Policy Research Institute (PRI) is a think tank of Ministry of Finance (MOF). It not only conducts surveys and research on finance and economics, but also provides academic/technical assistance to developing countries, engages in research exchanges with overseas research institutions, conducts statistical surveys including the Financial Statements Statistics of Corporations by Industry, compiles the History of Fiscal and Monetary Policies in Japan, operates the MOF library and provides training to MOF officials.
PRI was first established as Institute of Fiscal and Monetary Policy in May 1985. It was renamed upon the reorganization of MOF in 2000. Organizational changes were made at the time of PRI’s 30th anniversary in 2015, including merging Administrative Office and Research Department into “Research and Administration Department” to strengthen designing and planning of our research activities and to enhance collaboration within our institution.
The Japanese economy has entered a “virtuous cycle” under the Abenomics initiative, as indicated by record corporate earnings and improving employment and income environments, including job growth and four consecutive years of real increases in basic wages. On the other hand, the gap between national revenues and expenditures remains sizeable and outstanding government bonds are accumulating. The birthrate continues to decline while the elderly population is increasing more rapidly than in other leading industrialized countries. Measures to ensure the sustainability of the national finance and social welfare systems are therefore of ever increasing importance. Efforts to achieve sound finances must be facilitated to ensure the stability of livelihood and sustainable economic growth. At the same time, financial and economic policies must be properly planned and designed to respond to various global challenges. Broad-based economic surveys and research on the situation within and outside Japan and on policy are therefore indispensable.
PRI is carrying out medium and long-term research on domestic and international finance and economics. The results of PRI’s research on finance and economics, financial and capital markets, and individual national economies and the global economy, have been published in “Financial Review” our flagship publication, as well as in various workshop reports and on the PRI’s website.
PRI has also proactively leveraged its financial and economic knowledge to provide academic/technical assistance and engage in research exchanges.
With regard to academic assistance, PRI has held training sessions and seminars on Japanese financial and economic policies, mainly at the request of other Asian countries with long standing ties with Japan, including Uzbekistan. In Myanmar and Laos, in particular, PRI has been carrying out technical cooperation projects to improve the skills needed to examine SME loan applications and develop human resources, mainly targeting officials of the Myanmar Economic Bank and the Lao Development Bank. PRI will further enhance these projects.
With regard to research exchanges, PRI engages in joint research and workshops with foreign research institutes and international organizations. PRI also welcomes researchers from overseas to exchange knowledge and experience with other countries and institutions. PRI currently conducts regular exchanges with major research institutions from China and India, and organizes conferences with institutions such as the IMF and ADB Institute. PRI is rapidly expanding the scope of its activities in this area. These activities are also on the PRI website.
PRI conducts two types of statistical surveys: “Financial Statements Statistics of Corporations”, which aims to ascertain business activities and covers approx. 36,000 corporations, and “Business Outlook Survey”, which aims to ascertain business confidence covering approx. 16,000 corporations. They are both official government statistics and closely watched by , market players and academics. The PRI website receives significant traffic when they are released.
PRI has and will continue to publish “History of Fiscal and Monetary Policies in Japan” to help understanding past policies . At present, PRI is compiling and publishing the 12-volume “Heisei History of Fiscal and Monetary Policies in Japan: FY1989 through FY2000”, the seventh in a series which began with “Meiji History of Fiscal and Monetary Policies in Japan”.
PRI maximizes research results as mentioned above to provide comprehensive training in specialized knowledge and skills to MOF and local Finance Bureau officials. 344 training courses were provided in FY2016 to a total of at least 14,200 officials. The training is continuously enhanced in response to changes in the administrative environment.
PRI is striving to diversify its staff by publicly recruiting researchers with specialized knowledge. Furthermore, PRI also conducts joint research with researchers from universities and private research institutions. Each PRI department is committed to proactive engagement in surveys and research. The departments carry out international exchange activities and collaborate closely to foster the development of personnel from a long-term perspective based on the PRI’s knowledge. We appreciate your continued understanding and support.
DOI Toshinori, President, Policy Research Institute