Professor Morimitsu Inaba first arrived in Canada from Japan in 1963 to pursue a master’s degree political economy at the University of Western Ontario. He had just completed his law degree at Nihon University and was awarded a scholarship to study in Canada. He later applied for doctoral studies at the University of Toronto, and was granted an Ontario Graduate Scholarship, in addition to a number of research assistantships. He recalls with great fondness his graduate student life in the latter half of the 1960s, in particular the many garden parties at Massey College, “with cherry brandy glass in my hands and listening to Robertson Davies’ speeches delivered on special occasions.”
Inaba went on to work at the Mitsubishi Research Institute, the Asian Development Bank and Oxford University before returning to Japan to teach at Nihon University, from which he retired in 2016. But he never forgot how helpful the support he received was in the early stages of his career. Inaba saw his retirement as an opportune time to express his deep gratitude to the University of Toronto and Canada, and made a gift to the Department of Political Science to support doctoral scholarships.
Inaba believes that political science research can play an important role in devising successful and sustainable approaches to economic development. “We now recognize that economic policy prescriptions are not enough to promote the economic development of countries, and that we need to understand the institutional framework of developing countries. This is one reason why I established a doctoral fellowship that supports graduate students who are researching the political economy of development.”
Photo courtesy of Morimitsu Inaba