The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research


The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research


The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research

Liberal democracy, free-market capitalism, and other institutions that had long been ascendant in international society are increasingly coming under threat, with global warming, human rights abuses, religious conflict, infectious diseases, and the digital divide further exacerbating the sense of crisis. In Japan, quality of life is eroding in the face of a shrinking youth population, plummeting per capita GDP, widening wealth and regional disparities, the slow pace of digitalization, and ballooning public debt.

At a time of such sweeping change, the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research seeks to articulate the needs of private individuals and anticipate future developments in Japan and the world in offering reasonable, practicable, and evidence-based policy proposals that can help build a public sphere supportive of personal freedom and dignity.

The focus of our activities is to deliver “People-Centered Policies” in the following five domains: (1) economy, fiscal policy, environment, resources, energy; (2) health, medical services, nursing care; (3) education, human resources development, employment, social security; (4) science, technology, innovation; and (5) social transformation through digitalization. Researchers are encouraged to adopt a broad perspective in pursuing their activities, keeping an eye on historical precedents and international trends.

The Tokyo Foundation is also engaged in developing the next generation of leaders by administering a fellowship program for graduate students attending leading universities around the globe and in providing outstanding young researchers firsthand experience in shaping public policy.

Our history goes back to 1997, when the Tokyo Foundation was established with the support of the Nippon Foundation to fill a need for an independent public policy think tank in Japan to undertake rigorous research. 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.

From August 2020 to March 2021, we carried out a full-fledged review of our research activities in the light of the major policy challenges confronting Japan and the world and the future outlook. As a result, we have decided to overhaul our research structure, discontinuing the research units on which our activities had been centered, as well as the supporting Policy Data Lab, and replacing them with a system of research programs led by principal investigators. Approximately 80 researchers are now engaged in some 30 programs that were launched on October 1, analyzing major issues in the five domains cited above and identifying potential solutions.

Our endeavors to develop the next generation of leaders and policy researchers will continue as before.

As autocratic impulses chip away at democratic institutions that once appeared unshakeable, think tanks around the world must renew their efforts to ensure that personal freedom and dignity remain the core values guiding public policy. This is a mission that the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research will continue to fulfill in the era to come.

Research Domains


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