Tokyo College Symposium: “Beyond Corona Crisis”②Life and Society - Tokyo College

Tokyo College Symposium: “Beyond Corona Crisis”②Life and Society

2020.06.23 @ 10:00 – 11:30
Tokyo College Symposium: “Beyond Corona Crisis”②Life and Society

On Tuesday, June 23, Tokyo College held the second online symposium in its “Beyond Corona Crisis” series, on the theme of “Life and Society”  

The new way of life brought about by the coronavirus crisis, and what society will be like going forward, is an important theme. Professor Makoto Yokohari (The University of Tokyo, School of Engineering), acting as moderator, told of how the history of cities has also been the history of improving public health. He stated that distancing by social exclusion started at the same time as the formation of exclusive residential areas in cities, and discussed the possibility that the coronavirus crisis could be utilized to achieve the formation of inclusive societies. In a presentation titled “Urban Development and Infection Disease: To this Point and Beyond,” Associate Professor Kumiko Oguma (The University of Tokyo, School of Engineering) introduced many historical instances of infectious diseases influencing the development of cities. She said one can observe how population flows into cities have led to the spread of infectious diseases in overcrowded and unsanitary environments, with further urban expansion based on improvements to sanitation infrastructure. Oguma further stated that, comparing our with/post coronavirus situation to such historical examples, a peculiar characteristic that this is taking place not in a period of urban expansion (with population growth and poor sanitary conditions) but rather during a period of saturation and contraction (population decline and aging), and we have to recover from this crisis during conditions of stagnation. She also explained issues relating to the existence of communications, the “right to disconnect”, increasing choice, and the driving force to bring about an inclusive society. Professor Koichi Kato (The University of Tokyo, School of Engineering) explained the effects on architecture of changes to the climate, severe famine, war, and the bubonic plague that occurred at the start of the Little Ice Age in the late Middle Ages, in a presentation titled “Considering Social Change, the City, and Architecture, from a Millennial Scale.” He also mentioned the construction of enormous gothic cathedrals left incomplete. In a report titled “Gains and Losses to Life and Society from the Coronavirus Crisis,” Professor Hiroshi Ohashi (Director of the Graduate School of Public Policy, The University of Tokyo) pointed out that there exist various global risks other than the current pandemic, and stressed the present need for fully developed evidence-based policy making.

YouTube LIVE
Date(s) Tuesday, 23 June 2020, 10:00-11:30 am

Tokyo College YouTube Channel (

Language Japanese language only

Life and Society is one of the six themes we have set to consider in thinking about the “Corona Crisis” and the future world. Experts from the discipline will discuss this theme in a round table. 

Just as modern urban planning in 19th century Western Europe was born against a background of the deterioration of sanitary conditions brought about by the rapid concentration of populations in urban areas led by the industrial revolution, and efforts to improve such conditions, the history of urban civilization has also been the history of improving public health, including measures to prevent infectious disease. The current spread of the novel coronavirus, however, is occurring in a completely different context—particularly in Japan, where it has not been brought about by poor sanitation, where society is in a state of population aging and decline, and where digital technology including IT is advanced and widespread—and it is on the basis of this context that we must consider countermeasures and prospects for the future. In this session, we will look forward at life and society in Japan with-/post-coronavirus, keeping these issues in mind, from perspectives such as public policy, architecture, urban planning, and sanitary engineering.


Coordinator: Makoto Yokohari(Professor of School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo)

Organized by Tokyo College, The University of Tokyo

Upcoming Events

The Salon ー Conversations with Prominent Professors at the University of Tokyo


Every Friday from December 1, 2023 (Available from 17:00 JST)

“The Salon” is a new dialogue series featuring distinguished scholars in the humanities at the University of Tokyo that aims to transcend disciplinary boundaries. It is hosted by Professor Naoko Shimazu of Tokyo College and Professor John Lie of UC Berkeley, who is currently staying at Tokyo College.

Previous Events

“SECURITAINMENT”: Triangulations of Embodied AI, Entertainment, and Surveillance (Lecture by Prof. Jennifer ROBERTSON)


Monday, 27 November 2023, 15:00-16:30

CCTV cameras are installed almost everywhere in Tokyo and other Japanese cities, and private security systems, introduced in the 1980s, are now standard in most homes. Surveillance is also embedded in everyday life, work, and play and has become “a way of seeing” and influences “ways of being seen.” In this presentation Prof. Robertson explores how and why AI-enabled entertainment and surveillance technologies have become fused, and speculates on the consequences of their triangulation.

World Literature in Translation Book Launch The Bankruptcy


Thursday, 26 October 2023, 19:00-21:00 JST (London: 11:00-13:00; Sao Paulo: 7:00-9:00am; New York: 6:00-8:00am)

The new award-winning translation of The Bankruptcy by Júlia Lopes de Almeida makes this novel available to Anglophone readers for the very first time. To celebrate its publication, this symposium will gather the translators and editor of the novel together with scholars in translation and literary studies to discuss the state of world literature today and the role played by translation in Brazil, Japan and beyond.

Culture and Democracy in Contemporary Korea (Lecture by Prof. KIM Hang)


Tuesday, 24 October 2023, 10:30-12:00 JST

The so-called 'K' culture originating from South Korea has gained popularity not only in Japan but also globally. This talk will focus on understanding this current situation in the context of political, economic, and societal changes in South Korea since the late 1990s. By doing so, it will provide an opportunity to shed light on the relationship between culture and democracy in contemporary South Korea, and offer some modest insights for contemplating the often turbulent Japan-Korea relations.

The International Tax Framework in a Fragmenting World (Lecture by Prof. Pascal SAINT-AMANS)


Friday, 20 October 2023, 16:00-17:30 JST

Over the past 15 years, a massive transformation of the international tax framework has occurred. Traditional instruments have been modified and completed by new rules aiming to better fight tax evasion and tax avoidance. These changes have also fostered tax cooperation between authorities. What will happen to this reform in a context of geopolitical fragmentation and crisis of global governance?

Exploring the Future of Crowdsourced Healthcare (Lecture by Prof. Simo HOSIO)


Tuesday, 3 October 2023, 16:30-18:00 JST

Artificial intelligence already has the potential to revolutionize healthcare in the near-future. This talk introduces Prof. Hosio’s work on digital health, highlighting the convergence of different digital technologies, some ongoing case studies on mental health, and crowdsourced, massively scalable online experiments exploring the cross-cultural differences and human factors.

Joint Webinar Series by Tokyo College&MbSC2030 Approach for Future Science and Technology “Future Mobility: The Relation Between Humans and Services”


Thursday, 21 September 2023, 15:00 - 16:30 JST

Mobility—the ability to move people, goods and information—is fundamental for all of humanity. Woven by Toyota's purpose is to deliver safe, intelligent, human-centered mobility to the world. We will discuss the variety of software-intensive systems that power this mobility, supported by an advanced, state-of-the-art vehicle software-platform.