市川博也教授とのインタビュー:Interview with Prof. Ichikawa [インタビュー]

経済教育インタビューシリーズ(1):Economic Education Interview Series (1)
Interviewee: Dr. Hiroya Ichikawa (Professor, Sophia University)


I interviewed Prof. Ichikawa at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Hibiya on December 4, and asked him about economic education in Japan.
Prof. Ichikawa, after graduating from the Economics Department at Keio University, worked for Keidanren before joining the Faculty of Liberal Arts at Sophia University, has a broad network in the business world at home and abroad. Based on his experience, he seems to have a critical view on economic education in Japan. The following is a summary of my interview with him.
First, what is the use of economic education? To answer this question, it is necessary to teach students in such a way that they can take it as their own problem in the real world, rather than studying and memorizing some pieces of knowledge at school.
For example, students should be taught such subjects as career development and job selection, income and consumption, savings and investment, life cycle and social security, etc. for the sake of their own life planning. If these issues are presented with concrete examples, students would be willing and able to acquire the ability to think logically and critically in economic terms.
Second, the treatment of business corporations in economic education needs revision, because corporations are no longer “seeking profit alone and ignoring the environment,” as seen in some textbooks. It is important to let students know the fact that both public and private institutions, including business corporations, are working together to solve environmental problems in Japan, and such knowledge would help students understand the relationship between the economy and the environment more fully.
The following are some materials on this issue published by Nippon Keidanren:
“Global Environment Charter” (1991)
“Environment Appeal” (1996)
“Voluntary Environmental Action Plans” (2006)
(Prof. Ichikawa sometimes gives lectures to US teachers on the Fulbright Memorial Fund program. See the 11/16 report on this blog.)