IGS Research Project 2018


IGS Research Project 2018

Gender and Politics in East Asia

Researcher Ki-young SHIN (Associate Professor, IGS)
Mari MIURA (Professor, Sophia University)
Jackie STEELE (Associate Professor, The University of Tokyo)
Outline East Asia has attracted global attention as a region that has achieved economic development, but the path of development of political democracy is not uniform. The aim of the research is to undertake a comparative analysis by surveying both male and female legislators in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, to find out what factors improve or hinder women’s political representation in the East Asian countries, and how to put political systems that foster gender diversity in place.

Transborder Feminist Activisms in East Asia

Researcher Fumie OHASHI (Associate Professor)
Outline Women’s movements can take place in various sites – on the streets, squares, public transportations, university campuses, chambers, journalisms and cyber spaces etc. Often their voices can lead to transnational solidarities and efforts toward certain resolutions.  This research project focuses on the cases in East Asia, such as (1) Labor movements in regard to ILO Domestic Workers Convention (C189), (2) Women’s anti-militarization movements, (3) Trans-local/trans-national activisms of Chinese feminists (nüquan zhuyizhe).

Gender Analysis of Capital, Body and Mobility

Researcher Mariko ADACHI (Visiting Researcher)
Fumie OHASHI (Associate Professor)
Hiroaki ITAI (Project Lecturer)
Outline This project analyses changes in the function of capital after the global financial crisis by focusing on Saskia Sassen’s concept of ‘expulsions’. Examining the ‘normalisation’ of ‘expulsions’ from a gender perspective enables comprehension beyond the conventional analytical frameworks of ‘fragmentation of the body’ and the inclusion/exclusion dichotomy.

Reexamining “Liberal Feminism”

Researcher Hiroaki ITAI (Project Lecturer)
Outline This research project reexamines the ideas and movements that characterize the first wave of feminism, which includes works of Mary Wollstonecraft and John Stuart Mill. The project aims to clarify matters by undertaking a textual analysis of The Subjection of Women by J. S. Mill, and to create momentum for a reexamination of liberal feminism by completing a new translation of The Subjection of Women.

Assisted Reproductive Medicine and Gender

Researcher Yukari SEMBA (Project Research Fellow)
Outline Assisted reproductive medicine has advanced remarkably in recent years, and medical technologies including the use of donated sperm/eggs/embryos and surrogacy have become common in society without enough discussion on their pros and cons within society and expert groups. In this situation, women, as the sex who give birth, are more affected by these medical technologies. This research aims to investigate the influence of reproductive medicine on women both domestically and overseas.

Population Policy versus Women’s Reproductive Rights: Rethinking Government Support for Infertility Treatments in Japan and Korea

Researcher Yukari SEMBA (Project Research Fellow)
Jiso YOON (Korean Women‘s Development Institute)
Outline The availability of assisted reproductive technologies coincided with rapidly declining birthrates in Japan and Korea in recent years. This research focuses on government programs and policies to support infertility treatments as countermeasures to declining birthrates in the two countries, assessing the impact of infertility support policies and studying patients’ emotional distress from social pressure from gender perspectives.

Factors affecting Job-Life Satisfaction of Working Parents

Researcher Junko SANO (Project Research Fellow)
Outline Studies in the US in 1990s revealed that having multiple roles at work and at home may bring about positive psychological effect on “job-life satisfaction” among working mothers. This research project examines factors affecting job-life satisfaction of working mothers and fathers in Japan from multi-disciplinary social science perspective.

A Study on the Effects of Coeducation of Home Economics for Gender Equality: Job, Housework, and Childcare

Researcher Junko SANO (Project Research Fellow)
Outline In Japan, home economics became compulsory not only for girls but also for boys during the mid-1990s: in middle school in 1993 and in high school in 1994. This research analyses the effects of home economics education on students’ later lives from a gender perspective. Based on a generational comparison in areas of work, fulfilment in life, housework, and childcare before and after the subject became mandatory, the contribution of home economics education to gender equality will be examined.

Immigration Control and Gender: Entertainment Visas between Japan and the Philippines

Researcher Sera ONO (Project Research Fellow)
Outline This project aims to explore how institutionalization and regulation of entertainment visas have formed the migration by women and their labors “entertainment”, focusing on discourses around entertainment visas by actors between Japan as receiving side and the Philippines as sending side. At the same time, this research will lead to construction of gender analysis on Japanese immigration control.


External Funds 2018

Parenting, Family, and Friendship in ICT Societies: International Comparative Study of Japan, South Korea, US, and Sweden

[JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A), 26242004]
Period 2014 – 2019
Researcher Masako ISHII-KUNTZ (Director, Professor) [Principal Investigator] Junko SANO (Project Reseearch Fellow) [Research group member]
Outline This project examines parents’ usage of ICT tools and the social media in childrearing and communication, and analyzes its influence on their children’s development, family relationships, and friendship. International comparisons between Japan and South Korea, US, and Sweden reveal some unique aspects of Japan’s contemporary child raising, and how ICT tools affect co-parenting and the sharing of housework.

Hurdles of Women’s Political Participation: Surveys of Diet Members and Party Officials

[JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B), 18H00817]
Period 2018 – 2020
Researcher Ki-young SHIN (Associate Professor, IGS) [Co-Investigator] Mari MIURA (Professor, Sophia University) [Principle Investigator]
Outline This research examines the hurdles for women to enter the legislative politics in Japan. Drawing on international comparative research on countries with similar mixed member electoral systems, it will focus on the recruitment process of women and men candidates and how the process is gendered in a way that women and men face different opportunities and challenges.

Research on How Other Countries Dealt with the Conflict between Gamete Donor Anonymity and Donor Offspring’s Right to Know

[JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), 18K00034]
Period 2018-2020
Researcher Yukari SEMBA (Project Research Fellow)
Outline In Japan, donor insemination has been carried out anonymously since its first implementation. Recently, egg donation is receiving increasing attention, and it may generate discussions regarding donor anonymity. This research aims to explore what kind of discussion took place before passing legislation for securing donor offspring’s right to know, and to clarify their situation after the law took effect in other countries.

Research on Families Formed via Donor Conception

[Toyota Foundation Research Grants-in-Aid Program, D16-R-0788

Period May, 2017-April, 2019
Researcher Yukari SEMBA (Project Research Fellow)
Outline Recently the use of reproductive medicine is becoming more common, and the demand for reproductive medicine and the number of children born through medical assistance are increasing. The research is focused on donor conception families and explores how donor conception families share their family building stories with children, through interviews in Japan and other countries.

Creating Teaching Materials to Guarantee the Right to Know the Origin of AID Children

[JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), 16K12111]
Period 2016-2019


Yukari SEMBA (Project Research Fellow) [Co-Investigator] Kiyomi SHIMIZU (Josai International University) [Principal Investigator]


In Japan, donor insemination has been performed for more than 60 years, and sperm donors should have been anonymous. However, there is a tendency to abolish gamete donor anonymity in other countries because of respect for donor offspring’s welfare. This research aims to create information material for intended parents and donors to learn the importance of securing a donor offspring’s right to know the origin of births.

Analysis of Factors to Increase the “Job-Life Satisfaction” of Working Mothers: An International Comparison between Japan and Norway

[JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Early-Career Scientists, 18K12924

Period 2018-2021


Junko SANO (Project Research Fellow)

This study investigates factors that lead to the improvement of women’s “job-life satisfaction,” which is a key aspect of job continuation after childbirth, focusing on education and consciousness. Husbands who are open to a dual-earner household as a matter of course will also be examined in terms of the same dimensions. An international comparison between Japan and Norway, which maintains a higher population of working mothers than Japan and a fertility rate as high as 1.7 children per woman, will be made primarily on the factors of job-life satisfaction.

Migration Between the Philippines and Japan and the Role of support NGOs: focusing on the experiences of migrant women and Japanese Filipino Children

[JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B), 17H02600]

Period 2017 – 2019
Researcher Sera ONO (Project Research Fellow) [Co-Investigator] Chiho OGAYA (Ferris University) [Principal Investigator] Megumi HARA(National Institute of Technology, Wakayama College) [Co-investigator]
Outline This research project aims to explore and trace the experiences and process of activities of various NGOs and civil groups which have been working on the issues of Filipino entertainers and Japanese Filipino Children in the Philippines for more than two decades. Identifying the significant roles and contributions of these groups for working with various issues regarding the migrant women and children including returnees would be valuable for explore the new agenda and programs for migrant women and children in future.

Development of Civic activities against Trafficking in Persons: Toward reconstruction of Its Network

[JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), 17K4196]

Period 2017 – 2020
Researcher Sera ONO (Project Research Fellow) [Co-Investigator] Ayako SASAKI (Chiba University) [Principal Investigator] Yuko SHIMAZAKI (Waseda University) [Co-Investigator]
Outline This project aims to explore the development and transition of civic activities against trafficking in persons in Japan, focusing on advocators, (former) staffs in NGOs and private shelters, lawyers, or (independent) researchers who had /have participated in activities to protect trafficked victims and problematize trafficking in persons.

In between Global Sex Work and Trafficking: from In-depth Interviews and Network Analysis

[JSPS Fund for the Promotion of Joint International Research (Fostering Joint International Research (B)), 18KK0056]

Period Oct. 2018 – Mar. 2023
Researcher Sera ONO (Project Research Fellow) [Co-Investigator] Kaoru AOYAMA (Kobe University) [Principal Investigator] Yoko KUMADA (Tokyo Metropolitan University) [Co-Investigator] Ayako NAKAMURA (Yamagata University) [Co-Investigator]
Outline This project investigates the contemporary sex trade across national borders exacerbated by globalisation through lived experiences of those who undergo the trade. To do so, the project conducts 1) in-depth interviews with those who are (formerly) involved in sex work and categorised as ‘undocumented/illegal migrants’ and (former) ‘trafficking victims’ and 2) network analysis centred on the link between them and mediators or traffickers who then connect them to the sex industry.

IT-BPO International Division of Labor and Gender in Emerging Asia–India, Philippines and China

[JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B), 17H02247]

Period 2017-2019
Researcher Mariko ADACHI (Visiting Researcher) [Co-Investigator]Fumie OHASHI (Associate Professor)[Co-Investigator]Yoshie HORI (Dokkyo University) [Principal Investigator]
Outline This project aims to construct a theory on the international division of labour in the service sector of emerging Asian countries through investigating the current trends in international business process outsourcing (BPO), women’s work and relevant changes in society. The practice of BPO in the service sector has been developing since the 2000s in India, Philippines and China, and this project seeks to compare these countries in terms of these trends.

Transformation of “Migrant/ Domestic Workers” in Indonesia

[JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), 17K02067

Period 2017-2020
Researcher Keiko HIRANO (Project Research Fellow)
Outline This research project analyzes the transformation of “migrant/ domestic workers” in Indonesia through analyzing migration policy change and the style of dispatching domestic workers, such as via smartphone application. In concert with the emerging middle class in Metropolitan Jakarta area, housing style have been changing recently. [Housing styles in Metropolitan Jakarta have adapted to meet the demands of the emerging middle class.] This new housing has led to engaging living-out domestic workers and gig-economy style domestic workers. This research aims to examine human rights issues by comparing the rights of living-out and live-in domestic workers against these shifts in housing styles and urban life.

Reintegration of Indonesian Migrant Workers After Returning Home

[JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C), 17K02051]
Period 2017-2019
Researcher Keiko HIRANO (Project Research Fellow) [Co-Investigator]Junko NAKATANI (Osaka Sangyo University) [Principal-Investigator]
Outline This research project reveals the process of building next life-stage strategies? by Indonesian migrants after their return home through interviews with ex-migrants themselves, their families and community members in the sending area. Co-researcher focuses on ex-migrant domestic workers who have joined the domestic workers’ union Sapulidi, based in Jakarta, and work as domestic workers in the Jakarta Metropolitan areas through the interviews with Sapulidi members. As 2019 was the final year in this research project, the research findings will be reported at meetings of domestic and international societies.