Everyday Policy Studies No. en28

Index Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) 06

 My previous essay https://apsf.jp/en/2021/01/08/everyday-policy-studies-no-en25/ reviews Janzen and Carter (2019). In this essay, I will review Jensen, Barrett, and Mude (2017), which is the second most cited paper among the nine papers on impacts of IBLI, following Janzen and Carter (2019).
 One of the major differences between Jensen et al. (2017) and the other eight papers is that Jensen et al. (2017) study not only the impacts of IBLI but also a conditional cash transfer program called Hunger Safety Net Programme (HSNP). HSNP provides 2,150 Kenya Shillings (KSH, about 29 United States dollar, USD) to beneficiary households once two months since April 2009. Marsabit County is one of the poorest counties in Kenya and it happened to be the pilot county not only for IBLI but also for HSNP and our households data have beneficiaries for either or both programs.
 Following our notation, equation of interest is Y=a+bX+e where Y is outcome variable, X is explanatory variable, a is constant term, and e is error term. Jensen et al. (2017) study many equations which have different X and Y. Explanatory variable X is having IBLI or having HSNP. Outcome variable Y is livestock sale, livestock herd size, veterinary expenditure, herding livestock with satellite camps, income from livestock milk, loss of livestock, household total income, school absenteeism, and health (measured by mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) of children aged from zero to five). Jensen et al. (2017)’s central question is whether IBLI and HSNP have impacts on these outcome variables of household behavior and welfare. In order to control endogeneity of having IBLI or HSNP, they use instrument variable method. Instrument variable for having IBLI is insurance premium discount coupon as reviewed in my previous essay. Instrument variable for having HSNP is household eligibility status for HSNP.
 Jensen et al. (2017) find that either IBLI or HSNP has impacts on all outcome variables except school absenteeism. Based on estimated impacts (magnitude of b), they calculate and compare impact to cost ratios for IBLI and HSNP. Both total program cost per beneficiary and impact are similar between IBLI and HSNP and thus impact to cost ratios are also similar. On the other hand, marginal cost (how much it will cost for the next additional one beneficiary) for IBLI is 10 times smaller. It is because both IBLI and HSNP needs large initial cost for developing insurance product and setting up system for insurance transaction or cash transfer. As for marginal cost, HSNP incurs cost of cash to transfer but IBLI does not. Impact to marginal cost ratio is thus larger for IBLI.
 Jensen et al. (2017) do not find synergy between IBLI and HSNP as additional impacts when households have both IBLI and HSNP. This is studied further by Jensen, Ikegami, and Mude (2017).
 In the next essay, I will review another paper on the impacts of IBLI or proceed to studies on IBLI uptake.

Reference
Janzen, Sarah and Carter, Michael R. (2019). “After the Drought: The Impact of Microinsurance on Consumption Smoothing and Asset Protection,” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 101(3), 651-671.
Jensen, N. D., Barrett, C. B., and Mude, A. (2017). “Cash Transfers and Index Insurance: A Comparative Impact Analysis from Northern Kenya.” Journal of Development Economics, 129, 14–28.
Jensen, N., Ikegami, M., and Mude, A. (2017). “Integrating Social Protection Strategies for Improved Impact: A Comparative Evaluation of Cash Transfers and Index Insurance in Kenya.” The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance – Issues and Practice, 42(4), 675–707.

(Author: Munenobu Ikegami)

Everyday Policy Studies No. en27

Special Fixed-Sum Cash Benefits (continued)

 The projected cost of the special fixed-sum cash benefits (uniformly 100,000 yen per person) implemented as part of the “Emergency Economic Measures to Cope with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)”, is 12,734,414 million yen (i.e. about 12.73 trillion yen). (See Note 1).
 Assuming that the tax revenue is 1% of the consumption tax rate (national / local) under the reduced tax rate system is about 2.1 trillion yen (See Note 2), the budget total of the special fixed-sum cash benefits is equivalent to the consumption tax rate of 6 (12.73 ÷ 2.1) %. It will be a budget amount that can lead to a reduction of the consumption tax. The special fixed-sum cash benefits of 12.73 trillion yen and the consumption tax reduction of 12.73 trillion yen (with a tax rate of 6%) are the same in terms of universalist policies that do not limit specific individuals or households. However, the special fixed-sum cash benefits of 12.73 trillion yen without the consumption tax reduction, and the consumption tax reduction of 12.73 trillion yen (with a tax rate of 6%), involve different legislative measures, different speeds of policy implementation and different administrative costs, and different beneficiaries, and this implies different types of a consumption tax system.
 If we assume that the consumption tax rate is a uniform 10% and the basic consumption is 1 million yen per person per year, providing a fixed-sum cash benefit of 100,000 yen means that the consumption tax amount related to the basic consumption will be refunded uniformly. The refund amount is 100,000 yen (10%×1 million yen). 
 In other words, tax payment = tax rate × (annual consumption−basic consumption) = (tax rate × annual consumption) − (tax rate × basic consumption) = consumption tax paid−fixed-sum benefit; so if you consider the proportional consumption tax and the fixed-sum benefit as a set, the set will be a “progressive” consumption (value-added) tax system. “Progressive” means that the higher the annual consumption, the higher the average consumption tax rate (consumption tax payment amount ÷ annual consumption). (See Note 3).
 In this regard, since the fixed-sum cash benefit is a negative poll tax, it is possible to present the “progressive value-added tax”, which is a combination of VAT (value added tax) and a negative poll tax, as a new expenditure tax. (See Note 4).
 On the other hand, the consumption tax reduction of 6% is a proportional consumption tax (VAT) of 4%. Therefore, it is possible that there is a difference in the consumption tax system between providing a fixed-sum cash benefit of 100,000 yen and having a consumption tax reduction of 6%.
 Since this special fixed-sum benefit is a temporary measure, it cannot be considered as a progressive consumption tax system unless it is continued from next year onward. Therefore, we may examine whether we should continue the fixed-sum cash benefit in some way from next year onward, and after the coronavirus crisis has settled down, whether we should consider the redemption of financial resources regarding public bonds for the emergency economic measures like as the reconstruction tax for the Great East Japan Earthquake.

(Note 1) Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, “The Special Fixed-Sum Cash Benefits (in Japanese)”.
https://www.soumu.go.jp/menu_seisaku/gyoumukanri_sonota/covid-19/kyufukin.html 
<Accessed on May 18, 2020>

(Note 2) “Under the reduced tax rate system, the consumption tax rate increase of 1% is expected to be about 2.04 (or 2.23) trillion yen.” (Y. Baba et al., Consideration on Public Finance in Japan (in Japanese), Tokyo: Yuhikaku, 2017, p.51)
Therefore, we assume that the tax revenue with a consumption tax rate of 1% is about 2.1 trillion yen. However, this tax revenue forecast will depend on the final consumption expenditure of the national accounts, so it will be significantly reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic.

(Note 3) “Progressive” in the term “progressive income tax” means that the higher the annual income is, the higher is the average income tax rate. The difference between a progressive income tax and a progressive consumption tax is whether an individual’s ability to pay (economic power) is considered in terms of income or consumption. Generally, it is said that the consumption tax is regressive because the higher the income is, the lower the ratio of the consumption tax payment to the income, and the regressive effect on income distribution. See H. Kato and A. Yokoyama, Tax System and Tax Politics: How Tax Reform Should Be Done (in Japanese), Tokyo: The Yomiuri Shimbun, 1995, pp. 217-218.

(Note 4) See A. Yokoyama, “Examining a New Expenditure Tax System (in Japanese),” Sozei-Kenkyu (Studies on Taxation), No. 535, pp4-12; A. Yokoyama et al., Modern Public Finance (in Japanese), Tokyo: Yuhikaku, 2009, p.271.

This essay is the English version of No. 147, May 19, 2020 on the Japanese website.

(Author: Akira Yokoyama)

Everyday Policy Studies No. en26

Special Fixed-Sum Cash Benefits

 The “Emergency Economic Measures to Cope with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)”, the supplementary budget for fiscal year 2020, which includes Special Fixed-Sum Cash Benefits, was established on April 30, 2020. The special fixed-sum cash benefit was decided by the Cabinet on April 20, as follows. “With respect and thankfulness to the people who are engaged in various fields throughout the country including the healthcare field, we must consolidate, unite, and overcome the national crisis of fighting this invisible enemy. For this reason, while paying attention to the prevention of the spread of the disease, the Government will promptly and appropriately support households with a simple mechanism, and uniformly pay out 100,000 yen per person.” (See Note 1), and the recipients of the benefit are those listed in the Basic Resident Register on the recording date (April 27, 2020) (including foreign residents not having Japanese nationality). The beneficiary is the head of the household to which the person belongs.
 The special fixed-sum cash benefit is a modification of the 300,000 yen benefit for households with reduced revenues included under the “Emergency Economic Measures to Cope with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)”, decided by the Cabinet on April 7. While the 300,000 yen benefit to households with reduced revenue is a support measure for households that are limited to households in need, the special fixed-sum cash benefit is a support measure for households that do not have such a limitation. The difference between the two benefits is the difference between the principles of selectivism and universalism.
Under the current child allowance system, there is in principle an income cap according to the number of dependent relatives, etc., but even if the income cap is exceeded, a monthly amount of 5,000 yen will be paid per child as Special Interim Allowances (See Note 2). This is a policy that is based on selectivism but also has universalism.
Support measures for households in the Emergency Economic Measures to Cope with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) are based on the universalist policy of special fixed-sum cash benefits, but may require selective policies with additional benefits targeting households who are truly in need as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19. Therefore, just as the 300,000-yen benefit for households with reduced revenues caused a major issue with how to identify and demarcate households with reduced revenues, it is important to establish a clear and rational demarcation standard in selective policies.

(Note 1) Cabinet Office, Japan, “Emergency Economic Measures to Cope with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)~Thoroughly secure people’s lives and moves toward economic revitalization~” p.30, April 20, 2020 https://www5.cao.go.jp/keizai1/keizaitaisaku/2020/20200420_economic_measures_all.pdf

(Note 2) Cabinet Office, Japan, “The Outline of the Act for Amending Part of the Child Allowance Act”, (Date of Enforcement, April 1, 2012),
https://www8.cao.go.jp/shoushi/jidouteate/pdf/gaiyou_kaisei-en.pdf
Furthermore, according to the “Emergency Economic Measures to Cope with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)”, support to households with children, a temporary special benefit of an additional 10,000 yen per applicable child, will be paid to households receiving (regular) Child Allowance.

This essay is the English version of No. 143, May 5, 2020 on the Japanese website, but the notes and URLs have been changed. The final date of access to the URLs is January 2, 2021.

(Author: Akira Yokoyama)

Everyday Policy Studies No. en25

Index Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) 05

 My previous essay https://apsf.jp/en/2020/12/09/everyday-policy-studies-no-en23/ reviews how to measure the impacts of the insurance using the household data and the insurance premium discount coupon as a instrument variable. In this essay, I will review previous studies on the impacts using this method.
 Following the notation of my previous essay, our equation of interest is Y = a + bX + e where Y is dependent variable, X is explanatory variable, a is constant term, and e is error term. In our case, since we are studying the impacts of the insurance, X is purchasing and having the insurance and for simplicity, let us say X takes one if a household has insurance and zero otherwise (instead of that X is how much livestock the household covers with the insurance). Y is outcome variable which insurance can improve, for example, Y can be how much livestock a household owns after a drought. We hope that the insurance will help households save their livestock from a drought and so we hope that b in the equation above is positive and large. As we discussed in my previous essay, a more able household buys the insurance more likely and she can save her livestock more regardless the insurance and thus we would overestimate the impact b. We will alleviate this overestimation using the insurance premium discount coupon as an instrument variable.
 There are seven papers in academic journals and two working papers studying the insurance impacts on using the household data and insurance premium discount coupon as instrument variable. Five out of the nine papers use IBLI Borena Ethiopia data and the remaining four use IBLI Marsabit Kenya data. Each of the papers studies different outcome variables Y and impact channel b. Based on Google Scholar https://scholar.google.com, the most cited paper among the nine papers is Janzen and Carter (2019).
 There was a drought in 2011 and an insurance payout in November 2011. In October 2011, Janzen and Carter (2019) ask households whether they would sell livestock and reduce meal in the following three months (October-December 2011) in order to cope with the drought in 2011. Note that Janzen and Carter (2019) ask households their expectation on their drought coping strategies in the future instead of what households did in the past. One of two outcome variables Y in Janzen and Carter (2019) is to sell livestock to cope with the drought and they expect and find b is negative. Our next question is how large this impact is. 27 percents of the households say that they would sell livestock and the insurance decreases this by 61 percentage points (from 27 percents to 11 percents). The other outcome variable Y in Janzen and Carter (2019) is to reduce mead to cope with the drought. They expect b is negative and find b is negative for the poor half of the households but b is zero (no impact) for the remaining rich half. 62 percents of the households say that they would reduce meal and the insurance decreases this by 49 percentage points (from 62 percents to 32 percents) for the poor half of the households.
 In my next essay, some of the remaining eight papers will be reviewed.

Reference
Janzen, Sarah and Carter, Michael R, (2019), “After the Drought: The Impact of Microinsurance on Consumption Smoothing and Asset Protection,” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 101(3), 651-671.

(Author:Munenobu Ikegami)

Everyday Policy Studies No. en24

New Year’s Day 2021

 This year, although we had New Year’s Day, it is hard to say “Happy” New Year.
At the beginning of the year, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the medical personnel and many others who are still engaged in hard work fighting the menace of the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19). Furthermore, I pray that the day will come as soon as possible when those who are experiencing trouble in their daily lives will feel at ease.
 Now is the time for the next generation of young people to think about COVID-19 and others. We have all lived for almost a year in a completely different environment. How did you spend most of your time in the anxious and uncertain environment of COVID-19? If you’ve written your schedule in a notebook, diary, or calendar, please try to measure how many hours you spent in a month or week in 2020. For example, what was the daily hourly average of how you passed your time in April, August, and December 2020? Compare it with the daily average of the way you spent your time in the same month a year previously.
 Please calculate the approximate average time spent on the following three kinds of activities: 1. Average time for physiologically necessary activities (primary activities) such as sleeping, eating, and bathing; 2. Average time for absolutely necessary activities (secondary activities) such as commuting to school or work, schoolwork, housework, childcare, and long-term care; and 3. Average time for activities (tertiary activities) in your free time, which are generally referred to as leisure activities, such as watching television, resting, learning other than at school, self-development, hobbies, entertainment, sports, and dating. (See Note).
 Especially, ask what was the activity that you spent the most time on in the breakdown of the tertiary activities? The spent time on those activities is the key to opening the door to your future. Do not ignore the activity that you devoted your maximum time to, rather cherish it, and think of it as a clue to connect the activity with your individuality, charm, and strength. I would like you to think about how you make use of that activity so that it will help those who are in trouble in their daily lives as a result of COVID-19. It may take 3 to 5 years or more to reach a conclusion about that.
 However, I would like young people to realize for themselves by adopting such a medium- to long-term perspective and by making the most of their individuality, charm, and strengths. I wish you all the best of luck this year as well.

(Note) For the definition of the average time of the primary activity, secondary activity, and tertiary activity here, see the living times outlined in the document entitled “Social Life: Basic Survey” (in Japanese), which is available at https://www.e-stat.go.jp/koumoku/koumoku_teigi/M (Accessed on 2020.12.30)

This essay is the English version of No. 198, January 1, 2021 on the Japanese website.

(Author: Akira Yokoyama)

Everyday Policy Studies No. en23

Index Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) 04

 My previous essay reviews the household data we collected to study insurance uptake and impacts. In this essay, I will review how to measure the impact using the data and insurance premium discount coupons.
 The major challenge in measuring the impact is endogeneity of insurance uptake. Our central question is how much insurance improves households’ welfare. The cause is insurance and the result is welfare. Studying this causality is difficult due to unobserved household characteristics and endogeneity of insurance uptake. To simplify this reasoning, let us say unobserved household characteristics is household ability and more able households buy insurance more likely (and endogenously). Let us call the latter endogeneity of insurance uptake. If so, we cannot tell whether insurance improves household welfare or more able households improve their welfare and buy insurance at the same time. In this case, if we do not control this endogeneity of insurance uptake, our estimate of the impacts of insurance on household welfare will end up larger than the true value.
 To control this endogeneity, we designed a randomized controlled trial (RCT). Since it is difficult to ask insurance companies to sell insurance to particular households or in particular villages and not to sell to the others, we provided insurance premium discount coupons to particular households among our 924 sample households in Marsabit, Kenya and 515 sample households in Borena, Ethiopia. We call households who received the coupons treatment group and the other households who did not receive the coupons control group. We randomly split the households into treatment group and control group. The simplest RCT compares average welfare in the treatment group with average welfare in the control group and the impacts is the difference in welfare. In our case, if we did so, the difference in average welfare would be the impacts of discount coupon rather than the impacts of insurance.
 In order to obtain the impacts of insurance, we use an Econometircs method called instrument variable (IV) method. Our dependent variable Y is household welfare such as income and explanatory variable X is insurance uptake. Our equation of interest is Y = a + bX + e where a is average welfare (called constant term) and e is other factors influencing welfare (called error term). Coefficient b is the estimate we would like to have and the impacts of insurance (X) on household welfare (Y). IV method allows us the following. Even if insurance uptake (X) is influenced by ability captured in error term (e), we can estimate coefficient b using an instrument variable (Z) which is strongly related to insurance uptake (X) but unrelated to error term (e). Let us consider whether discount coupon can be an instrument variable (Z). First, discount coupon encourages insurance uptake and thus our instrument variable (Z) can strongly related to insurance uptake (X). Second, we randomly split households into treatment group who receives discount coupons and control group who does not and thus our instrument variable (Z) should be unrelated to other factors affecting household welfare (error term, e).
In this essay, I review that insurance premium discount coupon allows us to measure the impact of insurance on household welfare. In the next essay, I will review studies on insurance uptake and impacts using the household data and the discount coupons.

(Author: Munenobu Ikegami)

Everyday Policy Studies No. en22

Index Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) 03

 My previous essay reviews the process from insurance design to pilot implementation. In this essay I will start reviewing how we study insurance uptake and impacts.
 Mude et al. (2009) proposes to study insurance uptake and impacts and we designed and implemented a baseline household survey in September 2009 before an insurance company started selling the insurance in January 2010. The number of sample households is 924 and they are located in 16 sublocations in Marsabit County in northern Kenya. Initially we had a research grant only for the baseline survey but we obtained several grants subsequently and could have annual follow up survey five times.
 The baseline survey in 2009 was new experience for me. Before that, I have been studying the data which were designed and collected by someone else. This was my first time to design and implement a survey. This was my first fieldwork as well. I have travelled in rural areas in developing countries but the length of each trip is less than two weeks and the purpose is to satisfy my curiosity rather than research or work. I remember I was very excited to go to Marsabit for the survey after a year of office work in Nairobi.
 We piloted the insurance in Borena Zone in southern Ethiopia as well. Borena Zone and Marsabit County are sharing the border and my colleagues had known the area from their previous research project. In Borena Zone, the baseline household survey was in March 2012 and the initial insurance sale was in August 2012. 515 sample households are located in 17 study areas. We could have annual follow up survey three times. Ikegami and Sheahan (2017, 2018) explains more details of each survey and the data are publicly available at http://data.ilri.org/portal/dataset/ibli-marsabit-r1 and http://data.ilri.org/portal/dataset/ibli-borena-r1.
 In my next essay, I will review how to measure the impacts of insurance using the data. Our main tool was insurance premium discount coupon.

References
Ikegami, M. and M. Sheahan (2017) “Index Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) Marsabit Household Survey Codebook” http://data.ilri.org/portal/dataset/ibli-marsabit-r1
Ikegami, M. and M. Sheahan (2018) “Index Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) Borena Household Survey Codebook” http://data.ilri.org/portal/dataset/ibli-borena-r1
Mude, A., C. B. Barrett, M. R. Carter, S. Chantarat, M. Ikegami, and J. McPeak (2009) “Index Based Livestock Insurance for Northern Kenya’s Arid and Semi-arid Lands: The Marsabit Pilot” http://ssrn.com/abstract=1844758

(Author: Munenobu Ikegami)

Everyday Policy Studies No. en21

Index Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) 02

 My previous essay https://apsf.jp/en/2020/09/16/everyday-policy-studies-no-en15/ review why and how my colleague designed Index Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) in Northern Kenya. In this essay, I will review the process from insurance design to pilot implementation.
 When I joined IBLI project at International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) as a post-doc in September 2008, my colleague has already designed the insurance. One of my tasks was to contribute to our efforts to modify the insurance design for pilot implementation. For example, area boundary for insurance premium calculation and area boundary for index calculation can be modified based on what an insurance company think as the best. Also, insurance premium changes as insurance payout trigger, deducible, and exit (maximum payout) change.
 We talked to several insurance companies in Kenya and several reinsurance companies as potential implementation partners for the insurance pilot. Fortunately, an insurance company and an insurance broker company in Kenya, and a reinsurance company in Europe agreed to pilot the insurance with us. Several international development donors also agreed to provide grants to support the insurance pilot including insurance premium subsidy. We agreed on that all of insurance parameters (premium, premium subsidy, trigger, deducible, exit, area boundary). The pilot area is Marsabit County (previously Marsabit District), area boundary for insurance premium calculation divides Marsabit County into two areas (Upper and Lower Masabit), and area boundary for index calculation divides Marsabit County into 5 areas (1. Central and Gadamoji, 2. Laisamis, 3. Loiyangalani, 4. Maikona, 5. North Horr).
 The insurance was launched in January 2010. My task to contribute to the pilot implementation continued since IBLI project team at ILRI is responsible to calculate the index and support insurance companies. In retrospect, my transition to a graduate student to a post-doc is quite a change. My study as a graduate students is academic. On the other hand, my work as a post-doc is development project implementation more than academic research. I wrote scripts to download remote sensing data, calculate index, upload update on index to the project web site. I wrote documents explaining how index is calculated for insurance companies and had meetings with them.
 In my next essay, I will move to the next topics: insurance uptake and impact.

(Author: Munenobu Ikegami)

Everyday Policy Studies No. en20

Information concerning the spread of the novel coronavirus infectious disease (COVID-19)

 In Japan as well as in other countries, the effects of the spread of COVID-19 are becoming serious. I think that even young people see various pieces of information in the mass media such as TV, radio and newspapers, as well as on web media and social media etc. through the internet and smartphones. However, how can you be sure that you get really reliable information about such a topic?
 I see the reports in the national newspapers I subscribe to as well as NHK and commercial broadcasters, but my main sources of information are various websites. In particular, I obtain information regarding the primary materials on scientific knowledge and policy responses, including data referred to in various media from websites, as follows: the government of Japan (especially the Prime Minister’s Office, the Cabinet Secretariat, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare), local governments (especially Tokyo, Osaka and Saitama), the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, the Japan Medical Association and WHO (the World Health Organization). Among these, NHK’s “Special Site: Novel Coronavirus”, the Cabinet Secretariat’s “COVID-19 Information and Resources” and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare’s “About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)” serve as portal sites.
 From the perspective of multicultural coexistence, the website of the Cabinet Secretariat is linked to the English and Chinese pamphlets published by the Prime Minister’s Office, but this is not always sufficient. In this regard, concerning the novel coronavirus, the English and Chinese versions of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare; the English, Chinese, Korean, and easy Japanese editions of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government; and the website of CLAIR (the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations) may be useful for citizens who are not native speakers of Japanese.
 In addition to the above websites, I always read the personal website of Professor Shinya Yamanaka (the Nobel Prize winner) entitled “Shinya Yamanaka’s novel coronavirus information transmission”. In particular, I think it is a must-see for the sections “Information classification according to the strength of evidence”, “5 recommendations” and “What’s new” which are posted on the site.
 Based on the information presented on these websites, I find that I am able to grasp and contemplate the current situation regarding the spread of COVID-19, and making active choices as an individual. Writing this essay is one of those active choices.

(Note) Of the websites referred to in the text, the following can be read in English:
Cabinet Secretariat
https://corona.go.jp/en/
CLAIR,
http://www.clair.or.jp/tabunka/portal/info/contents/114517.php
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare,
https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/newpage_00032.html
National Institute of Infectious Diseases,
https://www.niid.go.jp/niid/en/2019-ncov-e.html
Osaka Prefectural Government,
http://www.pref.osaka.lg.jp.e.agb.hp.transer.com/kikaku/osaka-corona/index.html
Prime Minister’s Office,
https://japan.kantei.go.jp/
http://japan.kantei.go.jp/ongoingtopics/_00017.html
Saitama Prefectures,
https://www.pref.saitama.lg.jp/foreignlanguage/index.html
Tokyo Metropolitan Government,
https://www.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/tosei/tosei/news/2019-ncov.html#Eng
https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/en/
WHO, “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic,”
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

These URLs were accessed on August 28, 2020, and different to those mentioned on the Japanese website.

(Author: Akira Yokoyama)

This essay is the English version of No. 135, April 7, 2020 on the Japanese website.

Everyday Policy Studies No. en19

In commemoration of No.100 of “Everyday Policy Studies (in Japanese)”

 With the support of many people, we were able to celebrate the publication of the 100th essay of “Everyday Policy Studies (in Japanese)”. I would like to express my appreciation to all the forum members who wrote the essays and those who read the essays.
 The aim of the forum is as oultlined on the website, but as the president I have been trying to achieve an additional aim. The stated aim is to educate junior high and senior high school students and other young people so that they will become responsible citizens. Therefore, I hoped that each member could send some useful messages to young people and help achieve this purpose.
 With this in mind, I would like to ask the members to write essays in such a way that allows young people to understand the following: the basic ideas of policy studies, their own thoughts in their daily lives, and the results of their research. Writing for young people to understand as much as possible will help the authors to think about how they should talk about policies and daily lives in order that the next generation will understand their thoughts.
 It may also have the effect of making people ask of themselves “what does one owe to one’s children.” Parents (the adult generations) become aware of themselves as parents only when they have children (the child generations), and it becomes difficult for parents to take actions that are contrary to what children think are correct. Even adults who do not walk across the road on the pedestrian crossing when they are without their children do cross the pedestrian crossing when they are with their children because they are aware that their children are watching. And adults who see the children taking eco-friendly actions such as saving water and saving electricity then start to copy such actions. Therefore, I would like the authors to write essays for these young people to understand.
 Also, I would like the authors to translate each essay published in the “Everyday Policy Studies (in Japanese)” into English, so that they will be able to convey the message to young people all around the world who will play a leading role in the future, not only in Japanese society but also on a global scale.
 In addition, I have a request for those who have read the essays so far. If you have an essay that you would especially like young people to read, please recommend them to read it. Through these efforts, if the readers can carry out such a role, I think that the value of “Everyday Policy Studies” can be further enhanced.
 We therefore look forward to your continued support for the “Everyday Policy Studies” series.

(Author: Akira Yokoyama)

This essay is the English version of No. 100, December 2, 2019 on the Japanese website.