New Perspectives on Japan: from the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future

The thirteen members of Cohort III of the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future address a wide array of challenges and opportunities for Japan in “New Perspectives on Japan from the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future,” released by the Mansfield Foundation June 9.   The U.S.-Japan Network for the Future was initiated in 2009 to identify and support professionals in the United States who demonstrate and interest in and potential for becoming Japan specialists and policy experts.  As part of the program, participants are required to prepare a policy paper on an issue facing Japan and the U.S.-Japan alliance.  The fourteen essays compiled in this publication consider such challenges for Japan as: building consensus on constitutional and national security questions, ensuring economic growth, adjusting the U.S.-Japan alliance to meet new security challenges, and addressing demographic challenges.  They also suggest opportunities for Japan to advance agriculture and immigration reform, pioneer innovative solutions to workplace issues, and contribute to world politics.  In his foreword to the publication, U.S.-Japan Network for the Future Advisory Committee member Ezra F. Vogel notes the policy papers “reflect the broad diversity of interests Japan and the United States share.”

Challenges Facing Japan: Perspectives from the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future

Recent developments that impact Japan’s relations with its neighbors and the United States provide the backdrop for the essays in “Challenges Facing Japan:  Perspectives from the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future” released by the Mansfield Foundation this week.  This new compilation of essays by the fourteen members of the second cohort of U.S.-Japan Network for the Future Scholars addresses both challenges and opportunities facing Japan.  The essays provide the scholars’ perspectives on a wide array of issues — from Japan’s immigration conundrum to the future of the US-Japan alliance to lingering territorial and historical disputes between Japan and its neighbors — and present recommendations for tackling these and other challenges. The scholars consider recent developments in Japanese society and politics, which some of the scholars suggest offer the potential for positive changes and global leadership by Japan.  We hope readers will agree that by applying their expertise to contemporary challenges confronting the nation of Japan and the US-Japan alliance, our scholars are fulfilling one of the prime objectives of the Network for the Future program.


U.S.-Japan Cooperation on an Integrated Approach to Transportation Technology & Policy: Measuring the Environmental, Economic, and Public Safety Benefits

In May 2014, the Mansfield Foundation published a set of conclusions and policy guidelines reflecting the work of the Foundation’s Integrated Approach to Transportation program from 2010-2013.  During that period the Foundation collaborated with the Intelligent Transportation Society of America to host a series of seven workshops in the United States and Japan on bilateral cooperation on advancing transportation technology and policy. The workshop series, which was made possible largely by the generous support of Toyota Motor North America, was specifically aimed at facilitating U.S.-Japan cooperation on reducing emissions from passenger vehicles through integrating a broad range of technical and policy approaches.  The program’s final workshop was held in Sendai, Japan in October 2013.


U.S.-Japan Nuclear Working Group Statement on Shared Strategic Priorities in the Aftermath of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident

In April 2013 the U.S.-Japan Nuclear Working Group, an independent bi-national group of experts tasked with examining the broader strategic implications of the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, released a statement summarizing its findings and recommendations. The report, Statement on Shared Strategic Priorities in the Aftermath of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident, reflects the group’s consensus after twelve months of discussions with opinion leaders in Japan, the United States, and the global nuclear government community in Vienna, Austria.


Unique Experiences, Unique Perspectives: Mansfield Fellows and Their Insights on U.S.-Japan Relations

In March 2013 the Mansfield Foundation released a publication highlighting many of the ways the Mike Mansfield Fellowship Program has provided Fellows with unique insights into the Japanese government’s policymaking process as well as opportunities to improve coordination between the United States and Japan. Unique Experiences, Unique Perspectives: Mansfield Fellows and Their Insights on U.S.-Japan Relations was initiated to commemorate the selection of the one-hundredth Mansfield Fellow to enter the program since its establishment by the U.S. Congress in 1994. The publication is a compendium of essays written by twenty-eight alumni of the Mike Mansfield Fellowship Program.


Crafting a Contemporary U.S.-Japan Vision

In November 2012 the Mansfield Foundation released Crafting a Contemporary U.S.-Japan Vision, a publication based on the work of the Mansfield Foundation Task Force on Crafting a Contemporary U.S.-Japan Vision for Shared Progress and Prosperity. The Task Force was launched by the Foundation in partnership with the Japan Commerce Association of Washington (JCAW) and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York (JCCI) as part of a broader initiative by JCAW and JCCI to commemorate the 2012 Cherry Blossom Centennial.  Crafting a Contemporary U.S.-Japan Vision recommends forward-looking strategic initiatives through which the U.S. and Japan can contribute to mutual economic strength and vitality. It also includes seven essays reflecting Task force members’ perspectives on the group’s work. The publication is available on the Mansfield Foundation’s website in English and in Japanese.

Japan Moves Forward:Views from the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership are pleased to announce the publication of “Japan Moves Forward: Views from the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future,” now available online.  This publication compiles policy papers from each of the fifteen participants in the inaugural group of the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future.

Re-Examining the U.S.-Japan Relationship in an Era of Change

This publication summarizes discussions held as part of a two-day program to reassess the U.S.-Japan relationship in light of domestic political changes, regional tensions and other developments.  Program participants included members of two Mansfield Foundation programs – the Mike Mansfield Fellowships and the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future – as well as Japanese discussants from academic institutions, government agencies and think tanks in the U.S. and Japan.

One Step Back? Reassessing an Ideal Security State for Northeast Asia 2025

This book is the product of the second year of an ongoing research partnership between the Foundation and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) through Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).  The aim of this research partnership is to identify and refine the “ideal” state of peace and security in Northeast Asia in 2025. The first year of the project focused on defining the characteristics of an ideal security state in Northeast Asia in the year 2025.  The second year of the project provided an opportunity to evaluate the ideal in the context of developments in the region since 2009.

Toward an Ideal Security State for Northeast Asia 2025

This 2010 book is the product of a research partnership designed to identify the “ideal” state of peace and security in Northeast Asia in 2025 and to further explore issues related to that ideal.  The Mansfield Foundation partnered with the Advanced Systems and Concepts Office of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) on this project, which brought experts from Asia and the Pacific together for two 2009 workshops to identify an ideal security situation for Northeast Asia in the year 2025 as well as current and likely future trends diverging from that ideal.

Change in Human Flows between the United States and Japan: Report and Policy Implications 

Mansfield Visiting Fellow Mizuki Yamanaka examines the trends behind past U.S.-Japan exchanges and how they compare to exchanges with other East Asian countries.  His report also raises important questions about future exchanges with Japan.  Although Japan is still the largest source of visitors to the United States among East Asian countries, the number of visitors has been declining.  Mr. Yamanaka suggests that U.S.-Japan exchanges need to advance to the next stage and proposes policy visions intended to improve future bilateral exchanges.  Published March 2010.

Understanding New Political Realities in Seoul:Working toward a Common Approach to Strengthen U.S.-Korean Relations

The new administration of President Lee Myung-bak takes over the reins in Seoul in a climate in which there appears to have been some reevaluation of the U.S.-ROK relationship by the South Korea body politic.  Perhaps due to the North Korea nuclear test, the controversy surrounding China’s historical claims on the ancient kingdom of Kokuryo, and the stark relief in which the alliance was placed by the negotiations on the transfer of wartime operational control, a sizable majority of South Korean voters clearly indicated their preference for an improvement in U.S.-Korean relations in Korea’s December 2007 elections.  As this is the political base to which President Lee Myung-bak will be beholden, the current transition in Seoul likely represents a new political reality.

From the Far East to the Old West: Chinese and Japanese Settlers in Montana

The Mansfield Foundation has produced an Emmy-nominated historical documentary about the thousands of Chinese and Japanese who came to Montana in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In addition to describing why they left their homeland and what drew them to Montana, the video features diaries, original photographs, newspapers of the day and contemporary interviews with historians and descendants to show what these Asian immigrants did in Montana, the hardships they faced, and the contributions they made to the American West.



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