Since joining the JETRO Institute of Developing Economies in 2001, my research has focused on issues related to trade and the environment. Over the past 10 years, I have researched non-tariff measures such as environmental regulations on products and production processes as well as food safety standards set by consumer countries. The impact of non-tariff measures on developing countries is becoming increasingly important. Because little research had been conducted on the impact of regulations/standards on the manufacturing sector in Asia, I conducted firm surveys in Vietnam and Malaysia to examine how firms are affected by chemical regulations set by import countries. Based on this research and inter-disciplinary collaboration with my colleagues, I have presented our publications to the academic conferences as well as the Japanese government and organizations overseas. I was seconded to the headquarters of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in Vienna and the Indonesian office and also worked as a visiting researcher at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley for a total of four years.
Current research projects
Most of my recent research projects have investigated the interaction among sustainability certifications, producers, and consumers through trade. Focusing on palm oil certification schemes, I examine the mechanisms by which uptake of sustainability certifications are linked to consumer behavior, and how the decision by producers to obtain certification is affected by trade and markets. Two types of sustainability certification schemes are of particular interest: private certification schemes formulated by non-profit organizations in consumer countries and public certification schemes implemented by governments in producer countries. I analyze certification data at the farm level to examine the impacts. Because global value chains and capital markets play an important role in spreading sustainability certifications, the project also attempts to examine the impacts of ESG investment. I have presented the progress of my research to academic conferences, international organizations such as the World Trade Organization, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, as well as the Japanese government.