About the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future
Meeting with Okinawa Vice Governor:
The Network Group poses for a picture after a meeting with Okinawa Government Officials. The prefecture’s Vice Governor Kurayoshi Takara stands in the middle; Chief Executive Susumu Matayoshi is third from the right.
The U.S.-Japan Network for the Future is a two year program designed to build and enhance a network of 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.
The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership are pleased to have completed one cohort of this program and together with the program Advisory Committee (AC) are building on our success with a second cohort of participants.
U.S.-Japan Network for the Future scholars began a week-long Japan study trip with a welcome dinner and a June 17 briefing session on Okinawa led by senior members of Japan’s Ministry of Defense. The participants also met with U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos to discuss current issues facing U.S.-Japan relations. The following days included discussions on Japanese domestic and international issues with key scholars, business leaders and policymakers, including leading members of the Diet. Some of the issues that the group discussed were Japan’s aging society, public-private partnerships, regional relationships, nuclear safety and media environment. The meetings provided the Network participants with personal insights into Japan’s political atmosphere in light of current issues, including the U.S. military presence in Okinawa and the Fukushima nuclear accident. On June 19, the group traveled to Okinawa, where they met with Vice Governor Kurayoshi Takara, prefectural government officials, the U.S. Consul General, and others. These meetings provided opportunities to examine the relationship between local concerns and national interests. The study trip concluded June 21 with an informal meeting with Okinawan journalists.
Cohort II and advisory committee members Dr. Susan Pharr and Dr. Len Schoppa met in Whitefish, Montana for a three-day retreat. This was Cohort II’s third meeting and was designed to provide them with opportunities to gain feedback on their research from their peers and the advisory committee, engage in a media workshop and policymaking exercise, and promote group cohesion and collaborative research. The Foundation is pleased that special guests Aiko Doden (Senior News Commentator, NHK News Corporation) and Chuck Jones (Director, Asia Pacific, Corporate and International Business Development, Lockheed Martin Corporation) were able to join the meetings to provide feedback and share their expertise with the participants. The guests and representatives from the funding organization Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP) also joined the Network for teambuilding exercises including a visit to Gaynor Ranch. Building on the accomplishments of the Montana trip, the Cohort II Scholars will continue producing op-eds and related publications and prepare for the June 2013 Japan Study Trip.
Cohort II and advisory committee members Dr. Susan Pharr and Dr. Len Schoppa met in Washington, D.C. for one week of meetings with speakers from the U.S. government, private sector, and academic community. Topics included territorial and historical legacy issues, U.S.-Japan security and trade issues, and Japan’s role in East Asia. The program was enhanced by the in-kind support of Honda North America and Lockheed Martin and the many speakers who made time to meet with the cohort, including Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State James Zumwalt, and Deputy Chief of Mission Hwang Joon-kook (Embassy of the Republic of Korea).
Cohort II and advisory committee members Dr. Michael Green, Dr. Susan Pharr, Dr. Len Schoppa, and Dr. Ezra Vogel, came together for the first time in Washington, D.C. for three days of meetings with policymakers, experts, media specialists, and their colleagues. The program included opportunities for participants to discuss their research and expertise with their colleagues and the advisory committee, on-camera media training, an op-ed writing workshop, meetings with policymakers, a Capitol Hill reception, and dinner at the Old Residence of the Ambassador (made possible by CGP New York). The meetings were timed to coincide with the final meetings of Cohort I and provided an opportunity for the two cohorts to meet and learn about the program. Feedback from Cohort I has been a key resource to the Foundation and CGP as the Cohort II program is developed.
The U.S. Japan Network for the Future 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 of Japanese Politics and Director of 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
For further information, please contact Sam Dundon (sdundon –at- mansfieldfdn –dot- org).