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About the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership has initiated a new program intended to foster a network of “New Generation” Japan specialists. This unique effort is intended to build and enhance a network of “New Generation” Japan specialists that can bring diverse expertise and perspectives to the bilateral policy-making process in the mid- and long-term.  This will lead to deeper and more vigorous dialogue and research on topics of immediate concern as well as on ways to strengthen the U.S.-Japan relationship through cooperation and shared goals in the global arena.


Applications for the two-year program will be accepted through October 3, 2011. Selected participants will be announced by mid-November 2011, and from January 2012 to January 2014 will participate in a series of meetings and workshops and a study trip to Japan. Participants also will prepare op-ed pieces and commentary/blog posts and brief policy papers that will be presented at a January 2014 public symposium in Washington, D.C.


Advisory Committee

The program receives guidance from a four person advisory committee comprised of the following:

  • Dr. Michael Green, Senior Adviser and Japan Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

  • Dr. Susan Pharr, Edwin O. Reischauer Professor, Director of Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies and the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Harvard University

  • Dr. Leonard Schoppa, Professor, University of Virginia

  • Dr. Ezra Vogel, Henry Ford II Research Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University

 Purpose of the Program

The purpose of the “U.S.-Japan Network for the Future” program is to identify American professionals who demonstrate an interest in and potential for becoming Japan specialists and policy intellectuals and to support them in this effort. The network will include Japan specialists from all regions of the U.S. with diverse expertise and perspectives and the ability to participate constructively in the bilateral policymaking process and to contribute to U.S.-Japan understanding.


Eligibility and Terms

Applicants must be American citizens or permanent residents who are currently and actively involved in the Japan-U.S. dialogue and have a working knowledge of the Japanese language.  The program is targeted at scholars with a professional interest in Japan, and professionals who have a strong engagement with Japan and who have work experience in policy-relevant fields.  In addition to having an interest in public policy, successful applicants will be able to demonstrate their interest in and potential for becoming future leaders in the U.S.-Japan relationship.  Our preference is for candidates in the mid-career stage.  In the academic context, normally this translates into scholars at the advanced assistant or early associate professor levels.  Policy professionals should have a Master’s degree and at least five years of Japan experience. 


Participants must be fully dedicated to the two-year program and able to participate in all scheduled meetings.  Network participants will be expected to fully participate in: a two-day workshop in Washington, D.C. (January 2012); a week-long meeting in Washington, D.C. (June 2012); a two-day retreat in Montana (autumn 2012); a week-long Japan study trip (June 2013); and a January 2014 public symposium and current issues panel discussions.


Throughout the two-year program, participants will be expected to: develop their network of contacts; engage with other Network members; engage others in the academic and policy fields with what they have learned about Japan; prepare for and actively participate in the program’s meetings, workshops, and study trip; participate in group activities and support the program’s larger goals and objectives; conduct independent research on key issues of particular interest to them; produce op-ed pieces, commentary/blog posts on important policy issues in U.S.-Japan relations; and produce and seek to publish or otherwise disseminate a brief policy paper.  Network participants will present their papers and discuss current issues in the region during the last meeting, the January 2014 public symposium in Washington, D.C.  Financial support for those selected is limited to coverage of travel, accommodations, and meal expenses associated with participation in program meetings and study trips.


Applications and Selection

Applications are due October 3, 2011. 

Apply here


For further information, please contact Sam Dundon, Program Associate, The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, (202) 347-1994.  



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