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S.J.D. Candidate
shirata at


Can Constitutional Protection of Academic Freedom Conflict with Protection from Sexual Harassment in Educational Institutions?: Lessons from Comparing Japan and the United States

Apex courts in both the U.S. and Japan have provided protection for the autonomy of educational institutions, albeit in light of different constitutional clauses: the First Amendment in the U.S. and the Academic Freedom clause in Japan. In view of the considerable scope these institutions enjoy in regulating their own members, in my dissertation I seek to investigate how the differences between the respective governments’ constitutional frameworks and legal and administrative systems affect their actual and possible regulatory schemes regarding sexual harassment in educational settings.

The study will focus in particular on formal and informal methods of administrative enforcement, such as the use of guidance and subsidies by the government, the status of self-regulation by individual institutions, and possible parallels or analogies with other areas of regulation, such as sexual harassment in the workplace. In light of my findings, I will consider how the autonomy of educational institutions, which helps ensure rights and freedoms that are essential for sustaining constitutional democracies, may be reframed as they face increasing social, political and legal demands to protect their members from the harms of sexual harassment.

Fields of Research and Supervisors

  • Comparative Constitutional Law with Professor Vicki Jackson, Harvard Law School, Principal Faculty Supervisor
  • American Constitutional Law and Title IX with Professor Jeannie Suk Gersen, Harvard Law School
  • History of the American Administrative State with Professor Laura Weinrib, Harvard Law School
  • Regulation and Dispute Resolution in Japan with Professor Eric Feldman, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Additional Research Interests

  • Administrative and Regulatory Law
  • Comparative Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Gender and the Law


  • Harvard Law School, S.J.D. Candidate 2024-present
  • Harvard Law School. LL.M. Program 2023-2024 (requirements fulfilled, degree waived)
  • University of Tokyo, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, Master of Laws, 2023
  • University of Tokyo, Faculty of Law, Bachelor of Laws, 2021

Academic Appointments and Fellowships

  • Harvard Law School, 2024-2025, Graduate Program Fellow, LL.M. Advisor

Additional Information

  • Languages: English, Japanese (native)

Last Updated: June 17, 2024