GBP (Global Business Program)

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Introduction to Japanese Economy

Hideaki HIRATA

Class code etc
Faculty/Graduate school GBP (Global Business Program)
Attached documents
Year 2022
Class code A5507
Previous Class code
Previous Class title
Term 春学期授業/Spring
Day/Period 水3/Wed.3
Class Type
Campus 市ヶ谷 / Ichigaya
Classroom name 各学部・研究科等の時間割等で確認
Grade 1~4
Credit(s) 2
Open Program
Open Program (Notes)
Global Open Program
Interdepartmental class taking system for Academic Achievers
Interdepartmental class taking system for Academic Achievers (Notes)
Class taught by instructors with practical experience
Urban Design CP
Diversity CP
Learning for the Future CP
Carbon Neutral CP
Chiyoda Campus Consortium
Category 専門教育科目/Business Administration Courses
専門基礎科目/Introductory Courses of Business Administration

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Outline and objectives

This course provides an introduction to (1) the Japan's macroeconomic characteristics, (2) the Japan's current economic issues, and (3) the basic economic principles and methods.

After learning a brief history of the Japanese economy and the basic analytical tools of economics, we focus on Japan's labor markets, financial markets, corporate finance and capital investments, international transactions, and economic policies from the 1980s onward. Comparison with the other economies is frequently done.

By the end of the semester, you are expected to be able to utilize the theoretical and empirical tools practiced in this class to generate practical policy recommendations for Japan's major economic problems.


This course is designed to provide students with opportunities to gain a basic understanding of the Japanese economy. The particular goals can be summarized as follows:
1. To learn the history of the Japanese economy after WWII
2. To learn the basic features of Japanese households, firms, and the government and to apply conventional economic theory to understand their behaviors
3. To strengthen analytical skills by discussing the strengths and limitations of Japan's corporate system, labor markets, economic policy, and so forth

Which item of the diploma policy will be obtained by taking this class?

This course is strongly related to the "DP1-3", "DP2-1", "DP2-2", "DP3" and "DP4" diploma policies and fairly related to the "DP1-1", "DP1-2", "DP1-4" and "DP5" policies.

Default language used in class

英語 / English

Method(s)(学期の途中で変更になる場合には、別途提示します。 /If the Method(s) is changed, we will announce the details of any changes. )

This course mainly comprises lectures, slideshows, in-class activities, and discussions. All class materials are distributed through the LMS. Note that the order of the lectures might be changed from the below suggested schedule but what we will cover would not change very much.

Regarding lecture style (in-person and/or online), I am flexible so that the suggested in-person and/or online style is just tentative and is subject to change.

I will give feedback on class assignments during the lecture and/or through Hoppii (i.e., LMS).

Active learning in class (Group discussion, Debate.etc.)

あり / Yes

Fieldwork in class

なし / No


授業形態/methods of teaching:対面/face to face



Syllabus guidelines; an overview of the Japanese economy's postwar macroeconomic performance.

2[対面/face to face]:Japanese economy and the World economy

The Japanese economy's postwar macroeconomic performance; basic economic statistics, such as GDP and its components.

3[対面/face to face]:Principles of Markets 1

Understanding what demand, supply and equilibrium are. Use various cases to theoretically see what happens in the market.

4[対面/face to face]:Principles of Markets 2

Understanding what would shift (=make changes in) demand and supply. Studying cases of what happened in the actual markets.

5[オンライン/online]:Labor 1

Characteristics of Japanese labor markets and firms; Understanding Japanese labor market.

6[オンライン/online]:Labor 2

Characteristics of Japanese labor markets and firms; Understanding the relationship between labor and firms.

7[対面/face to face]:Labor 3
Money and Finance 1

The relationship economic fluctuations and the labor markets.
The role of money circulating in the economy.

8[対面/face to face]:Money and Finance 2

The role of money & banking in the Japanese economy

9[対面/face to face]:Money and Finance 3

Fundraising of firms and investors in the financial markets.
Financial conditions of economic agents and their roles in the Japanese economy.

10[オンライン/online]:Bubble and the balance sheet problems
International Trade 1

Understanding the bubble economy in the late 80s and the scars of that.
Basic characteristics of exports and import between Japan and the rest of the world.

11[オンライン/online]:International Trade 2
International Finance

The determinants of Japan's exports and imports; the role of cross-border financial transactions with the rest of the world.

12[オンライン/online]:Firms 1

The characteristics of Japanese firms and their corporate governance.

13[オンライン/online]:Firms 2

Agency problem and its importance in Japan.

14[対面/face to face]:Review

Q & A sessions and extra issues to strengthen students' understandings of lectures 1-13.

Work to be done outside of class (preparation, etc.)

Students are expected to read the assigned materials and contribute to class discussions. Preparatory study and review time for this class are 2 hours each.


Greg Mankiw (2020) Principles of Economics, Cengage.
Ito and Hoshi (2020) The Japanese Economy, MIT Press.

You SHOULD NOT buy these textbooks before the first class meeting since a special instruction will be provided for the students of this class.


1. Papers and newspaper articles will be assigned throughout the semester.
2. Annual Report on the Japanese Economy and Public Finance.
3. David Flath (2014), The Japanese Economy (3rd Edition), Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780198702405.

Grading criteria

Final exam: 100%. (1) Solving and submitting non-mandatory problem sets and (2) class participation (including non-mandatory problem sets) will give you extra points.

Last year, the fail rate was less than 5%.

Changes following student comments

I tried to design this course to motivate students to be interested in learning economic ideas and to understand why those ideas are powerful.

Equipment student needs to prepare

You need a computer/tablet. Most of the materials would be distributed electrically by using PDF.


This course has no prerequisites. I strongly encourage students to take Principles of Macroeconomics, Principles of Microeconomics, Business Management in Japan, Japanese Innovation Management, Human Resource ManagementⅠ/Ⅱ, and Corporate Finance AFTER taking this course.

Please note that if the number of students attending the first class significantly exceeds expectations, in order for the instructor to effectively manage the class, the number of students who are allowed to register for the course may be limited.



Upon threat level change

Please note that the teaching approach may vary according to which threat level we are at: at level 1, this course will be held on campus, though at level 2, it will be held online.