Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
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Masa Higo Last modified date:2021.06.30



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Other
Administration Post
Other


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Homepage
https://kyushu-u.pure.elsevier.com/en/persons/masateru-higo
 Reseacher Profiling Tool Kyushu University Pure
http://www.isc.kyushu-u.ac.jp/jtw/
The official homepage of Kyushu University's Japan in Today's World Program, for which I serve as Primary Faculty Coordinator. .
https://www.routledge.com/Ageing-in-Asia-Pacific-Interdisciplinary-and-Comparative-Perspectives/Klassen-Higo-Dhirathiti-Devasahayam/p/book/9781138550421
Co-edited volume - Ageing in Asia-Pacific: Interdisciplinary and Comparative Perspectives (Routledge) .
https://www.routledge.com/Retirement-in-Japan-and-South-Korea-The-past-the-present-and-the-future/Higo-Klassen/p/book/9781138025691
Edited Volume - Retirement in Japan and South Korea: The past, the present and the future of mandatory retirement (Routledge) .
Phone
092-802-4380
Academic Degree
Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology, Master of Arts in Sociology
Country of degree conferring institution (Overseas)
Yes Master Doctor
Field of Specialization
Sociology, Gerontology, Social Policy
Total Priod of education and research career in the foreign country
17years06months
Outline Activities
Research – I am a U.S.-trained sociologist specializing in social gerontology (ageing studies) and social/public policy from a cross-national comparative perspective. From 1999 through 2014 I designed and conducted various international research projects as a member of the Center for Retirement Research and Global Institute, Sloan Center on Aging & Work, both of which are at Boston College (Massachusetts). I also helped to newly launch The Institute of Gerontology as an associate professor at the University of Central Missouri. My peer-reviewed journal articles are published in the Journal of Population Ageing, Global Social Policy, and Journal of Aging & Social Policy, to name a few. Representative academic volumes include Retirement in Japan and South Korea: The Past, the Present, and the Future of Mandatory Retirement (2015, Routledge) and Ageing in Asia-Pacific: Interdisciplinary and Comparative Perspectives (2018, Routledge). I am affiliated with various professional academic organizations including, among others, The International Association for Gerontology and Geriatrics, The Gerontological Society of America and American Sociological Association. Also, since April 2019, I have participated in Kyushu University Institute for Asian and Oceania Studies (Q-AOS), in which I serve as Chief Researcher of Module Ageing & Later Life, a unit housed in the Medicine & Health Cluster. Main research grants I have received include KAKEN (MEXT) Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research A (as a Collaborator), B (as Principal Investigator) and C (as Principal Investigator).
Teaching – Prior to joining Kyushu University I taught a number of courses in social sciences, sociology courses in particular, at Boston College (MA), Emerson College (MA), Pine Manor College (MA), Anderson University (SC), and the University of Central Missouri (MO), among other institutions in the United States. Most of the courses I have taught to date – including those at Kyushu University – are in social sciences including sociology, social policy, and social gerontology with an explicit focus on an international and global perspective. Especially since joining Kyushu University in 2014, I have served as Primary Faculty Coordinator for Japan in Today’s World (JTW), a one-year, English-taught study program for exchange students from the University’s main partner institutions around the world. As part of my core duties for this program, I offer courses on social problems, including population aging, of contemporary Japan and some other East Asian countries from a critical, global/cross-national comparative perspective.
Research
Research Interests
  • Retirement and Pension Reforms in Ageing Asia: A Cross-National Comparison for Policy Suggestions
    keyword : Ageing Society、Older People、Retirement、Pension、Policy、Asia
    2019.09~2023.08.
  • The Role of ICT Lifelong Learning on Socially Isolated Older Adults' Active Ageing
    keyword : ICT Literacy; Older Adults; Social Isolation; Lifelong Learning; Active Ageing
    2020.02~2022.01.
  • Physician-Assisted Suicide & Euthanasia: Cross-National Policy Lessons to a Hyper-Aged Japan
    keyword : Ageing; Assisted Dying; Euthanasia; Social Policy
    2019.01~2023.03.
  • The Future of Public Pension Schemes: A Comparative Policy Analysis of Sweden, The United States, and Japan
    keyword : Public Pension, Population Aging, Sustainability, Social Policy, Social Welfare
    2017.10~2022.03.
  • Population Aging and Its Impacts in Southeast Asia: Lessons for Policymakers
    keyword : Population Aging, Southeast Asia, Social Policy
    2015.02~2020.03.
  • Aging Society & The Future of Contractual Mandatory Retirement: A Sociological Analysis of the Present and the Future
    keyword : Aging Society, Social Policy, Cross-National Comparison
    2008.01~2019.12.
Current and Past Project
  • In the midst of global trends of population aging and delaying workers’ retirement, will Japan soon follow the emerging global trend of abolishing mandatory retirement in the labor market? Using interviews and surveys, this research will explore workers’ attitudes toward mandatory retirement in Japan, which has largely been understudied in the corpus of retirement research to date. This research will also include the cases of Korea and Canada both as points of cross-national comparison and also as a pilot study for a future, larger-scale international survey project aiming to predict the future of mandatory retirement, which still powerfully affects the economic and social well-being of older workers and their families in many countries around the world today.
Academic Activities
Books
1. Thomas R. Klassen Masa Higo Nopraenue S. Dhirathiti Theresa W. Devasahayam, Ageing in Asia-Pacific: Interdisciplinary and Comparative Perspectives, Routledge, 2018.12, In the coming decades, challenges and risks associated with rapid population ageing will be paramount in Asia-Pacific. Examining key trends, dilemmas and developments with reference to specific nations, the book draws conclusions and policy recommendations that apply to Asia-Pacific as a whole. Individual chapters focus on the impact of population ageing, along with urbanization and industrialization, on the lives of people in the region. The book shows how leaders in Asia-Pacific – political, community and others – need to respond to changes in family and social structures, disease pathology, gender roles, income security, the care of older citizens and the provision of social and health welfare..
2. Masa Higo, Thomas R. Klassen, Retirement in Japan and South Korea: The Past, the Present and the Future of Mandatory Retirement, Routledge (New York), 2015.05, [URL], This book analyses reforms to retirement policies and practices in Japan and South Korea, especially in the context of rapid population ageing. A defining feature of the labour markets and workplaces in these two nations, and the lives of workers and families, is involuntary retirement at relatively young ages. The book explains past developments and recent reforms of retirement policies both in the two countries, as well as in a cross-national comparative manner. At the core of the book is an examination of the social, economic, and political conflicts around retirement, such as between young and old workers, and between employers and workers. The policy recommendations offered apply not only to Japan and South Korea, but also to other nations with rapidly ageing populations, such as China. The volume mainly targets those interested in labor markets and workplaces, population ageing and contemporary East Asian, in addition to those studying retirement and pensions. Policymakers, business leaders, worker organizations, researchers and students will benefit from the insights about the past, present and future of retirement..
Reports
1. Masa Higo, Japan in Today’s World – Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary – , KYUDAI NEWS - Kyushu University Campus Magazine, 2018.10, [URL].
2. Masa Higo, Japan’s “Adjustment Approach” to the Future of Retirement, Credit Suisse Research Institute – Rethinking Retirement, Davos Edition 2020, 2020.02, [URL].
3. Masa Higo Atsuhiro Yamada, Japan - Public Policy, Global Institute, Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College, 2012.11.
Papers
1. Masa Higo, Japan’s Approach to Retirement Reform: An International Perspective, Polish Social Gerontology Journal EXLIBRIS, 10.24917/24500232.181, 18, 1, 94-104, 2021.03.
2. Masa Higo, The impact of COVID-19 on Japan In Today’s World (JTW) Lessons for future teaching and learning, Bulletin of KIKAN Education (Faculty of Arts and Science, Kyushu University) , https://doi.org/10.15017/4363023, 7, 1-17, 2021.02, [URL], Japan In Today’s World (JTW) has a significant link to Kyushu University’s KIKAN education. As the University’s representative, English-taught study program for exchange students from its leading partner institutions around the word, JTW serves as an integral part of the KIKAN education curriculum and uniquely contributes to pursuing its overarching missions of nurturing students’ cross-cultural competencies through diverse courses in general education. Our current era is marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented public health crisis that has constrained nearly all aspects of social activities around the world. Drawing on original data gathered through a program evaluation survey (n=22) and a series of Focus Group interviews (n=12), this article first overviews the ways in which the ongoing global public health crisis has affected the operation of JTW, particularly from April through July 2020, and the learning experiences of its participants. Based on the findings from analyzing those data, this article then discusses, albeit preliminarily, key lessons for its continuous, effective operation in a “post-pandemic age” to come. Those lessons are found in three areas that are essential components of the program: lessons for (1) the JTW core courses; (2) student-to-student cross-cultural exchange; and (3) immersion experience activities. These lessons may also serve as a potentially valuable source of knowledge to further strengthen the role of KIKAN education in coming years..
3. Masa Higo, Making Sense of Japan's Retirement Reform: An International Perspective, Kyushu University International Student Center Annual Research Bulletin, 29, 1-11, 2021.01, [URL].
4. Masa Higo, Japan's 'Adjustment Approach' to Retirement Reforms, Active Aging Consortium Asia Pacific Research Bulletin, August-October, 2020, 10-12, 2020.10.
5. Masa Higo, Ageing and Old Age in Modern Society, Ageing in Asia-Pacific: Interdisciplinary and Comparative Perspectives (Routledge, 2018), 2018.11.
6. Thomas R. Klassen Masa Higo Nopraenue S. Dhirathiti Theresa W. Devasahayam, The Impacts of the Demographic Transition in Asia Pacific, Ageing in Asia-Pacific: Interdisciplinary and Comparative Perspectives (Routledge, 2018), 2018.11.
7. Masa Higo, Thomas R. Klassen, Reforms of Retirement Policies: Three Common Paths in Aging Japan and Korea, Journal of Aging & Social Policy, 29, 1, 70-83, 2017.01, Faced with an unparalleled rate of population aging, Japan and Korea have been reforming their retirement policies. To date, however, while the age of mandatory retirement has increased, employees continue to face significant decreases in compensation and other working conditions, typically at age 60 in Japan and age 55 in Korea. Three factors have contributed to shaping the path of the policy reforms in both the countries, including (1) the productivist welfare regimes, (2) the structure of the labor market for young workers, and (3) seniority-based wage and compensation systems..
8. Masa Higo, Global Ageing and Its Challenges, The Routledge Handbook of Global Public Policy and Administration, 2016.03.
9. Masa Higo Heike S. Schröder Atsuhiro Yamada, Japan: Determinants of Retirement in a Hyper-Aged Society, Delaying Retirement: Progress and Challenges of Active Ageing in Europe, the United States and Japan, 2015.12.
10. Masa Higo, Experiencing Retirement: The Perspective of Older Workers in Japan, Retirement in Japan and Korea: The Past, the Present, and the Future of Mandatory Retirement (2015, Routledge), 2015.02.
11. Masa Higo Thomas R. Klassen, Introduction: Retirement in Aging Japan and Korea, Retirement in Japan and Korea: The Past, the Present, and the Future of Mandatory Retirement (2015, Routledge), 2015.02.
12. Masa Higo Hafiz T. A. Khan, Global Population Aging: Unequal Distribution of Risks in Later Life between Developed and Developing Countries, Global Social Policy, 10.1177/1468018114543157, 2014.12, Much of the existing research on population aging has focused on its impact, including both opportunities and challenges, on developed countries, particularly those in Europe and North America. This article discusses how unequally population aging will distribute risks in securing socio-economic resources for the wellbeing of individuals in later life between developed and developing countries around the world. Based on a documentary analysis of relevant literature and findings from the survey data drawn from Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), United Nations (UN), and World Health Organization (WHO), this article discusses four main areas of the unequal distribution of risks in later life: (1) burden of disease in epidemiological transition, (2) financial security in retirement, (3) familial resources for elderly care, and (4) care workforce for elderly care. While population aging is a global trend, its impact is not equal; over the next decades, today’s developing countries will likely contend with double challenges at least in these areas..
13. Matthew Flynn Heike S. Schröder Masa Higo Atsuhiro Yamada, Government as Institutional Entrepreneur: Extending Working Life in the UK and Japan, Journal of Social Policy, https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047279414000075, 43, 3, 2014.06.
14. Masa Higo, Older Worker in National Context: A Japan-US Comparison, Journal of Population Ageing, https://doi.org/10.1007/s12062-013-9090-3, 6, 4, 305-322, 2013.12, [URL].
15. Masa Higo, Surviving Death-Anxieties in Liquid Modern Times: Examining Zygmunt Bauman’s Social Theory of Death and Dying, OMEGA - Journal of Death and Dying, 10.2190/OM.65.3.e, 65, 3, 221-238, 2012.06, [URL].
16. Masa Higo John B. Williamson, Global Aging, Handbook of Sociology of Aging (2011, Springer), 117-129, 2011.12, [URL].
17. Atsuhiro Yamada Masa Higo, Institutional Barriers to Work beyond Retirement: Evidence from a Recent Japanese Employee Survey, Contemporary Japan, 10.1515/cj.2011.009, 23, 1, 157-186, 2011.06, [URL].
18. John B. Williamson Masa Higo, Why Japanese Workers Remain in the Labor Force So Long: Lessons for the United States?, Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 24, 4, 321-337, 2009.09, [URL].
19. Masa Higo, Aging Workforce in Japan: Three Policy Dilemmas
, Hallym International Journal of Aging, 10.2190/HA.8.2.e, 8, 2, 149-173, 2006.04, [URL].
Presentations
1. Masa Higo, Physician-Assisted Dying (PAD): Current Perspectives and Experiences in Japan, The Third Active Aging Consortium Asia Pacific (ACAP) Annual Meeting 2021, 2021.05.
2. Masa Higo, A 'Death-Laden' Society: Implications of a 'Hyper-Aged' Japan on Its Medicine and Healthcare, The Second Active Aging Consortium Asia Pacific (ACAP) Annual Meeting 2021, 2021.02.
3. Masa Higo, Retirement Reforms in a 'Hyper-Aged' Japan: From an International Perspective, The Sixth Active Aging Consortium Asia Pacific (ACAP) Annual Meeting 2020, 2020.10.
4. Masa Higo, Geriatric Telemedicine: Why Is a ‘Hyper-Aged’ Japan Slow in Adopting It?, Seoul National University-Kyushu University Joint Symposium (Satellite Session 1: Medicine - Elderly Care in Korea and Japan: Current Issues and Future Prospects), 2020.09, [URL].
5. Masa Higo; Kate O'Loughlin; Edward Vickers; Nopraenue Sajjarax Dhirathiti; Satoru Uchida , Teaching and Learning in an Age of COVID-19: Exploring Ways Forward, Kyushu University Institute for Asian and Oceanian Studies (Q-AOS) Kyushu University Asia Week 2020, 2020.09, [URL].
6. Masa Higo, Geriatric Telemedicine and Its Prospects in Asia, The Fourth Annual International Symposium on Aging & Old Age in Asia-Pacific, 2020.08.
7. Masa Higo, The Future Prospects of a 'Post-COVID-19' Era: Resilience and Vulnerability of Older Adults, Ageing in a Post COVID-19 Era: Current Situations & Future Prospects, 2020.05.
8. Masa Higo, Ageing amid COVID-19 and under the 'New Normal', Ageing in a Post COVID-19 Era: Current Situations & Future Prospects, 2020.05.
9. Masa Higo, Older Worker Labor Force Participation in Japan: An Overview of the Past Decade, The Gerontological Society of America 2019 GSA Annual Scientific Meeting, 2019.11.
10. Masa Higo, Why Do Japanese Older Workers Remain In the Labor Force So Long?, Annual International Symposium on Ageing and Later Life 2019 , 2020.01.
11. Masa Higo, Japan in Ageing Asia: An Overview of Policy Reforms and Challenges, The 1st Dialogue Workshop of Long-term Care Experts in Japan, Philippines and India, 2019.11.
12. Masa Higo, Ageing Asia: Convergence and Divergence of the Processes and Consequences of the Population Ageing, The 114th American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, 2019.10.
13. Masa Higo, Delaying Retirement in Japan: Recent Policy Reforms and Challenges, The 11th International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) Asia/Oceania Regional Congress 2019, 2019.10, [URL].
14. Masa Higo, Why Studying Ageing in Asia/Oceania? – An Introduction of the Ageing & Later Life Module
, Kick-Off Symposium of Kyushu University Institute for Asian and Oceanian Studies (Q-AOS) Medicine and Health Cluster , 2019.07, [URL].
15. Thomas R. Klassen, Masa Higo, Reducing Inequality in Pensions: Dilemmas, Progress, and Lessons from China, India, Japan and Korea , Kick-Off Symposium of Kyushu University Institute for Asian and Oceanian Studies (Q-AOS) Medicine and Health Cluster, 2019.07, [URL].
16. Masa Higo, Older Worker & Retirement: Policy Reforms in Japan, The 8th International Conference on Social Science & Humanity (ICSSH 2019), 2019.03,
.
17. Masa Higo, Physician-Assisted Suicide – Implications for a Hyper-Aged Japan, The Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting 2018, 2018.11.
18. Masa Higo, Pension Reforms in Japan and South Korea: Policy Lessons from Abroad, The 113rd American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, 2018.08.
19. Masa Higo, Experience of Retirement: Older Workers' Perspectives, Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) 2018 Annual Conference , 2018.06.
20. Masa Higo, Retirement Reforms in an Hyper-Aged Japan: Three Policy Challenges, Trends and Determinants of Retirement and Related Policies in Asia , 2018.03.
21. Masa Higo, Recent Retirement Trends: A US-Japan Comparison, AARP Public Policy Institute 2017 Regional Convention, Florida, 2017.12.
22. Masa Higo, Critical Overview of Global Aging, The Gerontological Society of America 2017 GSA Annual Scientific Meeting, 2017.11.
23. Masa Higo, Why Do Japanese Workers Remain in the Labor Force So Long: A US-Japan Comparison, The Gerontological Society of America 2017 GSA Annual Scientific Meeting, 2017.11.
24. Masa Higo, Older Worker & Retirement Policy: Recent Trends in an Aging Japan, The Third Annual International Symposium on Aging and Old-Age in Asia-Pacific, 2017.10.
25. Masa Higo, Older Workers and Retirement: Recent Policy Changes in Japan and Korea, American Sociological Association 112nd Annual Meeting 2017, 2017.08.
26. Masa Higo, Population Aging in Southeast Asia: Lessons from Developed Countries?, The Gerontological Society of America 2016 GSA Annual Scientific Meeting, 2016.11.
27. Masa Higo, Japan's Public Pension and Its Recent Reforms, The Second Annual International Symposium on Aging and Old-Age in Asia-Pacific, 2016.10.
28. Masa Higo, Retirement Policies in Japan: Recent Changes and Challenges, 2014 Korea Social Policy Annual Joint Conference, 2014.10.
29. Masa Higo, Growing Older in Japan: Experiences of the Hyper-Aged Society, Teaching About Contemporary Japan Workshop (Kansas City US-Japan Society), 2014.04.
Membership in Academic Society
  • Council Of International Student Advisors of National Universities (COISAN)
Educational
Educational Activities
My teaching and instructional activities are dedicated mostly to international education both for international and domestic students. I offer a wide range of sociology courses taught in English (e-courses) aiming to help students deepen their understanding of social trends, problems, and future prospects of contemporary Japan and other East Asian countries from a critical, global/cross-national comparative perspective (mainly referring to the United States as a point of comparison). My regular courses include, but are not limited to, Aging & the Life Course in Japan, Japan & Globalization, Ethnicity, Minority & Diversity in Japan, and Sociology of Japanese Daily Life Today. The main platform of my teaching and advising for international students is my role as the primary faculty coordinator of the Japan in Today’s World (JTW) Program, Kyushu University’s premier, one-year study program mainly for exchange students selected from the University’s leading partner institutions around the world. I also regularly offer Contemporary American Society: A Sociological Introduction and Current Affairs of ASEAN and East Asia. Effective international education requires continuous improvement of instructional skills and methods; I regularly revise the contents of my courses and update my pedagogy to meet my students’ ever-changing and diverse academic needs and interests.
Other Educational Activities
  • 2021.06, I undertake composing the text and arranging the visual materials and the layout of a special leaflet “Gateways to Japan and Beyond,” which is published annually by Kyushu University International Affairs Division to promote the main short-term study program for international students run by the International Student Center..
  • 2020.05, I undertake composing the text and arranging the visual materials and the layout of a special leaflet “Gateways to Japan and Beyond,” which is published annually by Kyushu University International Affairs Division to promote the main short-term study program for international students run by the International Student Center..
  • 2019.02, Course offering for ASEAN in Today’s World (AsTW) Program 2018 (ASEAN Studies Course: Current Affairs of ASEAN & East Asia).
  • 2019.10, I have fully revised the entire home page of the JTW Program, which had been used over the past 15 years. The new website is designed to directly appeal to students at Kyushu University’s key partner institutions around the world..
  • 2019.05, I undertake composing the text and arranging the visual materials and the layout of a special leaflet “Gateways to Japan and Beyond,” which is published annually by Kyushu University International Affairs Division to promote the main short-term study program for international students run by the International Student Center..
  • 2018.03.
  • 2018.01.
  • 2018.01.
  • 2018.07.
  • 2018.04, Course offering for ASEAN in Today’s World (AsTW) Program 2018 (ASEAN Studies Course: Current Affairs of ASEAN & East Asia).
  • 2018.02, Course offering for ASEAN in Today’s World (AsTW) Program 2018 (ASEAN Studies Course: Current Affairs of ASEAN & East Asia).
  • 2018.10.
  • 2018.05, I undertake composing the text and arranging the visual materials and the layout of a special leaflet “Gateways to Japan and Beyond,” which is published annually by Kyushu University International Affairs Division to promote the main short-term study program for international students run by the International Student Center..
  • 2017.03.
  • 2017.01.
  • 2017.03.
  • 2017.10.
  • 2017.04.
  • 2017.09.
  • 2017.01.
  • 2017.09.
  • 2017.05, I undertake composing the text and arranging the visual materials and the layout of a special leaflet “Gateways to Japan and Beyond,” which is published annually by Kyushu University International Affairs Division to promote the main short-term study program for international students run by the International Student Center..
  • 2016.09.
  • 2016.03.
  • 2016.05, I undertake composing the text and arranging the visual materials and the layout of a special leaflet “Gateways to Japan and Beyond,” which is published annually by Kyushu University International Affairs Division to promote the main short-term study program for international students run by the International Student Center..
  • 2009.03.