Conferences & Events

Throughout the year, JFIT hosts seminars and meetings with scholars, visitors, business professionals, postdocs, students and executive program participants to invite exchange, discussion and learning about Japan.

Together with Asameshikai, JFIT facilitates a regular Japan Discussion Group (懇話会) to discuss current topics and research questions regarding Japan. The meetings are open to the public and everybody interested in Japan is welcome.  


JFIT will hold a conference on April 28-29, 2018 with the theme The Artificial Intelligence Disruption and the Social Sciences – A Global Research Comparison. Scholars from the U.S., Germany and Japan will explore how the “internet-of-things”, AI and new production processes shape national technology and innovation policies, business strategies, infrastructures, social patterns and the future of work. The call for abstracts can be found here and the deadline for submitting abstracts, paper proposals or outlines is Oct. 30, 2017.

Past Conferences

Joint JFIT/STAJE Conference at UC San Diego on "Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Japan"
May 5 – 6, 2016 
This joint two-day research conference between JFIT, Santa Clara University, The University of Tokyo, and Stanford University, focused on Japan’s current innovation dynamics. The conference convened academics and practitioners to explore, analyze and evaluate the current situation of venture capital, entrepreneurship and corporate renewal andreorganization in Japan. How is innovation in large and small companies evolving in Japan, and what are the biggest differences in regulatory and institutional parameters between Japan and the U.S. in fostering innovation?

Past Events

"San Diego Global Forum: Japan-U.S. Relations Going Forward"
Feb. 15, 2017
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Environment in Japan, the Honorable Professor Yoriko Kawaguchi shared her views on Japanese-U.S. diplomatic relations with regard to the economy, the environment, and geopolitics and Asia going forward. Following her presentation, Professor Ulrike Schaede led a conversation on how these matters affect global trade and San Diego.

"New Insights from the Brain Mapping Project in Japan"
Nov. 16, 2016
Professor Hideyuki Okano, dean of Keio University School of Medicine and Dr. David Brenner, vice chancellor for Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at UC San Diego spoke on “New Insights from the Brain Mapping Project in Japan: Modeling Human Diseases with iPS cells and Transgenic Non-Human Primates.”

"The Sino-Japanese Relationship and the Regional Order in East Asia"
Nov. 10, 2016 
Speaker: Masahiro KOHARA, Professor, University of Tokyo

"Biomedical Research: Lessons from Global Health"
Oct. 5, 2016 
Sir Tadataka Yamada, the former director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Program, discussed key global health issues and current trends of biomedical research and its impact.

"Asian Internet Companies and the Global IT Industry Dynamics"
A Conversation between EVP of Softbank Eric Gan and Dean Peter Cowhey
May 4, 2016 | Video and Photo Gallery
Asian IT and Internet firms, as well as Internet-based consumer-oriented services, now dwarf the U.S. market. This has created a new competitive dynamic in the global IT industry, and its associated providers, producers, and startup activities in the software, shopping, games, social media and other industries. Meanwhile, regulatory restrictions as well as privacy concerns loom large. How is this industry shaping up, and what do we need to know to understand its dynamics?

"Japanese Business Strategies under Abenomics"
Oct. 7, 2015 | Interview and Photo Gallery
Presenter: Pacific Leadership Fellow Reiko Akiike, Partner & Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group; Discussant: Ulrike Schaede, Professor, GPS
"Abenomics” – a new policy regime under Prime Minister Abe – aims to revive the Japanese economy by addressing macroeconomic challenges and pushing Japanese companies to a new level of global competitiveness. Even as some observers remain critical, Japan has in fact introduced a large number of measures that change the incentives and pressures faced by Japanese CEOs. How have they responded? What is happening in the business strategy realm in Japan as of 2015, and what are the truly important developments that should not be overlooked?

"New Approaches for the Promotion of Innovation, Science and Technology: Bridging Japan and San Diego"
May 19, 2015 | Agenda and Conference Participants’ Bios (PDF) and Photo Gallery
This one-day conference brings many high-ranking guests from Japan and San Diego to discuss universities and entrepreneurship, science policy, commercialization in the IoT and biotech industries, and the current business climate in Japan.

“Japan and San Diego: An Evening of Art and Science”
May 18, 2015 Video and Photo Gallery
Speaker: Dr. Hiroshi Fujiwara, founder and president of Tokyo-based firm BroadBand Tower (BBTower); Pianist: Rutsuko Yamagishi
We celebrated our new initiative to connect San Diego with Japan through a variety of business-related activities focusing on the Internet of Things (IoT), biotech and wireless health industries.