The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research is a public policy think tank aiming to (1) conduct rigorous, high-quality research, (2) pursue its activities from an independent and not-for-profit viewpoint, and (3) change society for the better by offering a broad range of policy options. At the same time, we develop socially engaged leaders with outstanding academic credentials who are capable of transcending differences in an increasingly divisive world.
The Foundation was founded in 1997 with the support of the Nippon Foundation to fill a gap in Japan for an independent, world-class think tank. Known for most of the past two decades as the Tokyo Foundation, we evolved into one of the country’s largest and most prominent think tanks. We have had substantial impact on government policy, and many of our research fellows have gone to become eminent scholars and practitioners in the field of public policy.
To commemorate our twentieth anniversary, in fiscal 2017 we undertook a reorganization, renaming ourselves “The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research.” The new name demonstrates our resolve to enhance our presence in the global think tank community by conducting high-quality, data-driven research resting on sound theoretical foundations.
We seek to offer viable alternatives to the policies being implemented by the government, creating competition among policy options and giving voters greater choices on the course the nation takes. By also developing the next generation of leaders, the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research is laying the groundwork for a healthier, more effective democracy.
Policy research at the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research is defined by the following qualities, enabling us to offer viable alternatives to government policy.
Independent and Not-for-Profit Status
Research activities are funded with income earned from investing our endowment. This allows us to maintain our independence and to pursue research with no strings attached. Such financial independence is rarely seen in Japan or among major think tanks around the world.
Data-Driven and Theory-Based Research
We are not an advocacy organization. We offer optimum policy proposals based on data-driven research resting on sound theoretical foundations. Researchers can tap the resources of our in-house Policy Data Lab, which collects, organizes, and analyzes various data; implements large-scale surveys, and uses machine learning to conduct research and various experiments.
Independent Research Units
Research activities are being centered around research units, whose leaders are given broad discretion in the choice of research themes and use of research funds, encouraging free and innovative policy research. English is a second official language in the office to facilitate the participation of researchers from around the world.
Focus on Emerging Global Issues
Japan is at the forefront of many emerging global issues—an aging, dwindling population; the uncertain future of nuclear energy; the rise of China—which cannot be effectively addressed with existing measures or by mimicking the policies of other governments. The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research seeks to offer innovative policy options to meet these emerging challenges.
Impact on Policy
It is the mission of think tanks to convert the findings of policy research into concrete policy proposals. We will “translate” the conclusions of exacting research into language that the lay person can understand, operating as a “think-and-do tank” to encourage the adoption of our proposals by policymakers. In addition to building close networks with politicians, bureaucrats, journalists, and other policy experts, we will use the Internet and other channels to reach out directly to public opinion.
Rigorous System of Evaluation
Research fellows will be provided with an outstanding research environment, but they will also be subject to a rigorous system of evaluation. They will have access to funding with a high degree of freedom and support from members of the Policy Data Lab and administrative staff. As a rule, though, they will be hired on a tenure-track system, and their output will be closely scrutinized by a panel including external experts.
Economic Policy Studies
One of our missions is to identify and nurture leaders of the future, both in Japan and around the world. We undertake three programs to develop outstanding human resources capable of seeing issues from a broad perspective and creatively pursuing the right path.
The program provides fellowships to young, highly promising Japanese national who can be expected to make major contributions in the field of policy research. They will receive supervision from experts at the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research for up to five years to gain a grounding in public policy and be offered opportunities for collaborative research with experts from around the world and in conjunction with government policymakers. The program will be implemented for a period of 16 years.
https://www.tkfd.or.jp/about/fellowship (Japanese only)
The Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (Sylff) is a global fellowship program for graduate students in the humanities and social sciences at 69 universities in 44 countries aimed at nurturing leaders who will initiate action to transcend differences and address issues confronting contemporary society. In 2017, the Sylff Association was launched to strengthen ties among all stakeholders. The more than 16,000 students who have received fellowships to date continue to be eligible for additional support from the Association.
The Nippon Foundation Fund for Japanese Language Education Program (NF-JLEP) promotes Japanese-language education at 11 universities in six countries through the training of Japanese-language teachers and provision of fellowships to students pursuing Japanese-related studies. In 2017, the NF-JLEP Association was launched to strengthen ties among all stakeholders, enabling the 1,600-plus fellows to receive additional support aimed at deepening their understanding of Japan and promoting cross-border networking.
Established in 1997, the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research is an independent, not-for-profit think tank that examines critical issues confronting society from a neutral and impartial standpoint; undertakes rigorous, evidence-based research; and offers a range of policy options in pioneering paths to a brighter future. We also cultivate broadminded, socially engaged future leaders, both in Japan and overseas, and contribute to building a better society for all.
|Name||The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research|
|Established||July 1, 1997 (certified as a public interest incorporated foundation on April 1, 2010)|
|Total Net Worth||56,309,840,000 yen (as of March 31, 2018)|
|Fiscal 2018 Operating Budget||1,374,300,000 yen|
The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research was founded on July 1, 1997, as the “Global Foundation for Research and Scholarship” with donations from the Japanese Shipbuilding Industry Foundation (now the Nippon Foundation) and Japan’s boat-racing industry following authorization by the Minister of Transport (now the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport).
We became the “Tokyo Foundation” in May 1999 to give a clearer regional orientation to our policy research and leadership development activities and emerged as a public interest incorporated foundation on April 1, 2010, following authorization by the Cabinet Office in March 2010. Building on two decades as Japan’s preeminent think tank, we renamed ourselves “The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research” in February 2018 as our next step in our evolution into a world-class institute of policy research.
As of April 1, 2019. Listed in alphabetical order.
President Izumi Kadono
Executive Director Sota Kato
Executive Director Sanae Oda
Nonexecutive Director Toshihiko Fukui, President, Canon Institute for Global Studies
Nonexecutive Director Masahisa Ikeda, Executive Group Partner, Asia Regional Managing Partner, and Head of Tokyo Office, Shearman & Sterling LLP
Auditor Kaoru Kashima, Senior Partner, Certified Public Accountant, ERNST & Young ShinNihon LLC
Auditor Kimito Nakae, President, Rokinren Bank
Reiko Akiike, Senior Partner & Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group
Motoshige Itoh, Professor, Gakushuin University; Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo
Shin Kikuchi, Partner, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto
Reiko Kuroda, Designated Professor, Institute of Science and Technology Research, Chubu University; Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo
Kazumasa Kusaka, President, Japan Economic Foundation
Masahito Monguchi, Adviser, Anderson Mori & Tomotsune
Takeju Ogata, President, Nippon Foundation
Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman, Nippon Foundation
Roppongi Grand Tower 34F, 3-2-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106-6234, Japan