Director of the Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan
Atsushi Seike graduated from the Faculty of Economics at Keio University in 1978. His area of specialization is labor economics, and he holds a doctorate in commercial science. He became a professor in the Keio University Faculty of Business and Commerce in 1992 and then dean of that faculty in 2007, and he served as president of the university from 2009 to 2017. He currently serves as chairman of the Japan National Council of Social Welfare, honorary director of the Cabinet Office’s Economic and Social Research Institute, and chairman of the Social Security System Reform Conference, among other positions. Past positions in which he’s served include chairman of the National Council on Social Security Reform and chairman of the Japan Society of Human Resource Management. He’s also served as a member of the ILO’s Global Commission on the Future of Work and as a visiting professor at Harvard University, and he received the L'ordre national de la Légion d'honneur from the French government in 2016. He’s written numerous books, including Koyo Henkaku (NHK Books) and Koreisha Shugyo no Keizaigaku (Nikkei), a work to which he contributed that won the 48th Nikkei Economic Book Culture Award.
I recall participating in a dialog with Governor Nisaka in which I said, “The power of the traditional and the power of the new coexist in Wakayama Prefecture.”
The power of the traditional in Wakayama, it goes beyond saying, can be found in Koyasan, Kumano Sanzan, and the the pilgrimage routes that connect these sacred sites. As highlighted by the fact that they have been registered as the World Heritage “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range,” these sites exert special appeal as a source of spiritual culture in Japan and as tourism resources.
The power of the new in Wakayama is evident in its manufacturing industry, which boasts world-class technology, and in the way it has made traditional industries more sophisticated, a trend you can see in the technologies used by primary industries to produce agricultural products such as Japanese plums and tangerines as well as tuna and sea bream with extremely high added value.
Because it can both safeguard tradition and create new value, Wakayama is positioned to play an important role in enriching and enhancing the quality of Japanese society. I look forward to playing a part in that effort by participating in the Group of 100 Devotees of Koyasan and Kumano.