Jianjun

Discussion Papers
"The Restructuring of Japanese Research and Development: the Increasing Impact of Science on Japanese R&D"
by Lee BRANSTETTER and KWON Kyeog Ug

"Monetary Cycles"
by KOBAYASHI Keiichiro and INABA Masaru

"What Japanese Workers Want: Evidence from the Japanese Worker Representation and Participation Survey"
by CHUMA Hiroyuki, KATO Takao and OHASHI Isao

Fellows in the Press
"What Kind of Companies Live Beyond Their Life Span?"
by NIIHARA Hiroaki
Originally published in the special February issue of the Bungei Shunju under the title "21Seiki 'Ikiru Kigyo' to wa" ("What defines a firm that can survive in the 21st century?").

"The Economic Disputes of the Past Decade"
by KOBAYASHI Keiichiro
Originally published in eight installments in the Asahi Shimbun, April 8-19, 2004.

"Only Japan Left Behind by International Standards"
by YAMASHITA Kazuhito
Originally published in the Weekly Economist, March 23, 2004.

Speech at Chatham House, February 25, 2004
by Ronald DORE

Corporate Governance Japan
"Corporate Social Responsibility and Socially Responsible Investment, Japanese-style"
by Arif ZAMAN (Research Fellow, Henley Management College)

RIETI Fellow Gregory Jackson will speak at the Executive Luncheon Meeting (ELM) at the Hotel Okura on Thursday, June 17, from 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. on the topic of "Japanese Corporate Governance in Transition: Toward a New Paradigm?"

Interview Series: Economic Policy Options
Interview with SAITO Makoto, Professor, Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University by IIO Jun

Now featuring two new topics: "Financial System" and "Modularity & Management," while topics such as Asia, China, Fiscal & Financial Policies, Foreign Policy & Int'l Security have now been updated.

Fellow titles and links in the text are as of the date of publication.

For questions or comments regarding RIETI Report, please contact the editors.

RIETI Report is published monthly.

Event Information

For a complete list of past and upcoming event information.



BBL Seminars

Fellow titles and links in the text are as of the date of publication.

For questions or comments regarding RIETI Report, please contact .

RIETI Report is published monthly.