The history of the Economics Department at Yokohama National University dates back to 1923 when it was first established as the Yokohama Higher School of Commerce. Throughout its almost hundred-year history, a rich diversity of international education and research in economics has evolved, due in part to the strong influence of the nearby Port of Yokohama, which played an instrumental role in supporting the modernization of Japan during the Meiji Period (1868-1912). During the past century, our school has provided high-quality education in economics with a balance of theoretical research and empirical study. The demonstrable result of this is the fact that many excellent students who have completed the graduate course of the Department of Economics have gone on to become successful leaders in business, government, or academia in Japan and other Asian countries. The Department of Economics of the Graduate School of International Social Sciences at YNU today offers master’s and doctoral degrees in economics.
One impetus for our graduate program in economics has come from the current state of the global economy, namely, the worldwide economic interdependence that has significantly deepened through increasing trade and investment. Regional economic integration has spread from East Asia to Southeast Asia, and further policy cooperation has been attempted in this region. However, a recent resurgence of protectionism, reflected in the British exit from the European Union and U.S.–China trade friction, discourages the expansion of international trade and investment, thus reducing the economic benefits of globalization. These dynamic and challenging times require an ample supply of well-educated business leaders, government officials, and researchers with a high level of expertise in economics.
Students in the graduate program in economics have the opportunity to learn from the Department’s exceptional faculty members, many of whom completed their graduate studies at internationally acclaimed Japanese or overseas universities. Faculty research interests span a wide variety of fields, from microeconomic theory and econometrics, to economic history, international economics, and the study of developing economies. Students have prime opportunities to learn advanced skills and knowledge in cutting-edge research. In 2013 we also launched all-English M.A. and Ph.D. programs in economics, providing students enrolled in the program with invaluable exposure to the breadth and depth of academic research as well as world-class economics lectures in English.
It is my sincere hope that students in the program will not only excel in their studies and research but also share in our wonderful collegial fellowship.
Tsunao OKUMURA, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Economics