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About TIMR
photo:Shinpei Goto
Shinpei Goto

The Tokyo Institute for Municipal Research (TIMR) was established in February 1922 by Tokyo Mayor Shinpei Goto. Goto's idea to establish a major research bureau originated in his days as home minister for the national government. After assuming office as the mayor of Tokyo, he proposed the establishment of a neutral and independent research institute to advise and support the municipal governance of Tokyo. The proposed organization was modeled after the New York Bureau of Municipal Research (presently the Institute of Public Administration (IPA))

The idea won the support of Zenjiro Yasuda I, founder of the Yasuda Bank (presently Mizuho Bank) and a leading figure in the Japanese financial community. Yasuda was assassinated shortly after stating his intention to donate the massive sum (in those days) of 3.5 million yen to the project─but his family followed through with his wishes.

Based on Yasuda's instructions, the Hibiya Public Hall, the Honjo Public Hall and the Tokyo Institute for Municipal Research were built. After completion, the Honjo Public Hall was donated to the city of Tokyo and the Hibiya Public Hall was placed under municipal control. The Municipal Research Building and its tenants constitute a stable financial base for TIMR and its research activities.

TIMR remembers Dr. Charles A. Beard, the famous historian and political scientist. Mayor Goto invited Dr. Beard, then the Director of the New York Bureau of Municipal Research, to visit Tokyo. Dr. Beard stayed in Japan for six months, from 1922 to 1923, soon after the establishment of TIMR. His good-hearted guidance and advice on the institute's organization and research activities was a keystone in the foundation of TIMR.