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Master of Public Policy from GRIPS GiST Program in September 2019


Graduated from the National Institute of Technology, Tokyo College (5-year collage eligible to join after graduating from high school; Bachelor of Engineering upon graduation) with a major in electrical and electronic engineering in 2007; joined the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in 2007: worked at METI Nuclear Accident Response Office; currently in charge of the administration work on tax system change, including venture support tax at METI Economic and Industrial Policy Office; GiST Master's program from April 2018-September 2019

RESEARCH at GiST: Master's degree thesis on:

An Examination of the Social Impact of Innovation: in case of the introduction of robots into distribution system

There are two factors to evaluate the innovation effects. One is the advancement of productivity and another is its social impact. I used these factors in examining the case of introducing robots to distribution systems, by referring to the previous studies on IT revolutions. When viewed by productivity, the innovation effects are seen in the advancement of labor quality, work efficiency, security of labor force, and corporate value. When viewed by the social impact, they are in more use of women and elderly people's workforce, change in the lifestyle caused by the creation of new services, and further innovation creation brought by the synergy effects through new technologies.


Q: What made you to take the GiST Master's Program?

A: I studied electric & electronic engineering at a technical college. In other words, I studied "Monozukuri (manufacturing)" specializing in technologies. This year marks the 12th year since I joined the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), which made me to wish to study something new like "knowledge of economy" that would be of help in my daily work. I explored a program that offers such a study and reached GiST program at GRIPS. I could obtain the METI scholarship to join GRIPS.

The GiST program included a class for "Innovation Management" that I am most interested in. I asked Prof. Jun Suzuki who teaches the class to be my mentor in writing my Master's thesis.

I work at METI to establish policies to promote innovations. Many countries, including Japan, are paying attention to disruptive innovations that may change the whole structure of the society and are establishing policies to cope with them. For example, the Japan Productivity Center has issued "New Strategy in Robotics" that is referred to in the "New Package of Economic Policy" as one of the keys to advance productivity as well as AI and Big Data.

The definition of innovation is not strict and differs depending on the people involved in it or the individual views. As to how the policies affect innovations, there are various opinions on the processes and the effects. Based on this understanding, I would like to exercise implementation of innovation policies in society, change the society and evaluate the policies, as I have learned these in GiST program.

Q: What is your impression of studying how to implement innovation policies?

A: Disruptive innovations need the "seeds" to trigger the innovations. Like other people, I think that the "seeds" are in ICT such as IoT and AI, and robotics. I do not mean to do something using robots or widely spread robotic technologies, but to plan where and how to use robots to cope with such issues as aging and labor shortage in Japan whose resources are very limited. I would like to have an overview of how new technologies cause innovations and how innovations impact society. We will know the mid- or long-term effects of the policies that Japanese government has already exercised. I would like to "visualize" the effects.

For example, various IT equipment has been introduced in various fields since 1990. However, it was argued that the effects on productivity were not reflected on the economic statistics. Productivity is an index to measure how the products have increased as a result of the investment of capital and labor force. Introduction of IT equipment means not only to purchase the equipment, but also often require employment of new staff and reorganization. This is the reason why the productivity does not immediately increase. In addition to this kind of study, it is essential to analyze the economic and social impact of innovations that are brought by new technologies, including robotics.

At the GiST program, I could learn the innovation evaluation methods and obtain broader view to cope with the policy changes. For instance, since large companies as well as medium-size and small companies are producing robots, it is essential to provide various policy supports, depending on the size of the company and business contents (producing parts, developing materials). It would also be important to take into consideration of the difference of whether they are producers or users. In addition, tax and judicial de-regulation may need to be considered. When establishing new policies, the multifaceted perspective will be of help, including historical background and comparison with other countries, all of which I gained at GiST program.

The highlight of the GiST program is the classes that are very much focusing on Science, Technology and Innovation. The faculty members have a diverse experience of studying overseas, and are rich in knowledge and background. All of these were very helpful to a government administrator like me.

The environment of GRIPS is excellent. It is located in Roppongi, Tokyo that makes good access to various metro lines; the relationship between the students and the faculty members and among the students are close; the students are from many countries, which enables the comparison as to how innovation is viewed in each country; and it is easy to discuss in free spaces. I liked all of these.

I would like to make maximum use of what I learned at GiST program to view economy and industry in a broad framework, not focusing on the profit ahead of me, and to pursue research interest.

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Opinions expressed or implied in this website are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.