National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
Japan Graduate Research Institute for Policy Studies (政策研究大学院大学 Seisaku Kenkyū Daigakuin Daigaku ), or GRIPS, is an elite special national university in Minato, Tokyo, Japan, founded in 1997. Considered as Asia's LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science), the elite school is focused on policy studies and research on a diverse range of social disciplines from local governance to development economics. It also offers renowned programs in security and international affairs, international development studies, as well as science and technology policies.
Locally known as the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, GRIPS is a stand-alone graduate school focused on policy studies. GRIPS is one of Asia's premier institutions of higher learning involved in policy research, alongside the Asian Institute of Management in Metro Manila, the KDI School of Public Policy and Management in Seoul and the Lee Kwan Yew School of Government in Singapore. As of August 2009, IDEAS ranked GRIPS to be the third top economics school in Japan, after the University of Tokyo, and Osaka University, respectively, as first and second. As of March 2012, IDEAS also ranked GRIPS to be the eleventh (11th) top research institutions in Economics in Asia.
GRIPS aims to produce first-class policy makers and topnotch scholars for the 21st century and conduct cutting-edge researches on policy studies. Economics, Political Science, Security and International Relations, Public Administration, Operation Research and Social Engineering comprise major academic disciplines of the institute.
GRIPS can be considered as Asia's version of the renowned London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Located at the heart of Tokyo, the institute offers graduate programs at both the Master’s and Ph.D. levels. Degree programs combine a broad disciplinary curriculum with an applied research focus and a commitment to international, state, and regional policy issues. English is the primary medium of instruction, except for select domestic programs.
- Master’s Programs (International Programs)
- Young Leaders Program
- One-year Master’s Program of Public Policy (MP1)
- Two-year Master’s Program of Public Policy (MP2)
- Macroeconomic Policy
- Public Finance
- Disaster Management Policy
- Economics, Planning and Public Policy
- Graduate Program in Japanese Language and Culture
- Master’s Programs (Domestic Programs)
- Public Policy
- Development Policy
- Cultural Policy
- Intellectual Property
- Urban Policy
- Education Policy
- Disaster Risk Management
- Science, Technology and Innovation Policy
- Ph.D. Program (5-Year Doctoral Program)
- Policy Analysis Program
- Ph.D./ Doctoral Programs (3-Year Doctoral Programs)
- Public Policy (Doctor of Public Policy)
- Security and International Studies (PhD/Doctor of International Relations)
- Disaster Management
- Science, Technology and Innovation Policy
- State Building and Economic Development
- Japanese Language and Culture
GRIPS’ academic programs focus not only on contemporary academic methodologies and issues, but also on the historical experiences of Japan and Asia. This emphasis on regional historical experience distinguishes GRIPS from its global counterparts.
GRIPS is one of the most international educational institutes in Northeast Asia. Among the 2007 graduates, 64 were Japanese and 150 were from overseas. GRIPS has alumni in 72 countries in Asia and the Pacific; \ Europe; the Middle East; Africa; and South, Central, and North America.
Most of GRIPS’ students to date have been incumbent administrative officials, cabinet officers, professors, academic experts and scholars, and other government, corporate and academic leaders from various countries in Japan, Asia and beyond. More than half of the Japanese officials studying at GRIPS come from local government offices and ministries. Some of the graduates have gone on to direct agencies or serve in other high-level positions in their governments, research institutions and universities and private companies.
Designed by the Yamashita Sekkei and Richard Rogers Partnership, the campus opened its doors in the spring of 2005. The campus is located in Roppongi, close to the Japanese Diet and government ministries, as well as headquarters of major Japanese and foreign multinational corporations and multilateral institutions.
Designed to support various research and educational activities, the GRIPS building has four distinct characteristics:
- The innovative design connects a 14-storey tower with a 5-storey low-rise by means of a long, light-filled atrium overlooking the National Art Center, Tokyo. The tower houses faculty offices and the low-rise contains administrative suits, classrooms, a library and other academic facilities.
- Six visually and functionally distinct segments gradually “step down” from the top of the tower to ground level in harmony with the surrounding skyline.
- The building consists of 8.1×7.2-meter-square units that can be combined to create larger spaces or divided into smaller rooms.
- The terra-cotta tiles on the outside walls and the ipe wood of the indoor decks give GRIPS a distinct look, reflecting both its academic mission and warm atmosphere.
The skylit atrium runs the full length of the building from the first through the fifth floor, offering a view of the entire building design. Terraces within the atrium become wider with each floor; their wooden decks bring nature inside for an atmosphere of relaxed openness. Dark pink accents on the connecting stairs and bridges express the warmth of the sun, while the yellow-green entrance to the Soukairou Hall symbolizes a bright future. These colors, together with the natural color of the wooden decks, complement the deep purple of the GRIPS logo (a color called pansées) to create a warm and pleasant atmosphere.
The top floor of the low-rise features a high ceiling, panoramic windows, and spacious halls and lecture rooms. Across the atrium, the inside wall of the high-rise is made of glass, its fifth-floor classrooms offering a magnificent view of the atrium and indoor terraces. This design maximizes daylight and promotes interaction among the students and faculty.
The yellow-green color called wakana in Japanese evokes a bright future; at the entrance to the Soukairou Hall it makes the hall easy to find. The two-storey hall has an interpretation booth, projection room, audio room, and 300 seats on sliding tracks that can be removed with the press of a button. This flexible design allows the hall to be used for many purposes, including international conferences and lectures.
The interior of the hall is functional yet elegant, with the carpeted floors and acoustic walls in deep red and the chairs and sound-absorbing walls in muted grey. In the meeting room across the hall, a sunroof brings in soft daylight; this room can be divided into three separate rooms with movable partitions.
The Graduate School of Policy Science (GSPS), the predecessor of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), was established at Saitama University in 1977 as a new kind of graduate school. GSPS aimed to promote interdisciplinary policy research that had the potential to contribute in an effective manner to the making of appropriate policies for the real world and to train administrative officials and policy analysts equipped with policy analysis and policy-making skills backed by a scientific approach and methods. Established as an institute to engage in graduate-level research and education, GSPS took the form of an independent graduate school that was separate from undergraduate programs, with the appropriate academic staff, facilities, and equipment.
Over the first twenty years of its existence, GSPS gained a unique reputation for producing mid-career government officials who had a clear understanding of policy issues. Central and local governments and government-related institutions regularly sent their most promising officials to GSPS, where, under the instruction of their professors, they engaged in the intellectual task of structuring and analyzing policy issues. At the same time, GSPS academic faculty developed interdisciplinary policy research. Through these activities, GSPS led the field of policy studies in Japan.
With the advance of research and education in the field of policy studies, the question arose as to whether policy research could be further advanced if the school were independent. Behind this lay the awareness that Japan needed to quickly enhance its system for promoting policy research. There had been too few studies conducted on the governmental and administrative structures that had supported the nation's economic growth, and Japan was about to enter a new stage amid a domestic and international situation that was changing at a dizzying pace. Thus, it was crucial for Japan to study its policies from their very foundations in order to envision the future of the country and create appropriate policies. In addition, there had been a dramatic rise in international interest in Japan's policy system, and it was becoming increasingly important for Japan to explain its policies and contribute to global advancement and international collaboration.
In response, the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture (today's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) set up a committee to study the future of policy studies and education in Japan. In March 1994, the committee proposed the creation of an independent graduate institute befitting the unique character of the academic discipline of policy research. Budgetary steps were taken to prepare for the establishment of the National Institute of Policy Studies (tentative name), and a committee to prepare for the founding of the institute was formed in June 1994. This committee of experts set up a special subcommittee and held deliberations to give concrete form to the new concept, including asking experts from industry, government, and academia to provide special cooperation, and referring to input provided by various sectors of society.
In October 1997, the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) was established as a new type of independent graduate university with Toru Yoshimura as the first president. GRIPS'mandate was to promote high-level policy research and respond to various domestic and international needs based on international intellectual cooperation and the cooperation of leading members of Japan's political, industrial, government, and academic circles. Ten years later, in April 2007, Tatsuo Hatta became the second president of GRIPS.
Professors at GRIPS include high-level government officials as well as many top-class researchers and corporate leaders. The roster includes the famous Yujiro Hayami who was awarded the Emperor of Japan's award for lifetime achievement in Economics in 2007. These officials are well versed in real-world policy challenges; some faculty members have held cabinet-level posts. The institute is in Roppongi, which is very close to Japan's political center in Kasumigaseki and Nagata-cho.
GRIPS recruits a diverse range of applicants, bringing GRIPS’ high-level education to a broader group of students who aspire to make an impact on policy, benefiting those who work in government and in the private sector by allowing them to build valuable personal networks. GRIPS is the only academic institution in Japan that regularly recruits first-rate international faculty from the American Economic Association and has various international research collaboration programs. GRIPS' very competitive selection process and wide ranging research and scholarship opportunities allow entry only for the topnotch, high-caliber students from various countries.