Message from the Dean

Dean, Graduate School of Economics
WATANABE, Tsutomu
Dean, Graduate School of Economics

April this year marked the 100th anniversary of the Faculty of Economics, the University of Tokyo. Over the past century, Japan has experienced major dislocations such as war and natural disasters, causing substantial economic upheaval. Even the past three decades of the Heisei period alone have seen substantial changes in the domestic and global environment, with Japan's economy suffering prolonged stagnation amid the collapse of the bubble economy, changes in the demographic structure, and rapid technological change such as the rise of information technology and artificial intelligence. Although there have been some bright spots over the past few years - such as the improvement in the employment situation - structural challenges such as the state of public finances, the social security system, and deflation have not been resolved and will carry over into the post-Heisei era.

In order to survive in such turbulent times, being able to accurately comprehend changes in society and the economy and to forecast the future is indispensable. This applies to everyone, including consumers, business managers, and policy makers. The role of economics and business studies is to provide the tools to detect and interpret the signs of change in society and the economy. However, at the present time, the tools unfortunately are not perfect. There are many deficiencies as illustrated by the fact that economists failed to predict the outbreak of the 2008 global financial crisis. Therefore, in order to achieve a society and economy where people can live safely and securely, it is necessary to accelerate the accumulation of theoretical and empirical research.

At the Faculty of Economics, the University of Tokyo, scholars from a wide range of economics-, management-, and finance-related fields conduct cutting-edge research on the economic mechanisms that constitute modern society, the activities of firms that provide many with a living, and the role of finance, while taking advantage of traditions cultivated over many years. Moreover, given that the economy and society develop over the course of history, we are also working on historical research, which provides the foundation for looking into the future.

As a result of such activities, the Faculty of Economics has been at the forefront of research and teaching on the Japanese economy and business and has produced a large number of graduates that are active in academia, industry, and government. We will strive to further our research and teaching activities while maintaining the strong traditions established so far.

April 1, 2019
Dean,Graduate School of Economics
WATANABE, Tsutomu
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