The Graduate School of Policy Science (GSPS), the predecessor of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), was established at Saitama University in 1977 as a new kind of graduate school. GSPS aimed to promote interdisciplinary policy research that had the potential to contribute in an effective manner to the making of appropriate policies for the real world and to train administrative officials and policy analysts equipped with policy analysis and policy-making skills backed by a scientific approach and methods. Established as an institute to engage in graduate-level research and education, GSPS took the form of an independent graduate school that was separate from undergraduate programs, with the appropriate academic staff, facilities, and equipment.


Over the first twenty years of its existence, GSPS gained a unique reputation for producing mid-career government officials who had a clear understanding of policy issues. Central and local governments and government-related institutions regularly sent their most promising officials to GSPS, where, under the instruction of their professors, they engaged in the intellectual task of structuring and analyzing policy issues. At the same time, GSPS academic faculty developed interdisciplinary policy research. Through these activities, GSPS led the field of policy studies in Japan.


With the advance of research and education in the field of policy studies, the question arose as to whether policy research could be further advanced if the school were independent. Behind this lay the awareness that Japan needed to quickly enhance its system for promoting policy research. There had been too few studies conducted on the governmental and administrative structures that had supported the nation’s economic growth, and Japan was about to enter a new stage amid a domestic and international situation that was changing at a dizzying pace. Thus, it was crucial for Japan to study its policies from their very foundations in order to envision the future of the country and create appropriate policies. In addition, there had been a dramatic rise in international interest in Japan’s policy system, and it was becoming increasingly important for Japan to explain its policies and contribute to global advancement and international collaboration.


In response, the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture (today’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) set up a committee to study the future of policy studies and education in Japan. In March 1994, the committee proposed the creation of an independent graduate institute befitting the unique character of the academic discipline of policy research. Budgetary steps were taken to prepare for the establishment of the National Institute of Policy Studies (tentative name), and a committee to prepare for the founding of the institute was formed in June 1994. This committee of experts set up a special subcommittee and held deliberations to give concrete form to the new concept, including asking experts from industry, government, and academia to provide special cooperation, and referring to input provided by various sectors of society.


In October 1997, the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) was established as a new type of independent graduate university .GRIPS’ mandate was to promote high-level policy research and respond to various domestic and international needs based on international intellectual cooperation and the cooperation of leading members of Japan’s political, industrial, government, and academic circles.


  • 1973
    Center for Behavioral Science and Data Analysis, Saitama University established

  • 1977
    Graduate School of Policy Science (GSPS), Saitama University established

    Public Policy Program for domestic students launched

  • 1984
    International Program launched

  • 1991
    International Development Program launched

  • 1993
    International Monetary Fund (IMF) Program launched

  • 1997
    Tax Program launched

  • 1998
    Customs Program launched


  • 1997
    National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Policy Research Center, GRIPS Library were established

  • 1999
    Policy Information Center established, GRIPS relocated to campus in Shinjuku Wakamatsu-cho

  • 2000
    4 domestic programs (Public Policy, Development Policy, Regional Policy, and Cultural Policy) launched
    4 international programs (Public Policy, Transitional Economy, International Development Studies, and Public Finance) launched

  • 2001
    Young Leaders Program (School of Government)and Graduate Program in Japanese Language and Culture launched

  • 2002
    First doctoral students accepted

  • 2003
    Center for Study of International Development Strategies established
    Graduate Program in Japanese Language and Culture (doctoral program) launched

  • 2004
    Intellectual Property Program launched
    Doctoral Program in Science and Technology Policy launched

  • 2005
    GRIPS relocated to newly built campus in Roppongi, Tokyo
    Earthquake Disaster Mitigation Program launched

  • 2006
    Institute for Comparative Studies in Local Governance established
    Security and International Studies Program launched

  • 2007
    Policy Professionals Program launched
    Economics, Planning and Public Policy Program launched
    Disaster Management Policy Program (formerly Earthquake Disaster Mitigation Program) launched

  • 2008
    Policy Analysis Program launched
    Urban Policy Program launched

  • 2009
    Young Leaders Program (School of Local Governance) launched
    Education Policy Program launched

  • 2010
    One-year Master’s Program of Public Policy (MP1)(formerly Public Policy Program)launched
    Two-year Master’s Program of Public Policy (MP2)(formerly Public Policy Program)launched
    Asian Economic Policy Program (formerly Transition Economy Program)launched
    Disaster Management Program launched

  • 2011
    Macroeconomic Policy Program (formerly Asian Economics Policy Program) launched

  • 2012
    Disaster Risk Management Program launched
    Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Program launched (Ph.D.)

  • 2013
    GRIPS ALLIANCE established
    Executive Development Center for Global Leadership (CGL) established
    State Building and Economic Development Program launched
    Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Program launched (Master’s)

  • 2014
    Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Research Center established
    GRIPS Global Governance Program (G-cube) launched

  • 2015
    Center for Professional Communication established
    Maritime Safety and Security Policy Program launched

  • 2016
    Regional Policy Concentration, Educational Policy Concentration, Infrastructure Policy Concentration, Disaster Risk Management Concentration, Health Care Policy Concentration, Agricultural Policy Concentration, Regional Development and Finance Concentration were launched (Master’s)
  • Strategic Studies Program launched
  • GRIPS Fund established

  • 2017
    Cultural Policy Concentration and Global Studies Course  were launched (Master’s)

  • 2018
    Science, Technology and Innovation  Policy Concentration was launched (Master’s)

  • 2019
    Open Concentration was launched (Master’s)




Graduate School of Policy Science, Saitama University / National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies



GRIPS 20th anniversary website


7-22-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-8677

TEL : +81-(0)3-6439-6000     
FAX : +81-(0)3-6439-6010


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