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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

Theory of Fiscal and Monetary Systems
- Considering the Future through Finance & Money -

Mr. Keisuke Mikamo

1st year student in the Professional Degree Program at the Okuma School of Public Management

What do you think of when you hear of the national budget? There are many answers to this question, including taxes and the Ministry of Finance. However, I would like you to give deeper consideration regarding how much we really know about the national budget and the policies being enacted by our country.

"Theory of Fiscal and Monetary Systems" is a class in which students study the current direction of Japan by learning about the national budget and other topics of finance, monetary policy and financial administration. Students learn about not only the overall picture of finance and money, but also study social security, education, national defense and other individual fields which compose that picture. This method of study enables students to gain comprehensive knowledge regarding the contents and scale of polices which are currently being enacted.

The class is taught by Professor Hiroki Tsuda of the Okuma School of Public Management. Professor Tsuda is a "government professional" who was worked in Kasumigaseki for over 30 years. Roughly half of his career was spent performing work related to the national budget, so he possesses particularly deep knowledge regarding budget formulation. In between classes, Professor Tsuda speaks a lot about government mentality and difficulties, mixing his own personal experience into his discussions. This provides a rare opportunity to directly listen to and to be taught by a professional who was active on the frontline of government. Such opportunities are a major appeal of the Okuma School of Public Management and other Professional Graduate Schools.

The class has a small number of students, and class time is separated into a lecture by the Professor and discussion among students. The greatest appeal of the class is the class content which places emphasis on realism in the fiscal and monetary fields. In addition to understanding actual budgets and policies, students are expected to express their own opinions regarding society.

All items within national budgets are connected with the lifestyles of citizens. However, just as there is sometimes the need to increase the budget in some areas, there are also some fields for which the budget must be decreased. I believe that the world of budgets is one in which an answer fails to appear the more that one pursues an answer. However, great significance is found in the words of Professor Tsuda, a man who has been involved in this kind of decision making for which there is no correct answer. We students have a great deal to learn from Professor Tsuda.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)