Forum Report

In May and June, 2021, the Reexamining Japan in Global Context project gathered for two virtual seminars to provide an update to prior discussions about happiness that took place in 2013.

Around the world, more and more people, companies, and governments have been seeking new ways to measure and promote happiness, health, and wellbeing, and asking “what does it mean to live the good life?”

At the same time, the coronavirus pandemic and other planetary challenges are raising the stakes and making this question more urgent than ever before.

On May 27, 2021, the forum followed up with Prof. Yukiko Uchida, Professor at the Kokoro Research Center at Kyoto University. Prof. Uchida offered insightful analyses of key happiness trends since 2013 from her perspective as a psychologist, including developments related to happiness scores across different demographics, happiness “customization” among young people, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On June 10, 2021, the forum followed up with Prof. Nick Powdthavee, Professor of Behavioural Science at the Warwick Business School and IZA Research Fellow. Prof. Powdthavee provided fascinating commentary on happiness-related academic and policy trends, including regarding how to measure wellbeing, the importance of mental health, and the implications of societal aging.

(Please see the PDF report for details.)