Research Division


Contemporary Issues on Asia-Japan Economic Relations

This group focuses on Japan’s ties with Asia and policy issues accompanying changes in the economic environment such as globalization. The group conducts academic research on the mechanisms and economic impacts of these changes, while also collaborating with domestic and international researchers to conduct policy research that contributes to the mutual development of Asia. The main research topics of this group include: the international flow of people (immigration, international labor migration, tourism, etc.), international trade and FDI between Asia and Japan, and their relations of interdependence.

Group Leader HONMA Masayoshi
Member KO Yi-Chun
NGUYEN Phung Thu Hang

Research Projects for FY2023

Research on Japan’s food security and the role of Kyushu

Staff:HONMA Masayoshi

Distinguished Professor

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine destabilized the world’s food, fertilizer, and feed markets, and the price of agricultural products soared in Japan as well. Taking this opportunity, the government is reviewing the Basic Law on Food, Agriculture, and Rural Areas, and at the same time, is considering how food security should be.

The point of contention differs depending on the perspective from which food security is taken. In the case of short-term supply fluctuations or price changes, we must take measures against the risks associated with those factors. In addition, for long-term climate change and geopolitical risks, it is necessary to accumulate information and use model analysis. Furthermore, food security measures during emergencies, which are of the greatest concern to the public, need to be constructed from a completely different perspective. In times of emergency, it is impossible to have security measures that focus only on food; food must be secured within comprehensive security, including energy, and emergency legislation.

In this research, I examine food security from various angles, examine short-term, long-term, and emergency food security measures, and explore how Kyushu agriculture can contribute to Japan’s food security.

Heat-or-eat dilemma: Japan Household Consumption in Response to Climate Change

Staff:KO Yi-Chun

Assistant Professor

Global warming is a serious risk to our society, and extreme temperatures can increase the demand for residential electricity. While the increase in energy consumption can be seen as self-protective expenditure under climate risk, this in turn may lead to a decrease in other consumptions due to household budgets and would create another social problem under climate change. This study aims to evaluate the impacts of temperature considering the non-linear impacts of extremely high-temperature events and abnormally cold temperature events on residential electricity, gas, air-conditioner, heater, food, clothing, and various other non-energy household consumption using national-scale data and data from Kitakyushu. We also consider the heterogeneity effects of wealth and poverty.

The impact of information and communication technology (ICT) development on female employment in Vietnam

Staff:NGUYEN Phung Thu Hang

Assistant Professor

Women’s workforce involvement is essential for social cohesion and economic growth. More women in the workforce lead to more finance for necessities like food and clothing, which ultimately helps reduce poverty. Nonetheless, women face several obstacles to full-time employment and, thus, are more likely to work in informal or part-time capacities. Domestic responsibilities for women have not changed, despite women’s efforts to improve their social status.

Throughout the past several decades, more people have realized that ICT can stimulate economic and social progress by creating new sectors, jobs, and social networks. ICT has made the employment market more adaptive, open, transparent, innovative, and friendly to all backgrounds. Therefore, ICT might boost women’s labor force involvement and provide new jobs.

This research examines ICT growth across provinces in Vietnam to assess its influence on women’s labor market involvement. We analyze the link using panel data from the nationally representative Vietnam Household Living Standard Surveys and a fixed effects model. Given Vietnam’s lack of data, policymakers should understand the causes of ICT growth that enhance women’s labor market.