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Journal » Professor Sayuri Shirai of the Faculty of Policy Management Gives the Yukichi Fukuzawa-Francis Wayland Memorial Lecture

On the 15th of May 1868, the Boshin War had thrown Edo, present-day Tokyo, into a state of chaos. However, despite the battle between the Imperial forces and Tokugawa loyalists raging just five miles from his school, Yukichi Fukuzawa remained calm and continued to give his lecture based on an economics text by the American economist Francis Wayland. In doing so, Fukuzawa demonstrated to his students his belief that when it came to pursuing education and research, there was not a moment to be lost. Since 1956, Keio has designated this day Yukichi Fukuzawa-Francis Wayland Memorial Lecture Day, and has celebrated it every year with a special lecture.

This year’s lecture, which took place at the Mita Public Speaking Hall (Mita Enzetsu-kan) on May 15 (Tues.), was titled “The advantages and disadvantages of monetary easing from the perspective of a former Member of the Policy Board of the Bank of Japan” and given by Professor Sayuri Shirai of the Faculty of Policy Management. Professor Shirai explained the current situation and the future of the Japanese economy in comparison with those of the United States and Germany, while considering issues such as the large gap that exists between the statistical data on prices and how households feel about the cost of living, and the impact the purchase of assets by the Bank of Japan is having on the financial market. Many questions were asked during the question and answer session, including those related to the monetary policies of the US, Europe, and China and the statistics compiled by the Bank of Japan.

The hall was filled to capacity on the day and the audience members, some who stood to hear the lecture, listened attentively. After the lecture, there were many people taking commemorative photos at the hall, which is a designated Important Cultural Property of Japan.