I joined the JETRO Institute of Developing Economies in 1989. Initially, I worked mainly on Chinese law from the perspective of comparative law, establishing joint research projects to analyze legal issues common in Asia such as judicial reform, dispute resolution systems, market economization, democratization, and law and development. I have been a visiting scholar at the Institute of Law, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (1993−1995), where I developed a local sensibility, and at the Asian Law Center, University of Washington School of Law (2003−2005), where I learned theories on Asian legal studies. Recently, my colleague and I have been researching disability and development, focusing on issues such as poverty and the human rights of persons with disabilities in developing countries from the perspective of law.
Current research projects
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), adopted by the United Nations in 2006, is based on the social model of disability, and as an international norm, requires that States Parties ensure that persons with disabilities have various rights on an equal basis with others. The World Health Organization and the World Bank estimate that persons with disabilities make up 15% of the global population, with 80% of them living in developing countries. However, my concern is that the issues of these more than 800 million persons with disabilities remain invisible. My research aims to clarify the actual situation and challenges of establishing the rights of persons with disabilities in Asia, using the CRPD as a criterion. We have focused not only on individual areas of law such as labor and education, but also on specific issues such as women with disabilities, who are subject to so-called “multiple discrimination.” Ongoing topics include research on the political rights of persons with disabilities in Asia as well as sign language as a social capital resource in deaf societies in developing countries.