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Yosuke SUNAHARA, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Law and Politics

   "When people ask me, 'What have you been up to lately?' I usually say, "It really changes every day..." laughs Associate Professor Yosuke SUNAHARA. While not busy with his research, Associate Professor Sunahara is hard at work writing contributions and articles for newspapers and magazines. Currently residing in a Kansai region abuzz with talk of the Osaka Metropolis Plan, Associate Professor Sunahara specializes in politics and public administration, more specifically local administration, government, and political parties, making him much sought-after by mass media as a young expert in his field.

   In 2013, he received the 2013 Suntory Prize for Social Sciences and Humanities for his work centered around Osaka entitled Osaka - Can Big Cities Surpass the Government? This work has also earned him the 2014 Presidential Award for Encouragement.

   During his time as a student, he considering becoming a public officer, but, "I hated studying, so I entered graduate school," joked Associate Professor Sunahara. He had originally intended to study about the economic development of southeast Asia, but was intrigued by the problems of regional communities and administrations happening right here in Japan. So he decided to research these problems by examining the decision making processes of local government through statistical and analytical approaches.

   "I suppose it was a good thing that I could find things that I was interested in through the work that I was given," remarked Associate Professor Sunahara, who performed research on the government and administration of Osaka at Osaka City University from 2009. The "Osaka Metropolis Plan" has been making waves of late, but in actuality, it is regarded as just one of the solutions for a long standing urban problem for Osaka. In congressional assembly, discussion often boils down to a simple "yes or no," but Associate Professor Sunahara theorizes that in local governments, it is necessary to locate the root of various opinions and speculations. In particular, the selection process of 'representatives', the root of different opinions and speculations, requires insight from a social science viewpoint.

   When asked about his vision for the future, his response was a bit unexpected. "I'd like to go into 'housing,' My visit to the Tohoku area on disaster-related work sparked me," said Associate Professor Sunahara, ready to take on a new challenge.

About Associate Professor Sunahara

After graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences, Tokyo University in 2001, Associate Professor Sunahara he completed his doctorate course at the Graduate School of Arts and Science at Tokyo University in 2006. After serving as an associate professor at the Graduate School of Law at Osaka City University, he took his current position as associate professor at the Graduate School of Law and Politics at Osaka University. He has his Ph.D. in politics and public administration.

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