Graduate School of Economics

Prof. Shinya Kawahara

Prof. Shinya Kawahara

Title Dean of the Graduate School of Economics

Message from the Dean of the Graduate School of Economics

Welcome to the homepage of the Graduate School of Economics, Rissho University.

Rissho University is a institution of proud traditions and one with a 150-year history. Rissho University is located in Shinagawa Ward, the heart of Tokyo, Japan. The Graduate School of Economics was established in 1988 and currently offers both Master’s and Doctoral programs. Since 2017, we have also added a new Regional Systems Research Course in addition to our existing Economic System Research Course and Environmental Systems Research Course.

Since its establishment, the Graduate School of Economics has accepted many international students, most of whom are from China. These students have received academic training and education together with Japanese graduate students. The first defining characteristic of our graduate school is that we offer an excellent academic environment, including a library with a wide selection of titles and the latest research facilities, where international students and Japanese students can engage in research and learn from each other. Rissho University has a track record of placing our graduate students in university posts not only in Japan, but overseas as well, including Beijing Jiaotong University (Beijing, China), East China Normal University (Shanghai, China), and the University of Cincinnati (Ohio, USA). 

The most important aspect of study and research at graduate school is the relationship with your academic supervisor. Receiving instruction from professors who understand your research proposal is the first step to advancing that research. At the Graduate School of Economics, we give the utmost respect to the individuality of each student and the fields in which they choose to study. When each and every student first enrolls, they are asked which faculty member they desire to work with, and we pair them with their best chosen mentor in order to realize their requirements. This tradition has been practiced in our department since its inception. It is the second defining characteristic of our graduate school. 

Our third defining characteristic, which is also associated with the first one, is that many of our graduate students focus their research on the Chinese economy, tackling economic issues in fields such as energy, agriculture, and the environment, and providing a wide range of perspectives. This is reflected in the research agendas chosen by our graduate students in recent years. For example, recent Master’s theses include research agendas such as “Wind and Solar Power Generation in China and Industry Movement and Related Issues”, “Agricultural Labor Trends and Farmland Liquidity in China’s Regional Cities” and “The Current Situation Regarding Household Waste Production and Disposal in China and Issues Raised.” Recent Doctoral theses include “The Role of Carbon Taxation in a Crude Oil Depleted Environment”, “The Beginnings of Protectionist Policy in Chinese Agriculture and the Role of Agricultural Industrialization” and “A Study of the Characteristics of Development Structure in China’s Inner Mongolian Steppe during China’s Period of High Economic Growth”.

The role of the "regional economy" has attracted a great deal of attention in the globalization of the economy. The Graduate School of Economics also established the "Regional Systems Research Course" in 2017. Our fourth defining characteristic is that we provide a diverse curriculum system. In addition to the theoretical courses such as macroeconomics and microeconomics, this innovative curriculum covers a variety of courses such as monetary economics, public economics and labor economics, as well as the economies of Japan, China, Europe, the US, emerging countries and others. Our faculty members have excellent research achievements in these fields. We also cover courses that provide students with the tools they need to carry out empirical analyses of various issues of the economy and society, such as mathematics for economics, data analysis, academic Japanese, and academic English. 

Our international learning environment, our instruction system respecting individuality, a wide range of research focused on the Chinese economy and a curriculum system that meets the requirements of changing times, these four characteristics enable both Japanese graduate students and international students to carry out productive research and complete a master or doctoral theses that meet the global academic standards. We also put great effort into teaching international students the Japanese skills they need to write theses and give presentations. International students who are not very proficient in Japanese can successfully complete their dissertation writing after enrollment.

Finally, the Graduate School aims to open up graduate school education to Japanese society and the world. That is why in addition to providing an entrance exam for those who are already employed, we also offer an “Extended-term Course System” that enables working students to continue working while earning a degree. For example, our Master’s program can be extended by up to four years, and the Doctoral program by up to six years. As a result, working students have been able to enroll in recent years. One student in particular took advantage of this system to carry out valuable regional and environmental research titled “A study into the Mitigation of Thermal Environmental Problems in Tokyo’s Ota Ward,” which is highly valued.