Connecting People & Ideas to Advance Mutual Interests in U.S.-Asia Relations

— The application period for Cohort 5 is now closed —

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP) are pleased to announce the recruitment of a new group of participants for the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future. This program was launched in 2009 to foster a new generation of Japan specialists. The four existing cohorts of Network for the Future scholars regularly have met over the program’s nine-year history to build their knowledge of Japan, their policy expertise, and their contacts in Japan-related policy and academic circles. The Foundation and CGP are pleased to make this opportunity available to a fifth group of emerging Japan specialists.

Purpose of the Program

The purpose of the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future program is to identify U.S.- and Japan-based 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 United States and Japan with diverse expertise and perspectives. Participants should be able constructively to participate in the bilateral policymaking process and to contribute to better understanding of U.S.-Japan relations. The program seeks to nurture a new generation of scholars and professionals working on the following policy areas: U.S.-Japan security relations; U.S.-Japan economic relations; regional cooperation; issues where the two countries confront common domestic challenges (such as aging societies or income inequality); and issues where the two countries have opportunities to work together to resolve global challenges (such as climate change or food security).

Eligibility and Terms

Applicants must be currently and actively involved in the U.S.-Japan dialogue. The program is targeted at scholars with a professional interest in Japan and at professionals with a strong engagement with Japan and 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.

  • U.S.-based applicants must be American citizens or permanent residents who have a working knowledge of the Japanese language
  • Japan-based applicants must be Japanese nationals who are able to contribute to discussions in English.

Because we are seeking to identify a future generation of leaders, our preference is for candidates in the early- to 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 participate in:  a two-day workshop in Washington, D.C. (June 2019); a two-day retreat in Montana (September 2019); a week-long meeting in Washington, D.C. (January 2020); a week-long Japan study trip (June 2020); and the June 2021 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 and 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 June 2021 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 will be reviewed by a selection committee and participants will be announced the end of March 2019. The Foundation will select up to twelve participants and up to two Japan-based participants for this Network cohort.

For further information, please contact Timothy White, Associate Director of Communications, The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation at twhite[at]

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation is a 501(c) 3 organization that promotes understanding and cooperation in U.S.-Asia relations. Maureen and Mike Mansfield’s values, ideals, and vision for U.S.-Asia relations continue through the Foundation’s exchanges, dialogues, research, and educational programs, which create networks among U.S. and Asian leaders, explore the underlying issues influencing public policies, and increase awareness about the nations and peoples of Asia. The Foundation has offices in Washington, D.C.; Tokyo, Japan; and Missoula, Montana.      

The Center for Global Partnership (CGP), founded in April 1991, is dedicated to strengthening the global U.S.-Japan partnership and cultivating the next generation of public intellectuals necessary to sustain this partnership. To carry out its mission, CGP supports an array of institutions and individuals, including nonprofit organizations, universities, policymakers, scholars and educators, and believe in the power of broad-based, multi-channel approaches to effect positive change. CGP has offices in Tokyo, Japan and New York, New York. Please visit the website at