the Chair of the Local Organizing Committee
The XVIIth World Economic History Congress (WEHC 2015), which will be held in Kyoto in 2015, is an epoch-making event in that it is the first congress in Asia in the history of the WEHC. Today, Asia is regarded as one of the most important engines of growth of the world economy. For economic historians, late nineteenth century Japan was the first Asian country to experience economic growth based on modern technologies and institutions, and its post World War II economic miracle has long been seen as setting a new model of economic growth. Japan’s growth experience has been followed by many other Asian countries and regions. The Japanese and other Asian examples of rapid development have been based on a diversity of paths of development, drawing on indigenous elements of their economies, societies and cultures, while simultaneously interacting with many areas in Asia and the West. As historians we all find that this Asian rise has challenged our theories and become an important subject in our efforts to understand global patterns of development from a long-term viewpoint. Indeed, research that reconsiders Asian economic history from global perspectives has come to be one of the most active fields of research in recent years. We are looking forward to welcoming leading scholars from many countries and regions of the world who specialize in economic history and related fields, to WEHC 2015. I am certain that through presentations and academic dialogue, WEHC 2015 will offer a wonderful opportunity to extend our discussions of fundamental issues in global economic history and encourage economic history research in Japan, in Asia and in the world.
Chair of the Local Organizing Committee