Since the establishment of the PHP Institute in 1946, its research mission has been to investigate and promote ideas, theories, and policies that would contribute to the realization of the idea of PHP advocated by the founder Konosuke Matsushita. Today, PHP's research staff members largely consist of those who focus on studying the philosophies of the founder in the Kyoto head office of the Institute and those who are engaged in the study of policy issues in the Tokyo head office.
Comprehensive Studies of Konosuke Matsushita
Rich materials for research on the founder
Konosuke Matsushita (left) conducting
PHP philosophy research meeting (1968)
Research staff in the Kyoto headquarters of the PHP Institute conduct researches into various aspects of the founder Konosuke Matsushita based mainly on thousands of documents and audio tapes that the Institute has collected, produced, and edited for over half a century. Until he passed away in 1989, Konosuke Matsushita, together with research fellows of the Institute, had held dozens of seminars and workshops on a wide range of topics from business management to philosophies and religions; moreover, he had often given talk to the public and had frequently appeared on the media. During the period of his presidency of the Institute from 1946 to 1989, Matsushita told his staff to record on tapes such seminars, workshops, lecture meetings, media interviews, and any other remarks and comments he made on various occasions. These recorded materials have enabled us to carry out comprehensive research about him.
Publishing books by Konosuke Matsushita or related books.
The PHP Institute emphasizes not only research on Konosuke Matsushita but also the publication of his written and told records. The Institute has published many different books so far, including “Matsushita Konosuke Hatsugenshū,” or Collected Sayings of Konosuke Matsushita in English, which comprises as many as forty-five volumes. However, because Matsushita left countless recorded materials, the Institute has published only some of them as yet. Indeed, PHP's research staff still put a strong effort into transcribing the tape-recorded materials into typewritten documents and into digital data, so that the Institute can provide more information on Matsushita to the public in future.
Promotion of the ideas and practices in relation to the philosophy of the founder
Current meeting scene
PHP's staff researchers also emphasize the publication of books and magazines on themes in which Konosuke Matsushita had a strong interest, such as management philosophy, corporate ethics, entrepreneurship, and education. They are also involved in promoting his ideas through the activities of giving lectures to, and organizing business training courses for, a variety of people, especially company managers and employees.
PHP Sōken: Japan's Leading Independent Think Tank
Research on policy issues
Research staff members of PHP Sōken, or in English PHP Research Institute, located in the Tokyo head office of the PHP Institute, are engaged in the study of policy issues, especially concerning politics, administration, economic and fiscal policy, international relations, foreign and defense policy, local public sector organizations and services, and schooling and education. It is noted that they place special emphasis on drawing concrete policy recommendations from their research findings and conclusions and on promoting the adoption of them to national and local governments.
Our growing influence on actual public policies
Their tireless efforts to develop such effective policy recommendations have dramatically increased their public visibility for the past several years. For example, PHP Sōken has recently been known as a politically independent think tank that publishes its annual White Paper on Manifesto (in Japanese “Manifesuto Hakusho”), which reports its extensive investigations into to what extent Japan's ruling and main opposition parties have carried out the promises made in their respective manifestos. Another notable example is that with the growing interest in the issue of administrative decentralization, PHP Sōken has been recognized as a leading institute that promotes changing Japan's present administrative system into a “dōshūsei” federal system.
Collaborative research activities
In order to strengthen their policy-making capacity, research fellows of the PHP Sōken organize a variety of research projects in collaboration with other specialists and frequently invite well-known policy experts, such as politicians, scholars, journalists, economists, and government officials, to hold conferences, workshops, seminars, and other research meetings. Moreover, they are very active as policy advisers as well as researchers. In fact, many of them have been appointed as members of the advisory committees of various public organizations, including national and local governments.