On Thursday, January 23rd, the 21st Century Japan Politics and Society Initiative (21JPSI*) hosted Dr. John Yasuda (Indiana University) in its “Japan Politics & Society” interdisciplinary public speaker series. Dr. Yasuda is an assistant professor in IU’s Hamilton Lugar School (EALC Department) with expertise in comparative politics, regulatory states, the political economy of development, and bureaucratic politics. His public talk was entitled “Revenge of the Developmental State: The Rise and Fall of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.”
Despite the rainy weather, a multitude of students, faculty, and members of the community gathered to hear Dr. Yasuda’s analysis of the rise of financialization in East Asian stock markets, and in particular, why financialization has not transformed Japan (the Tokyo Stock Exchange).
Financialization is the process by which financial markets, institutions, and financial elites become increasingly significant in an economy. However, Japan’s Tokyo Stock Exchange has proven resistant to this process to a remarkable degree. According to Dr. Yasuda, a number of factors all conspire to impede financialization in Japan, including a lack of trust in the market, a web of regulation, sociopolitical management, and an industrial policy-oriented market. One result of a developmentalist economic strategy is that Japanese are effectively discouraged from investing in the market.
Ending his remarks with a comparison of the Tokyo Stock Exchange to other Asian stock markets, Dr. Yasuda argued that this developmentalist mindset has implications for the future of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. In particular, it limits shareholder value and Japan’s potential to become an international financial center.
After concluding his 45-minute talk, Dr. Yasuda engaged the twenty-four faculty, students, and community members in attendance in a spirited discussion and Q&A session for roughly 30 minutes.
In carrying out his research, Dr. Yasuda conducted one hundred interviews over the course of his two-year fieldwork in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea. His field research in Japan was partially supported by a faculty travel grant from 21JPSI.
*The 21st Century Japan Politics and Society Initiative (21JPSI) was launched at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies in 2018. Under the leadership of Founding Director and HLS faculty member Adam Liff, 21JPSI aims to invigorate and expand research, teaching, and programming on contemporary Japanese politics, society, and international (esp. U.S.-Japan) relations, and to educate, raise awareness, and debate policy responses to the various political, social, and foreign policy challenges that Japan faces in this extremely dynamic era of 21st-century change. Supported by a generous $900,000 grant from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, in its first five years 21JPSI has enabled a new tenure-track faculty search; new courses on contemporary Japan; a speaker series on Japanese Politics and Society; biennial conferences on U.S.-Japan relations; graduate research fellowships, and faculty travel grants. For more information, please see https://jpsi.indiana.edu/ or write to firstname.lastname@example.org