Past Event

Japan and the EU in the global economy – challenges and opportunities

This event was co-organised by Bruegel, the Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University and Fondation France-Japon de l’EHESS. Japan and the EU are both open economies with significant trade and financial links and facing in many respects similar challenges. Both economies are affected by the rise of emerging market economies, which represent a huge opportunity […]

Date: October 7, 2013, 8:00 am

This event was co-organised by Bruegel, the Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University and Fondation France-Japon de l’EHESS.

Japan and the EU are both open economies with significant trade and financial links and facing in many respects similar challenges. Both economies are affected by the rise of emerging market economies, which represent a huge opportunity but also imply the need to continuously adapt the production structure to the new competition. Both economies are also facing similar comparable internal economic adjustments. Japan in the 1990s had to overcome the bursting of a housing bubble and struggle with significant corporate balance sheet adjustment. Europe, in turn, is currently undergoing one of its most severe crisis in recent history with similar balance sheet adjustments happening in some parts of the economy. In Europe as in Japan, the role of monetary policy and central banks in addressing and overcoming the crisis is hotly debated. Also the appropriate role of fiscal policy and structural reforms is debated controversially in both economies.

The conference with four sessions debated these issues in depth. A first panel focused on the trade and financial links of the two economies in a period of rising emerging markets. The second panel consisted of a deep comparative discussion between Japanese and Europe expert on the housing bubbles, the deleveraging and the appropriate structural response. The third panel studied and compared the monetary policy reactions of the Bank of Japan with that of the European Central Bank as well as the fiscal policy reactions in the context of a fragile financial system. A final discussion of high level policy makers drew lessons and came up with concrete policy suggestions for Japan, Europe and their economic relation.

The conference and exchange offered a unique opportunity to deepen the economic understanding of two major economies facing similar challenges and opportunities. It brought together scholars from Kobe University, Bruegel and Fondation France-Japon de l’EHESS (École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales), as well as selected outside speakers from Japan and the EU from government and leading policy institutions.

Event materials

  • Event notes download
  • Speech by Peter Praet
  • Biographies of the speakers download
  • How did the Japanese economy really adjust? Lessons for Europe, presentation by Sébastien Lechevalier download
  • Japan-EU’s Cooperation to Promote Asia’s Economic Integration, presentation by Takuji Kinkyo download
  • Housing (Land Price) Bubbles, Government Responses, and Economic/Corporate Adjustments in Japan, presentation by Tomomi Miyazaki download
  • Policy Panel: What lessons to draw, presentation by Kiyohiko G. Nishimura download
  • Japan in the EU in the Global Economy: Challenges and Opportunities –
    Panel 1 Discussants’ Comments
    , presentation by Michael G. Plummer download
  • EU-Japan Trade Linkages, presentation by André Sapir download
  • Monetary, fiscal policy & financial system…, presentation by Jens Ulbrich download
  • Common Issues Central Banks Face on Unconventional Monetary Policies, presentation by Wataru Takahashi download

Programme download

Welcome remarks by Masahiko Yoshii, Dean of Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University, Sébastien Lechevalier, Associate Professor at EHESS (Paris), president of Fondation France-Japon de l’EHESS and Guntram Wolff, Director, Bruegel.

9:00-10:00 First panel: Trade and financial linkages between Europe and Japan: new evidence and scope for improvement

  • André Sapir, Senior Fellow, Bruegel; Professor, Free University of Brussels
  • Takuji Kinkyo, Professor, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University; Senior Research Fellow, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance, Japan
  • Discussant: Michael G. Plummer, ENI Professor in International Economics; Faculty and Academic Liaison, SAIS Bologna

10.15-11.15 Second panel: Housing Bubbles, Government Responses and Economic/Corporate Adjustments: can Europe learn from Japan?

  • Tomomi Miyazaki, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University
  • Sébastien Lechevalier, Associate Professor, EHESS (Paris); President of Fondation France-Japon de l’EHESS
  • Discussant: Joachim Fels, Chief International Economist, Morgan Stanley

11.30-12.30 Third panel: Monetary, fiscal policy and the financial system in Japan and Europe: a comparative perspective

  • Wataru Takahashi, Professor, Faculty of Economics, Osaka University of Economics, former Director General of the Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies of the Bank of Japan
  • Jens Ulbrich, Head of Economics Department, Bundesbank
  • Discussant: Zsolt Darvas, Senior Fellow, Bruegel

12.30-13.15 Break

13.15-14:00 Lunch with Keynote speech by Peter Praet, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank

14:00-15:00 Fourth Panel: Policy panel: What policy lessons to draw?

  • Kiyohiko Nishimura, Professor of Economics at the Graduate School of Economics, Faculty of Economics at Tokyo University
  • Peter Praet, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank
  • Michael G. Plummer, ENI Professor in International Economics; Faculty and Academic Liaison, SAIS Bologna
  • Guntram Wolff, Director, Bruegel

15:00-15:30 Closing remarks by Hideki Fukuda, President, Kobe University; Sébastien Lechevalier, President Fondation France‑Japon de l’EHESS and Guntram Wolff, Director, Bruegel

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