1. home
  2. Projects
  3. Project List
  4. Promoting Japan-US Relations: An Opinion Leaders' Dialogue

Regular Promotion of Mutual Understanding between Priority Regions and Japan~Exchange Program between Japan and The United States


Promoting Japan-US Relations: An Opinion Leaders' Dialogue

Implementing Agency The Sasakawa Peace Foundation
Stanford Japan Center Research, CSIS Pacific Forum (USA), Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs (USA)
Year 3/3
Project classification Self-OperatedGrantCommissionedOthers Year project budget implementation 39,820,347yen
Project Contents
In contrast to the strengthening of the alliance between Japan and the US that began in the latter half of the 1990s, intellectual exchange has been steadily tapering off. Budgets for international exchange activities have been drastically cut in Japan in both the public and private sector, and, with US interests shifting to China and India, there is much concern that there will be further decline in exchange, on a human resources and organizational level. In this project, the possibilities inherent in Japan-US exchange will be re-evaluated. Then, on the basis of the understanding that closer relations between the two countries will help improve international relations and stabilize the Asian region, exchange activities that support Japanese and US experts and opinion leaders in tackling global issues will be conducted.
Implementation Plan
In the final year of the three-year project, the following activities will be carried out.

  • The US-Japan Exchange Committee (four meetings between April 2010 and February 2011, in Tokyo):
    Four meetings of the US-Japan Exchange Committee will be held. At these meetings, the foundation will receive advice in relevant areas from a five-strong committee headed by Professor Fumiaki Kubo from the Graduate School for Law and Politics at the University of Tokyo.
  • Exchange between opinion leaders (throughout the year):
    • (1) Invitation of senior opinion leaders:Two individuals with experience in a senior government position (or similarly qualified persons) will be invited to spend approximately ten days in Japan with their spouse.
    • (2)Exchange between opinion leaders:Three promising individuals with a good track record in the policymaking community will be invited to Japan.
    • (3)Exchange with young opinion leaders:The following activities will be carried out with the aim of building the capacity of promising young specialists and persons involved in strengthening Japan-US relations.
      [1] Internship support for American students at Stanford Japan Center Research and support for Seminar
      [2] Exchange seminar co-hosted with Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) for young Japanese Diet members and visiting students
  • Meetings & Seminars: 
    • (1) Japan-US Joint Public Policy Forum (Autumn 2010, Tokyo):An international forum will be held in conjunction with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on a theme of global relevance.
    • (2) Outreach program to publicize mutually-dependent Japan-US relations (Autumn 2010): As part of the grant project entitled Japan Matters for America/ America Matters for Japan, a seminar will be held in Japan to distribute relevant material.
  • Activities of the Secretariat
    • (1) Overseas business trips (US, Asia): Coordination of meetings for the opinion leaders’ exchanges
    • (2) Domestic business trips:Accompanying individuals as necessary as part of the opinion leaders’ exchanges
    • (3)Collection of relevant information (throughout the year)
Project Results
Fostering Dialogue among Opinion Leaders in Japan and the United States on Global Issues
Based on the understanding that a closer relationship between Japan and the U.S. contributes to the stability of the international environment and the Asian region, this three-year project aimed to rediscover the usefulness of intellectual exchanges between Japan and the U.S. and to promote exchange programs between two countries

Japan visits by Senior and Mid-Career Opinion Leaders
  • Dr. Patrick M. Cronin, senior advisor and senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security program, Center for a New American Security
    Lecture: July 8, 2010
    America’s Strategic Restraint and its Implications for the Japan- U.S. Alliance
  • Dr. Charles A. Kupchan, professor at Georgetown University and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in the U.S.
    Visit: November 13?20, 2010
    Lecture: Enemies into Friends: How Peace Breaks Out
  • Dr. Michael O’Hanlon, director of research and senior fellow on foreign policy at the Brookings Institution
    Visit: December 15?19, 2010
    Lecture: Toughing It Out in Afghanistan
  • Dr. Eliot A. Cohen, professor at Johns Hopkins University
    Visit: January 9?19, 2011
    Lecture: America’s Strategic Choices
  • Dr. Peter W. Singer, director of 21st Century Defense Initiative and senior fellow on foreign policy at the Brookings Institution
    Lecture: February 28, 2011
    Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century

Dr. Michael O’Hanlon

Dr. Michael O’Hanlon

Exchanges between Young Opinion Leaders
Presentation of the results of the Stanford University Internship Program (August 20, 2010)
Presentations by participating interns and intern-host companies

Symposium: The 2nd Japan-U.S. Joint Public Policy Forum: “Looking Ahead: Japan-U.S. Economic Partnership in the Post-Lehman World”
Co-sponsored with Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (December 8?9, 2010)
Keynote Speeches:
Mr. David Wessel, Economics Editor, Wall Street Journal
Dr. Eisuke Sakakibara, Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University
Panel Discussions
Panel 1: ”The Future of the Dollar-based Financial System, and the Post-Crisis role of the United States and Japan”
Dr. Keisuke Iida, Professor, the Graduate School for Law and Politics, the University of Tokyo
Mr. Andrew Sorkin, Columnist and Assistant Editor of Business and Finance News, the New York Times
Mr. Koichi Hori, Chairman and Representative Director, Dream Incubator, Inc.
Mr. Paul Blustein, Non-resident fellow, the Brookings Institution
Dr. Masayuki Tadokoro, Professor of International Relations, Keio University

Panel 2: “The future of Global Governance and the U.S.-Japan relationship"
Dr. Yoshiko Kojo, Professor of International Relations, Department of Advanced Social and International Relations, the University of Tokyo
Dr. Osamu Tanaka, Special Researcher, the Japan-China Organization for Business, Academia & Government Partnership
Dr. Christopher McNally, Fellow, East West Center
Dr. Motoshi Suzuki, Professor of Graduate School of Government, Kyoto University
Dr. Kent Hughes, Director, Program on America and the Global Economy (PAGE), Wilson Center

Outreach seminars for Japan Matters for America/America Matters for Japan project
Seminars in Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, and Kyoto to share the results of the “Japan Matters for America/America Matters for Japan” project, an East-West Center project supported by the SPF (November 2010)