Aviation Policy Research Unit

Established : Jan. 13, 2009

Photo by AP/AFLO



Aviation is highly complex and closely relates to national strategy. In spite of progressive liberalization and deregulation, civil aviation is still under heavy governmental influence due to its special needs, such as route rights, airport slots, safety requirements, technological development and so on. While the aviation industry has a high priority in national growth strategies in Europe and America, Japan has been lacking a comprehensive aviation policy, partly because it has been so long since the nation has had a civilian aircraft in production. The YS-11, a Japanese-designed 64-seat passenger turboprop, ceased production in 1973. While attempts have been made to revive the industry in the 40 years since the demise of the YS-11, there has recently been a concerted upsurge of interest, which has led the industry to start development of a 70-90 passenger regional jetliner.

The University of Tokyo has recognized this opportunity and established the Aviation Policy Research Unit as an interdisciplinary endeavor, including law, economics, international relations studies and aeronautics.


The unit aims to propose a wide range of policy alternatives that would prepare structures for accelerating aviation innovation. To this end, consideration is being given to various aspects, including technological research and development, and policy recommendations, as well as human resources development.


Shinji Suzuki (Professor, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics)


  • Tomoharu Hase (Project Professor, Graduate School of Public Policy)
  • Ichiro Sakata (Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute / Professor, Graduate School of Engineering / Special Advisor to the President)
  • Junichiro Mori (Associate Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute)
  • Hiroshi Shibutake (Project Professor, Center for Aviation Innovation Research)
  • Hiroko Nakamura (Project Associate Professor, Center for Aviation Innovation Research)
  • Katsuya Hihara (Visiting Researcher, Graduate School of Public Policy)
  • Masako Okano (Visiting Researcher, Policy Alternatives Research Institute)